MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have finalized their trade with the Denver Broncos for quarterback Trevor Siemian to be the backup to free agent prize Kirk Cousins.
Though Siemian started 24 games for the Broncos over the past two seasons, he didn’t balk at his unquestioned place as the second-stringer on the depth chart.
“I’m here for Kirk. I’m here for these guys, and I want to win a bunch of games here,” Siemian said.
The Vikings announced the deal, which was agreed to last week, on Monday. They sent a 2019 fifth-round draft pick to the Broncos for Siemian and a seventh-round choice this year, after signing Cousins to a three-year, $84 million fully guaranteed contract.
Kyle Sloter, who was in training camp with Denver last summer, will be the third quarterback if all goes according to plan.
The Vikings let Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater become free agents. Keenum, coincidentally, signed with the Broncos.
Siemian went 13-11 as a starter, as the Broncos moved forward with a combination of him, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler after the retirement of Peyton Manning. For his career, Siemian has 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions with a 59.3 percent completion rate. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman lauded Siemian’s quick decision-making, but there’s plenty of improvement that can be made.
“That’s the fun part of this game too, right?” Siemian said. “There’s so many dimensions you can grow as a player, and that’s what keeps it exciting.”
He struggled at times and hurt his shoulder, which he had surgery on almost three months ago. For a seventh-round selection out of Northwestern, though, Siemian has carved out a decent career. When he found out about the trade, he was vacationing in Mexico with his fiancee, and the news was warmly welcomed.
“There’s a lot of places you could go. For me to be here with an organization that’s knocking on the door of some really, really great things,” Siemian said, “I think there’s a lot of people who would kill to be in this situation.”
Siemian said he’s on track with his shoulder rehabilitation from the procedure, about 11 weeks into the process.
“Everything’s gone smoothly thus far, so I’m staying on top of it and feeling really good right now,” he said on a conference call with Minnesota reporters.
The Vikings made a big splash by signing Cousins and defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson last week, so the rest of their offseason moves will likely be minor in nature. They had to release valuable slot receiver Jarius Wright and cut running back Latavius Murray’s pay to maintain a flexible amount of space under the salary cap, with needs remaining on the offensive line and in the secondary. Of their own players who became free agents, kicker Kai Forbath, punt returner Marcus Sherels and cornerback Terence Newman are the top unsigned priorities.
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