The Minnesota Vikings have officially found their backup quarterback, finalizing a deal for former Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian that was initially reported on March 14.
The Vikings also acquired a 2018 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2019 fifth-round pick.
Siemian, 26, is entering the final year of his rookie contract. He’ll cost $1.907 million against the salary cap this season.
After watching Peyton Manning win a Super Bowl in his rookie season, Siemian, a former seventh-round pick, went on to start 24 games over the next two seasons for the Broncos, going 13-11 while throwing 30 touchdowns and 24 interceptions. His numbers regressed in 2017, however, with 12 touchdowns and 14 picks.
“It was a great learning experience the whole way through,” Siemian said Monday on a conference call. “I mean, sitting behind [Manning] and Brock [Osweiler] for a year and then also getting to play for those couple of years. A lot of knowledge I gained over that time and was surrounded by a ton of good folks. It was a good deal for me. I think it’s something for me to build on.”
His 2017 season ended prematurely when he dislocated his left shoulder on Dec. 14.
Siemian underwent shoulder surgery as a result of the injury — his second consecutive offseason going under the knife. After the 2016 campaign, he had surgery on a sprained AC joint.
The Broncos signed former Vikings QB Case Keenum in free agency as their likely starter. With former first-round pick Paxton Lynch and a potential rookie passer yet to be drafted with the fifth overall pick, the Broncos’ quarterback room was getting crowded, so Denver decided to get some return on its investment before Siemian hit free agency.
“There’s a lot places you could go,” said Siemian, “but for me to end up here I couldn’t be more fortunate. I’m excited.”
The Northwestern grad found out about the trade while vacationing with his fiancee, Bo, in Mexico.
Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was impressed by Siemian during the pre-draft process in 2015, and general manager Rick Spielman told reporters on a conference call that he liked Siemian’s ability to quickly get through his progressions.
“[He] fits everything that we were looking for, not only from a character standpoint, from what he brings to this football team, but also his abilities on the field,” said Spielman.
Siemian will back up Kirk Cousins, who just inked an $84 million contract with the Vikings.
He joins Kyle Sloter as the second ex-Bronco in the Vikings’ quarterback room. Sloter was nabbed by the Vikings before the 2017 season after completing 72 percent of his passes and throwing for three touchdowns in Denver’s preseason, prior to his release.