Okay, Vikings fans, you all have been happy with the quarterback situation for a while now and everyone knows it. What needs to be known or more realized is that this isn’t going to be an easy or even a quick fix potentially.
While the quarterback market is always hot, it is sometimes the market with the least amount of movement. Yes, the Vikings can always make a move and with a decision being made finally regarding the general manager position we may better speculate. Whether that speculation will be right or wrong is anyone’s guess of course.
The team announced today that they plan to hire Cleveland’s Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, and with that, you get the analytics and calm decision making which could lead to Kirk Cousins being around one more year. Adofo-Mensah should be trusted coming from the Browns front office led by Andrew Berry who, despite the team’s record, made several strong moves during free agency and the draft. Fans and players alike should be eager to see what moves he starts to make once the new league year opens up.
Now as we kick off the Kwesi Adofo-Mensah regime the team has four choices in terms of how it can approach the quarterback position.
Retaining Kirk Cousins
From the outside looking in, this may be the most realistic option for the Vikings which is to endure one more year of Kirk Cousins. Moving someone with his cap number is close to impossible with so many teams still coming off the reduced numbers due to the pandemic. Many teams had made moves obviously not anticipating the cap being this low at this point much like the Vikings probably did when they extended Cousins.
Now, them keeping Cousins isn’t the worst-case scenario either. Cousins can serve as a bridge quarterback for the new regime if only the build-back better package could save the Vikings from paying for that bridge right?
Trading Kirk Cousins
Light at the end of the tunnel, I know you folks want to move on from Kirk, let us examine what trading him away could mean for the team.
Step one to trading Cousins is recognizing who may find value in him on a one-year deal. The teams need to be in a winnow scenario with a need at the quarterback position and two teams fit that billing, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cousins unfortunately the Colts can’t throw in a first and it is unlikely they look for a bridge because general manager Chris Ballard shied away from that after the season. Pittsburgh however, they have only traded a first for a player one time and it worked out since it was for Minkah Fitzpatrick.
General manager Kevin Colbert has announced he is leaving the organization after the draft but with this roster seeming to be a quarterback away from contending with that defense, could Cousins be the answer? If it is, this team getting a second pick in the first round would go a long way, especially with both being in the top 18 picks.
Trading for a Veteran
This year more than ever, the veteran quarterback market is full of potential options for so many teams including the Vikings. Names like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson are the biggest of course and to be honest, there is no way Minnesota lands either of those names most likely. The next tier of veterans though could yield some results.
In that next tier of veteran options, we get names that are much more realistic catches like the troubled Deshaun Watson, Matt Ryan, and my personal favorite is Derek Carr.
Why is Derek Carr my favorite for the Vikings you ask? If we dive down the NFL coaching rabbit hole we could find a connection that could help bring him to Minnesota. The Vikings have expressed interest in hiring Raheem Morris from the Los Angeles Rams, Morris was previously a head coach in Tampa Bay, and guess who was his assistant head coach there? Richard Bisaccia also has a tremendous relationship with Derek Carr so if the Vikings hire Morris he could bring on Bisaccia if he isn’t kept on in Las Vegas and then maybe they talk to the front office on bringing in Carr.
Drafting the Future
We have finally arrived at the stop in this article that you all have been waiting for, drafting a replacement for Kirk Cousins, just not this year.
Now be patient and follow along for a second, this year is probably Cousins bridge year as we mentioned and it can also serve as a way to see what Kellen Mond can be. All be it many people have very low expectations for Mond, it is still important to see what he could potentially be before investing more draft capital in the position.
As mentioned above though, no investment in draft capital this year but rather we look ahead to next year. You have to be realistic, with the cap situation and the way this current roster is built this Vikings team is not contending this coming season as currently constructed. What the Vikings can take advantage of though in this situation is that next year’s class is much more talent-rich at the quarterback position.
Names like Heisman winner Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Spencer Rattler, and Phil Jurkovec all are more attractive names than much of this 2022 class. Where the Vikings finish of course determines what name could be available to them but all four of those names could be the answer to the Vikings franchise going forward.