The Former Minnesota Viking Quarterbacks – Where Are They Now (All of Them!)
George Shaw (1961)
Shaw started the first half of the Vikings inaugural game against the Bears, and was benched for rookie and future Hall of Famer, Fran Tarkenton. He was the first player selected in the 1955 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts, but only played one more season in the NFL (with the AFL Broncos) before retiring from football in 1962. Shaw died at his home in Portland after a long illness at the age of 64 in 1998
Fran Tarkenton (1961-66 & 1972-78; 72 years of age today)
After Super Bowl 11, Tarkenton guest-hosted Saturday Night Live on January 29, 1977, and then upon retiring in 1978 from the Vikings, he appeared on the television show That's Incredible! and also worked part-time on Monday Night Football.
In 1986 Tarkenton, with author Herb Resincow, wrote a novel titled Murder at the Super Bowl, the whodunit story of a football coach killed just before his team is to participate in the championship game. He has written 3 other books that were published.
Tarkenton was also a pioneer in computer software, and founder of Tarkenton Software, a program generator company. His most current company is an annuity marketing firm called Tarkenton Financial. In February 2012,Tarkenton began hosting his own weekly call-in radio show on Sirius XM, and is an occasional guest video commentator giving his analysis of the Vikings for the St. Paul Pioneer Press for the 2012 season.
Bob Berry (1 start in 1966 and 1 start in 1974; 70 years of age)
In 1966, Berry started in his first game, a loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Berry then played for the Atlanta Falcons for five seasons, from 1968 to 1972, where he started in 51, throwing for 8,489 yards and 57 touchdowns, with a passer rating of 79.2. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1969. Berry rejoined the Vikings and played four seasons as a backup for Fran Tarkenton, from 1973 to 1976. He played one game in 1974, a win late the season when the Vikes decided to rest most of their starters to prepare for the playoff run. Berry resides in Gardnerville, Nevada.
Joe Kapp (1967-1969; 73 years of age)
Kapp played the entire 1969 season with a 1-year contract. As such, his open contract dispute with Minnesota made him a free agent for the 1970 season. Despite being a Super Bowl quarterback, no teams in the NFL made contact with Kapp until September of the 1970 season, when the Boston Patriots signed him to a four-year contract, making him the highest paid player in the league. Kapp played poorly on a bad Boston team that had the league's worst record at 2-12.
The newly named New England Patriots drafted QB Jim Plunkett of Stanford in the first round of the 1971 draft, and Kapp was turned-away by the team when he tried to report for training camp. After this incident Kapp never played again, his 12 year career as a professional football player was over.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, Kapp appeared in several television programs, as well as theatrical film titles. In most cases, the character roles were minor. Kapp was hired in 1982 as the head football coach at his alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley. Although he had never coached before, he was voted the Pac-10 coach of the year in his first season. In December 1981, Kapp made a promise to the football team that he would not consume any of his favorite alcoholic beverage, tequila, until the Golden Bears reached the Rose Bowl. As of 2012, the Golden Bears have yet to return to the Rose Bowl and Kapp has resorted to drinking rum instead.
Following an embarrassing 50-18 loss at Washington in October 1986, Kapp expressed frustration by unzipping his pants in front of the Seattle media., which resulted in his firing. The Bears responded to the student section's pre-game chants of "Win one for the zipper" by beating the #16 ranked and Gator Bowl-bound Cardinal 17-11.
The BC Lions of the Canadian Football League (CFL) hired Kapp as the team's new general manager in 1990, but Kapp was fired 11 games into the Lions' schedule. He was one of the owners of Kapp's Pizza Bar & Grill in Mountain View, California, which contained memorabilia from his career. Today, Kapp lives in Los Gatos, California, and makes himself available as a guest speaker.
Gary Cuozzo (1970-71; 71 years of age)
Cuozzo played in 10 NFL seasons from 1963 to 1972. He was traded to the Vikings in 1968, and upon the return of Fran Tarkenton, was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1972, but retired the following year. He moved to Middletown, New Jersey to start an orthodontics practice.
In 1990 his oldest son Chip, was murdered in Miami during a drug deal, and Cuozzo gave talks to teens about avoiding drugs. He served as national chairman of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes from 1995 to 1998.
Norm Snead (1971 – 2 games; 71 years of age)
Snead was drafted in the first round (second overall pick) of the 1961 NFL Draft, and was named to the Pro Bowl four times in his career, although never with the Viking. After his NFL career ended, Snead was the 27th and then later the 29th head college football coach for the The Apprentice School Builders located in Newport News, Virginia, and he held that position for ten seasons, from 1977 until 1984 and then returning from 1988 until 1989.
Bob Lee (1970-1971, 1976-1977; 66 years of age)
Lee played in 14 NFL seasons from 1967-1981 for 3 different teams. As a member of the Vikings, he saw action as a punter in Super Bowl IV and he threw a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XI. He was the first (of two) quarterbacks to post both a perfect quarterback rating and a zero passer rating over the course of their careers, and is the only one to have done so in the same season.
His son Zac was the starting quarterback for the University of Nebraska for most of the 2009 season. His daughter Jenna Lee is a former anchor for Fox Business Network (which spun off from Fox News Channel), but now is an anchor on Fox News Channel
Tommy Kramer (1979-1989; 57 years of age)
He earned the nickname "Two Minute Tommy" for many late game come-from-behind victories. Kramer was the first NFL quarterback to throw for over 450 yards in a game twice, and he once threw six touchdowns in a single game versus the Green Bay Packers. He was released by the Vikings after the 1989 season and was signed by the New Orleans Saints in 1990. He appeared in only one game for the Saints (ironically, against the Vikings) and retired after the 1990 season.
Kramer now lives in San Antonio. He is married for a third time, and not really concerned with the grind of life. “I work five or six days (as a football camp instructor for high school players)…a year…life is good, man. You get retirement pay, you get all this. Life is good,” said Kramer.
Steve Dils (1980, 1981 and 12 starts in 1983; 56 years of age)
He played six seasons with the Vikings and started most of the 1983 season, where he was paired in the backfield with former Stanford teammate Darrin Nelson. He was traded to the Los Angeles Rams in 1984. He spent his final full season with the Atlanta Falcons before retiring with the Rams before the 1989 regular season began. Dils is currently the managing director of the Canadian commercial real estate company Avison Young's Atlanta office.
Archie Manning (1984 – 2 games; 63 years of age)
Manning was part of a mid-season trade with the Houston Oilers that brought him and TE Dave Casper to Minnesota. He was to be so unfortunate to play under 1st year Head Coach Les Steckle, and was sacked a life-threatening 11 times against the Bears, which likely led to his retirement after the 1984 season.
Manning has lived in New Orleans since his departure from the NFL, and he is involved as an analyst with the Saints' radio and preseason television broadcasts. Working with his three sons, Cooper, Peyton (Broncos), and Eli (Giants), Archie also hosts the Manning Passing Academy each summer.
Tony Adams (3 strike games in 1987; 62 years of age)
Adams served as starting quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL after Len Dawson retired. He played for the Southern California Sun in the WFL in 1974, where he had his best pro season, completing 276 of 510 passes for 3905 yards and 23 TDs and 18 interceptions. He also played 20 games over two seasons (1979–1980) for the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL. He finished his career as a strike replacement player with the Minnesota Vikings in 1987, where his rag-tag teammates lost 3 one-sided games before the regulars returned to action.. His current whereabouts are unknown.
Wade Wilson (1987-1991, 53 years of age)
Wilson was drafted in the eighth round of the 1981 NFL Draft. He was a one-time Pro Bowler with the Vikings in 1988. Wilson led the Vikings to three playoff appearances in the late 80s, and 3 playoff victories. After his tour with Minnesota, he played for the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints, retiring in 1993.
Wilson was the Chicago Bears quarterback coach from 2004 until February 22, 2007, when he re-signed with the Cowboys (for whom he was quarterback coach from 2000 to 2002).
Rich Gannon (1992, 46 years of age)
Competing with Sean Salisbury for the starting job, Gannon ultimately became the Vikings' starting quarterback for 1992. With Minnesota leading the NFC Central with an 8-3 record, Dennis Green benched Gannon in favor of Sean Salisbury following the Week 12 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Gannon signed with the Washington Redskins in 1993, and played well enough to earn a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs for 1994. He played sparingly until 1997, when he took the starting job from Elvis Grbac. The Oakland Raiders signed Gannon as a free agent in 1999, where he became a 4-time Pro Bowler, and led the Raiders to Super Bowl XXXVII.
In August 2005, Gannon officially retired from football and joined CBS television as an NFL analyst. He also works as a game analyst for Green Bay Packers preseason games, and co-hosts The Sirius Blitz on Sirius XM NFL Radio with Adam Schein Gannon's father-in-law is former Minnesota Vikings running back Bill Brown.
Sean Salisbury (1992 – 1994, 49 years of age)
In 1988, Salisbury led the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to a Grey Cup championship the BC Lions.During his ten-year career, Salisbury was a member of the Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, San Diego Chargers and Houston Oilers.
After football, Salisbury started a television career, first with the Comedy Central show BattleBots, then to become an NFL analyst on ESPN. He was well known for his dislike of fellow analyst John Clayton. Clayton once famously got back at Salisbury, when, during an argument, Salisbury attempted to prove his point by telling Clayton, "You never played in the NFL." Clayton, noting that Salisbury spent most of his career as a backup quarterback on the sidelines (he received about a year's worth of NFL snaps in an eight-year career). To that, Salisbury fired back, "Neither did you!"
Salisbury was hired as a consultant for the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard, and taught Adam Sandler proper quarterback mechanics, cadences, and footwork. In 2008, Salisbury's contract was not renewed by ESPN, and Salisbury briefly for the CBS Radio affiliate in Dallas, but was fired, in part for an incident where he photographed his genitals in a Connecticut bar. Salisbury later admitted that the incident was true.
In 2011, Salisbury became a play-by-play announcer for the LFL (lingerie football league), but was released before the following season. Salisbury was supposed to host the show Inside Sports Unleashed on the Versus (NBC Sports) network in 2011, but the show was never aired.
Jim McMahon (1993, 53 years of age)
After leading the Vikings to the playoffs in 1993, the “punky QB” spent his last three years as a backup for the Cardinals, Browns and Packers. With Green Bay, he earned his second Super Bowl ring, and annoyed Packer fans when he wore his Chicago Bears #9 jersey to the White House ceremony.
Since retiring from football in 1997, he has worked as a restaurant owner and motivational speaker. He also was apprehended in Florida for drunk driving in 2003. McMahon became a part owner of the Indoor Football League's, Chicago Slaughter in 2010. In September 2012 it was reported that McMahon has been diagnosed in the early stages of dementia.
Warren Moon (1994-1996, 55 years of age)
Traded by Houston to Minnesota in 1994, Moon passed for over 4,200 yards in each of his first two seasons in purple, but missed half of the 1996 season with a broken collarbone. The Vikings' starting quarterback job was given to Brad Johnson and Moon was released after he refused to take a $3.8 million pay cut to serve as Johnson's backup in 1997. Moon then signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent. After a two-years in Seattle, an aging Moon signed as a free agent with the Kansas City Chiefs as a backup in 1999. He played in only three games in two years with the Chiefs before announcing his retirement in January 2001.
Combining his NFL and CFL stats, Moon's numbers are nearly unmatched in professional football annals: 5,357 completions in 9,205 attempts for 70,553 yards and 435 touchdowns. Moon appeared in the film Any Given Sunday in a cameo role as the head coach from New York. In March 2011, Moon stepped back in the limelight while working as a "mentor" to Cam Newton, who became the Overall #1 2011 NFL Draft Pick to the Carolina Panthers. He also mentored 2012 Seattle Seahawks starting quarterback Russell Wilson.
Brad Johnson (1997-1998, 2006; 44 years of age)
When starting QB Warren Moon was injured in 1996, Johnson started the final eight games that year, finishing third in the NFC with an 89.4 passer rating. In 1998, he started the first two games for the Vikings before breaking his leg in week 2. After his leg healed, Johnson resumed his starting role in week 10, but broke his thumb in the third quarter of that game. After that, Johnson's playing time was limited to one appearance in week 16. QB Randall Cunningham started the other games and starred in Johnson’s place
After this, Vikings coach Dennis Green decided to start Cunningham and trade Johnson to the Washington Redskins before the 1999 season for a first, a future second, and a third-round draft picks. Johnson had his best season Washington in 1999, and leveraged that for a free agent deal with Tampa Bay in 2001; leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl win in 2002. Johnson returned to Minnesota in 2005, and took over as starting quarterback for an injured Daunte Culpepper, leading he Vikings to 7-2 finish with a six-game winning streak While he remained the starter under 2006 Head Coach Brad Childress, he struggled in the ball-control offense and was released in early 2007.
He played as a backup for the Dallas Cowboys for 2 more seasons before he was released again. He now resides in Athens, Georgia and is currently teaching/coaching at Prince Avenue Christian School.
Randall Cunningham (1998-1999; 49 years of age)
Cunningham joined the Vikings in 1997 after being out of football in 1996. Cunningham enjoyed the greatest season of his career in Minnesota during the 1998 campaign when he guided the Vikings to a 15–1 regular season record with 34 touchdown passes and only 10 interceptions. During the early stages of the 1999 season, after throwing 9 interceptions in just 6 games, Cunningham was benched in favor of Jeff George. After the team announced that 2nd-year quarterback Daunte Culpepper would be the starter prior to the 2000 season, Cunningham was released.
Shortly before the 2000 season, Cunningham signed with the Dallas Cowboys to serve as backup to Troy Aikman, but was released after the season, and then signed with the Baltimore Ravens. Cunningham served a backup to Elvis Grbac in 2001. He went 2–0 as a starter in Baltimore, and retired after the season.
Cunningham returned to UNLV to finish his college degree in film, and also became an ordained Protestant minister and founded a church called Remnant Ministries in Las Vegas in 2004. In 2010, Cunningham was hired by Silverado High School as the offensive coordinator, where his son, Randall Cunningham II, was a freshman quarterback for the Skyhawks.
In June 2010, Cunningham's two-year old son, Christian, drowned in a hot tub while unattended at the family home in Las Vegas. In August 2011, following a rumored spat with Silverado's head coach, Cunningham resigned his coaching position at SHS.
Jeff George (1999; 44 years of age)
Jeff George joined the Vikings for the 1999 season, presumably to sit on the bench behind incumbent QB Randall Cunningham, who was coming off a fantastic 1998 season. Cunningham, however, struggled at the start of the 1999 season and was benched. Out of the wings stepped George, who in 10 games as a starter went 8-2 and put up excellent numbers. After the season when George took too long to agree to terms with the Vikings, and they elected not to renew George's contract. He was eventually offered a $400,000 contract by Minnesota, with incentives totaling up to $1.4 million for a single year.
Eventually George opted to sign a $14.8 million 4 -year contract with the Washington Redskins as Brad Johnson's backup. An injury to Johnson ultimately left George the starter for the last half of the 2000 season. Before the 2001 season, Washington hired Marty Schottenheimer as head coach, but the West Coast offense did not fit George’s style, and he lasted exactly 2 weeks into the regular season, when Washington released George on the heels of a 37-0 Monday Night loss to the Green Bay Packers.
George proceeded to make several sideline (backup) appearances in the following years. He signed briefly with the Seattle Seahawks in late 2002 as an emergency quarterback. In 2004, after two years away from the game, the Chicago Bears became the seventh NFL team to employ George, signing him to a one-year contract in November for a partial season backup role. But again he never took the field during a game, and he wasn't retained by the Bears for the 2005 season, and was not signed by any team. In August 2009, the Oakland Raiders signed George. He was expected to compete for the third-string quarterback position.
Never one to give up on the Vikings, in 2007, George told ESPN that he was interested in making another comeback with the Minnesota Vikings. Brad Childress never considered George, Again in August of 2010, George announced on KFAN Sports radio in Minnesota that he would have been willing to step in for veteran QB Brett Favre if Favre had decided to retire from the Minnesota Vikings. George has made occasional appearances on NFL Total Access with Rich Eisen and Terrell Davis.
Daunte Culpepper (2000-2005, 35 years of age)
Culpepper opted to leave Minnesota in an apparent contract dispute after both a devastating knee injury he suffered versus Carolina in 2005, as well as new Head Coach Brad Childress’ appearance in Minnesota. He worked to get his knee back in shape and signed with the Miami Dolphins. He won the starting job, but he no longer had the mobility he had prior to surgery, nor the weapons he had in Minnesota, and was benched after 4 games.
After a dispute with the Dolphins on his chance to be a starting quarterback, he was released, and ultimately signed by the Oakland Raiders. He started 6 games with the Raiders in 2007 but was not re-signed. Since Culpepper insisted he was a starter, no team offered him a 2008 contract until the Detroit Lions signed him in November 2008 due to injuries. Culpepper played well on a bad Lion team and was slated to be the starter for 2009, but then Detroit decided to start first overall draft pick Matthew Stafford.
Hoping to revive his career, Culpepper signed with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the United Football League on June 7, 2010. Culpepper was named UFL Offensive Player of the Week, twice in the 2010 season. In August 2011, the worked out Culpepper, but opted to sign Culpepper's former Oakland Raider teammate Josh McCown instead. Culpepper announced in 2012 his intent to retire from professional football.
Todd Bouman (2001 – 3 games; 40 years of age)
Bouman signed as a undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings in 1997. Replacing an injured Daunte Culpepper, Bouman completed 21 of 31 passes for 384 yards and four touchdowns and was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week in a win versus Tennessee
In 2003, the Vikings traded Bouman to the New Orleans Saints, where he became a backup to Aaron Brooks. In November 2006, Bouman signed with the Green Bay Packers to replace injured Aaron Rodgers as their second-string quarterback. In 2007 and again in 2009, Bouman was a backup with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and in-between those two stints, he was a backup in St, Louis. Continuing his travels, he became a backup for the Baltimore Ravens in 2008-2009. He concluded his NFL career by being signed and cut 3 times more by the Jaguars between 2010 and 2011.
Spergeon Wynn (2001 – 2 games; 34 years of age)
Wynn was a third string backup to Daunte Culpepper and Todd Bouman in the 2001 and 2002 seasons and played in the last three games of the 2001 season, starting 2 of them. This was due to season ending injuries to both Culpepper and Bouman. Wynn made his way north to Canada to play for the BC Lions from 2002-2004. He was the Lions' backup and occasionally third-string quarterback for the 2003 and 2004 seasons, completing 67 of 99 passes for 894 yards, 6 touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed for 2 touchdowns and 145 yards on 36 attempts.
Wynn was acquired by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for 2005, and was traded to the Toronto Argonauts in 2006. Wynn is currently an energy trader in Houston, Texas.
Gus Frerotte (2003 and 2008, 41 years of age)
In 2003 and 2004, Frerotte backed-up Daunte Culpepper for the Minnesota Vikings. He won both games as a temporary starter for the team in 2003. Frerotte then earned the Miami Dolphins starting job in 2005, and afterward joined the St. Louis Rams as back-up to Marc Bulger for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He returned to the Vikings in 2008, signing a two-year, 3.75 million dollar deal. While he backed-up Tarvaris Jackson's backup for the first two games of the year, he then was named the starter for the rest of the 2008 season by head coach Brad Childress. Frerotte led the Vikings to an 8-3 record before suffering a back injury, which reinstated Jackson as the starter.
Frerotte had expressed interest in being the starting quarterback for the Vikings for the 2009 NFL season, but was released on February 27, 2009, which concluded his NFL playing career. In 2010, Frerotte worked for GAIMPlan Consulting which helps high school athletes pick a college, and in 2011, Freorotte announced he would be taking over as head coach at John Burroughs School in the St. Louis area.
Brooks Bollinger (2006-2007; 32 years of age)
Bollinger started for the Vikings in week 10 of the 1996 season against the Packers, but after a terrible performance in a 34-0 loss, Bollinger was benched in favor of Tarvaris Jackson.
In 2008, after a disappointing preseason, Bollinger lost the third-string spot and was released by the Vikings. He signed with the Dallas Cowboys to be the third-string quarterback in 2008, and made one appearance in a game versus the Giants. Bollinger signed a 2009 pre-season contract with the, but was cut after the final preseason game.
Bollinger was drafted by the Florida Tuskers in the UFL's Inaugural draft, and led the team to the 2009 championship game with a perfect 6–0 regular season record. Bollinger was the league leader in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completion percentage, and completed passes. Although they lost the championship game, Bollinger was named the league’s MVP. However, injuries forced him to retire before the 2011 season. Upon his retirement, he announced he would become the head coach at Hill-Murray (High School in Maplewood, MN) and led them to their first state tournament berth in recent history. In February 2012, he was announced as the quarterbacks coach at the University of Pittsburgh.
Kelly Holcomb (2007; 39 years of age)
The Philadelphia Eagles traded Holcomb to the Minnesota Vikings in early 2007 in exchange for a sixth round pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. Holcomb started three games that season, throwing two touchdowns and an interception with 515 passing yards. Due to an injury, Holcomb was released by the Vikings after the season. In 2008, Holcomb joined his alma mater Middle Tennessee as the color commentator for the Blue Raider Radio Network. In addition, Holcomb has broadcast the TSSAA Blue Cross Bowl and was a broadcast member of the Music City Bowl Preview.
Tarvaris Jackson (2006-2008; 29 year of age)
After signing a lucrative free agent contract in 2011 to play in former Vikings Offensive Coordinator’s West Coast offense in Seattle, Jackson lasted just one season as a starter. In 2012, he was listed 3rd on the depth chart, and did not play in one Seahawk preseason game. Jackson was traded to the Buffalo Bills before the fourth preseason game of 2012, and is not the 3rd string quarterback in Buffalo.
Brett Favre (2009-2010; 43 years of age)
After one magical season with the Vikings in 2009, where Favre took the team within one play of the Super Bowl, Favre reluctantly returned to the team for one more season in 2010. The magic was gone, and after starting in an NFL-record 297 straight games, Favre was forced to sit due to injury as a result of a porous offensive line that nearly got him killed versus Buffalo. He made a surprise start the next week after not practicing, and was knocked-out of the game with a concussion. He did not play another down for the Vikings or any team and finally retired after the 2010 season.
In 2011, Favre tired his hand as a color commentator for the TV broadcast of his alma mater Southern Miss when the played Rice, but he was none-too entertaining, and did not enjoy the work. In June 2012, he became the Offensive Coordinator for Oak Grove High School in his hometown of Kiln Mississippi.