Vikings QB Nick Mullens gets emotional in postgame after season-ending loss

The Minnesota Vikings’ season came to an end Sunday in a 30-20 loss at Detroit, and quarterback Nick Mullens was among those to take it hardest after the game.

To call Mullens’ 2023 season a rollercoaster is an understatement. He was on injured reserve with a back issue when Kirk Cousins went down with a torn Achilles. His absence forced the team to trade for Joshua Dobbs, with rookie Jaren Hall not ready for a full-time starting role.

He started three games and played in five total. He led the Vikings to their only points in a 3-0 win at Las Vegas after Dobbs got benched in the fourth quarter. He led Minnesota’s only touchdown drive in a 33-10 loss to the Packers, after Hall got benched at half.

His three starts were all Vikings’ losses. He threw for 807 combined yards and four touchdowns in two games against the Lions, both losses. He was also sacked 12 times in five games, and threw eight interceptions.

Mullens became emotional when talking Sunday about his year and the Vikings’ tough finish, losing four straight and six of seven to miss the NFC Playoffs.

"It’s been a long ride, up and down. I love the Vikings, I love the team. Just like we were 1-4 and went 5-0 and your starter goes down and you’d love to say us quarterbacks, whoever was back there, led the team to the playoffs and that’s what we hoped for," Mullens said fighting tears. "Didn’t get it done, but love the Vikings. It sucks, but it was fun. You learn a lot and you go through a lot."

Mullens said earlier in the week you’re always playing for your job every year in the NFL. He’s due to make $1.7 million in base salary next season, but it would cost the Vikings just $375,000 in dead cap money to cut him. 

He’s in a tough spot, with Cousins potentially entering free agency in March while working his way back from an Achilles injury. The Vikings also have Hall, and could seek a quarterback in the NFL Draft.

Fighting tears, he talked Sunday about not being able to lead the Vikings to the playoffs.

"I’m an emotional dude, it just sucks. You want to do your best, it just sucks. Just try to get the job done, we were very close, but very close is not good enough in this league," Mullens said.

We’ll have to wait and see if Mullens did enough for the Vikings to keep him in 2024.