The Minnesota Vikings just answered a major question at the quarterback position by acquiring Josh Dobbs, but he brings questions of his own in the not so distant future.
Dobbs is playing on a one-year, $2 million deal he signed with the Arizona Cardinals after the Cleveland Browns traded him there just ahead of the start of the regular season. After only one game for Minnesota, albeit an impressive one, Dobbs is already poised to cash in come free agency in March 2024.
“He’s earned high-level No. 2 status,” an AFC executive told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN on Wednesday, November 8. “A guy who can start games for you if you need, and that pays pretty good money.”
Fowler went on to compare Dobbs’ earning potential to that of Jacoby Brissett, who he backed up when the two were with the Browns together in 2022.
“Consider Jacoby Brissett, who earned a one-year, $10 million contract with $8 million guaranteed from the [Washington] Commanders after performing well as a bridge starter for Cleveland,” Fowler wrote. “That could be Dobbs’ lane.”
Josh Dobbs Has Built Earning Potential Through Failure, Patience
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Dobbs with the No. 135 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He played games for that franchise in both 2018 and 2020, though earned no starts.
Dobbs landed in Cleveland behind Brissett but never got an opportunity. The Browns waived him when Deshaun Watson returned from suspension and Dobbs caught on with the Detroit Lions practice squad. He was there for a couple of weeks before the Tennessee Titans added him, offering Dobbs his first two NFL starts in a QB room decimated by injury. Dobbs lost both games, but confirmed his talent and toughness in the process.
Cleveland added Dobbs again last offseason, but ultimately traded him to Arizona and opted instead for a combination of rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson and former third-string quarterback P.J. Walker. Dobbs started eight games for the Cardinals this season, winning only one. However, that victory came against the Dallas Cowboys, and Dobbs kept Arizona competitive in most games despite playing with a subpar roster impacted meaningfully by injury.
He led the Vikings to a late fourth-quarter comeback over the Atlanta Falcons on the road last Sunday, despite little knowledge of the playbook and zero live practice time with his teammates. The effort has won Dobbs fans overnight, particularly in Minnesota where the team has already named him the starter next week against the New Orleans Saints.
Vikings Still to Face Major QB Questions in 2024, Despite Addition of Josh Dobbs
Minnesota chose not to add another QB this week, despite rookie Jaren Hall’s status in the league’s concussion protocol and Nick Mullens coming off IR with a back injury. Both are unlikely to play Sunday, meaning Sean Mannion will elevate from the practice squad into a No. 2 role.
The Vikings are going to need to sign at least one or two QBs this offseason, the question is who those players will be and what role they can expect in Minnesota’s offense. Kirk Cousins is out for the year with a torn Achilles, his injury playing the role as the first domino to fall in the crazy sequence that has played out under center in the subsequent 10 days.
General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has left open the door that the Vikings may sign Cousins back, but the two sides clearly aren’t in agreement about the contract value or length on a potential deal. If they were, they could have agreed to a multiyear extension in each of the past two offseasons, but that hasn’t happened.
Hall is under contract for the next three years, though Dobbs’ hijacked his opportunity to prove himself a capable starter with his first-week heroics in Atlanta. Mannion has a history in Minnesota that includes two starts but if he were the answer, the Vikings would have known a long time ago.
The franchise may attempt to bring Dobbs back into the fold, but his price might exceed his value with all the leverage his immediate success in Minnesota has afforded him in the minds of executives around the league. Dobbs is 28 years old, has earned less than $7.5 million in his career and must capitalize on his earning potential before it fades.