Minnesota Vikings newcomer Josh Dobbs woke up to a text from his agent the day of the NFL trade deadline, warning him he could be traded after being told otherwise.
Hours later, the Arizona Cardinals dealt Dobbs to the Vikings in an exchange of late-round draft picks. Dobbs has already received a warm welcome from Minnesota after leading an improbable comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons last week.
Dobbs broke his silence on what happened in his final days in Arizona, saying Cardinals coach Johnathon Gannon pulled a 180° on him in the final hours of the NFL trade window.
After a 31-24 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, October 29, Dobbs recalled Gannon telling him in the locker room he would start the following week.
“We’re in the locker room. (Gannon) gets off his podium — he does media before I do — and he says I’m starting for the Cardinals in Cleveland the next week,” Dobbs said on the “Torchbearers” podcast. “I go to the facility on Monday and J.G. calls me to his office and says, ‘Hey, we’re gonna start Clayton Tune in Cleveland.’”
Watch: #Vikings QB Josh Dobbs explained how his final 36 hours in Arizona went down😳
He was told on Sunday after the game vs the Ravens that he would be the starter.
He was then told the next day that the team would be starting Clayton Tune, but that he would not be getting… pic.twitter.com/efwAefQN7w
— Arye Pulli (@AryePulli) November 10, 2023
Dobbs went from starting, to benched to traded in the span of 48 hours. He added that he was confused because Gannon had assured him he was not being traded.
“I went home (on Monday) and called my agent, just talking to him about the situation,” Dobbs said. “Went to sleep, woke up Tuesday morning with a text from my agent saying, ‘Hey, you could be traded today because it’s the trade deadline.’ When I had the meeting with J.G. in Arizona he looked at me in the face and he said, ‘You’re not being traded. You’re not being released. You’re going to be here in Arizona.”
Arizona’s change of heart isn’t unfounded. The Vikings quarterback situation dramatically changed Sunday leading into Monday morning when an MRI confirmed Kirk Cousins would be lost for the season with a torn Achilles, which may have led to a late call by Minnesota.
The Cardinals were shut out 27-0 last week by the Cleveland Browns in their first game without Dobbs. Kyler Murray is expected to return to his starting role this week.
Josh Dobbs Poised to Earn Lucrative Contract After Vikings Debut
It may seem lofty to claim one game could change Dobbs’ trajectory in the NFL, but what he did last Sunday could give him significantly more staying power in the league.
In August, the Browns traded Dobbs to the Cardinals the final week of training camp. He absorbed the Arizona offensive scheme in a matter of a few weeks to earn the starting spot to begin the season.
He did the same in real time on Sunday when he was thrust into the game following Jaren Hall’s landing in concussion protocol after a hit in the first quarter against the Falcons. Dobbs relayed the play call in the huddle and absorbed the details of the call from Kevin O’Connell before the headset cut off before every play.
“I could not imagine doing that one time and Josh has done it twice this year. I mean it really is that kind of special. The one with the Vikings was even more impressive because he really did it midweek and just kind of figured things out on the sideline,” former Vikings quarterback and “The QB School” host J.T. O’Sullivan said on the “Purple Insider” podcast. “To have that in-game translation, it’s one of those things that it’s a career-defining weekend, career-defining performance I think this is the kind of performance that really does catapult you into another you know half-decade, decade in the league.”
An AFC executive told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that Dobbs has earned “high-level No. 2 status” as a “guy who can start games for you if you need, and that pays pretty good money.”
“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.”
Vikings Week 10 Underdogs vs. Saints
Despite Dobbs’ Week 9 heroics, Vegas is not sold on the Vikings this week. Minnesota is listed as a 3-point underdog to the New Orleans Saints at home on Sunday.
Minnesota has won four straight without Justin Jefferson and is coming off its improbable victory over the Falcons without Kirk Cousins. Dobbs has his work cut out for him with K.J. Osborn and T.J. Hockenson questionable and Jefferson not expected to play.
New Orleans has won two straight games, including a 24-17 win over the Chicago Bears last week.