Vikings acquire QB Josh Dobbs, ship out OL Cleveland ahead of NFL trade deadline
The Minnesota Vikings are bringing in another quarterback ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon.
A day after the team confirmed quarterback Kirk Cousins suffered a torn Achilles tendon in Sunday’s win over the Packers, the Vikings acquired Joshua Dobbs from the Arizona Cardinals, who are 1-7 on the season and expected to get Kyler Murray back soon. ESPN’s Adam Schefter says the Vikings gave up just a sixth-round pick and will also get a seventh-rounder back from Arizona along with Dobbs, making it a very low-cost move. The teams have since confirmed.
Dobbs has started all eight games for Arizona this year, throwing for 1,569 yards and 8 touchdowns with 5 interceptions while completing 62.8% of his passes. He also started two key games down the stretch for Tennessee last season, throwing for 411 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
The seven-year veteran at least gives the Vikings another option at quarterback in case rookie Jaren Hall struggles or gets injured. Veteran Nick Mullens, who has been dealing with a back injury for weeks, is eligible to come off injured reserve next week but it’s unclear if he will be ready that soon.
“We’ve evaluated and looked at a lot of different things … solidifying the quarterback room and the depth there to give us multiple guys who I feel like we can go out and win with was important, and I feel like Josh does that,” O’Connell said.
Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell said Tuesday that the team plans to start Hall at quarterback this weekend, even after the Dobbs trade, but the staff will evaluate the position regularly going forward to determine a starter.
“Josh gives us an experienced player who’s started some games, not only this year but last, and has played some good football against some of the best defenses in our league and found ways to move the ball, brings a level of athleticism to go along with great, great football intelligence, smart player, have always loved his makeup and kinda what he’s all about,” O’Connell said. “He’s played in a variety of different offenses and I know he’s excited to get going here so, we’ll get him out here and start the preparation of acclimating him and getting him ready to go, potentially on Sunday.”
While Cousins is expected to miss the rest of the season and could have played his final snap in a Vikings uniform, the team also has several other impending free agents that could’ve been dealt before Tuesday’s deadline, including star edge rusher Danielle Hunter.
One of those players — guard Ezra Cleveland — was dealt to Jacksonville for a sixth-round pick. Cleveland had missed two games due to a foot injury, opening the door for Dalton Risner, who signed with the team earlier this season.
Cleveland, 25, was picked in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft by the Vikings and played in 51 games since then, starting 47 of them. Instead of keeping him for depth the rest of the season in case of injury or more struggles along the offensive line, or trying to continue negotiations to bring him back next season, the team opted to ship him to the Jaguars for a minimal return.
The team didn’t make any other trades ahead of the deadline, although it could still bring in free agents. Cousins was also officially moved to injured reserve.
As of Tuesday, the Vikings (4-4) sit two games behind Detroit in the NFC North race but would currently be in the playoffs as the seventh seed.
Minnesota is back in action Sunday afternoon in Atlanta against the Falcons.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will update this story as more information becomes available.