The Minnesota Vikings have a clear plan for their first-round quarterback, J.J. McCarthy, and if you are a Vikings fan it might not be in alignment with “your plan” for the upcoming season.

Many have taken note that McCarthy did not take any reps with the first team during the recently concluded minicamp. Instead, Sam Darnold, who received most of the first-team work, and veteran Nick Mullens were ahead of him. McCarthy worked primarily on a separate field with other backups, including 2023 fifth-round pick Jaren Hall.

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Observations from one Organized Team Activity and three days of minicamp reveal why the Vikings are taking this careful approach with McCarthy. While his arm strength is undeniable, he still struggles with ball placement and has a tendency to take risks reminiscent of Brett Favre, which can lead to broken-up passes or interceptions in the NFL.

McCarthy showed notable improvement on the final day of minicamp, displaying a touch on several well-thrown passes and increased confidence with O’Connell’s complex offensive system. Darnold also commented on the system’s intricacies last week.

The Vikings will have one final round of OTAs this week before a break leading up to training camp in late July. If McCarthy shows rapid progress during training camp, it’s possible Mullens could be traded to a QB-needy team for a late-round draft pick, making McCarthy the backup to Darnold. Hall would likely become the third-string quarterback in this scenario.

Alternatively, the Vikings might choose to keep Mullens as the backup for the regular season, with McCarthy as the third-string QB while attempting to place Hall on the practice squad.

While this approach might raise some eyebrows, it is unlikely to cause significant concern within the organization. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell are focused on solving the Vikings’ quarterback situation for the long term, not rushing McCarthy onto the field. Every decision regarding the quarterbacks in the coming year will be made with McCarthy’s best interests in mind, rather than responding to fan pressure.