Who Could be The New Vikings QB?
By: Adam Martin
With NFL trade talk in full swing and a few big names being traded already, another potential player that could be on the move is Kirk Cousins. Despite having a lackluster 2020 campaign, the 32-year-old NFL veteran has drawn some attention from other teams in the quarterback market.
One of those teams that has been heavily linked to the Minnesota quarterback is the San Francisco 49ers. Cousins has a connection to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan as the pair spent two years together in Washington before going their separate ways. Current 49ers starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has an uncertain future with the franchise as it appears that San Fransisco might be looking to part ways with Garoppolo which would be another incentive for the 49ers to bring in Cousins.
With all this in mind, here at three potential replacement quarterbacks that Minnesota could go after if Kirk Cousins does indeed leave the Vikings.
1. Deshaun Watson
This might sound crazy but stick with me. Watson is the number one target for any team wanting to change their QB. Also, the Vikings would have the cap space for this to happen if they were able to get rid of Cousins contract. Cousins is costing the Vikings a lot of money and they are not going anywhere at this moment in time. However, now is the time when the Vikings should take a shot and go all in for a franchise quarterback in Watson.
In 2020, Minnesota finished third in the NFC North with a 7-9 record. In 2020, the NFC is not as strong as it has been in the past and the Bears proved that by getting in the playoffs at 8-8. It will be tough to get past the Packers but with a top-tier QB like Watson, it changes everything.
On top of that the Vikings already have the supporting cast ready to go for Watson. The team has a great run game with Dalvin Cook and Alexander Mattison. They also have two star wide receivers in Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson and a good young tight end in Irv Smith Jr.
The main problem, when it comes to acquiring Watson is the cost. Watson will be expensive but a 2021 1st, a 2022 1st and Kirk Cousins should be enough to get it done. Although you might think he will cost more due to the Stafford/Goff trade that just isn’t true. Both of these guys have big contracts, Goff did but Stafford didn’t and that’s the difference.
Verdict: Watson is someone that the Vikings should be looking at in order to make a big upgrade at the position. This is an expensive option for the Vikings and is unlikely to happen but is not completely out of the question.
2. Carson Wentz
Carson Wentz did not become a poor quarterback overnight but he has had a tough time with the Eagles over the last year and has made it clear he wants to leave. A new team like the Vikings could be just what Wentz needs to get his career back on track. Wentz is four years younger than Cousins and has the ability to be just as good if not better.
Wentz does come at a cost because of his contract but his cost is similar to what Cousins would be if the 49ers traded for him. That means that this wouldn’t affect the cap space for the Vikings and the Eagles need to get Wentz off their books so this trade would benefit both teams.
With the Eagles desperate to get Wentz off their roster they might be willing to trade him at a slightly cheaper rate. Cousins had a good year in 2020 with 35 touchdowns to his name and so the Vikings could sell high and bring in Wentz at his low. With the support team being of high quality it will also be an upgrade for Carson Wentz. The Eagles have suffered from offensive injuries over the last couple of years and Wentz has suffered because of it. When Wentz did have a fully fit team around him he was able to put up similar numbers to what Cousins did this year.
Verdict : If you look at the 2020 stats you would think the Vikings would be mad to bring in Wentz. However, you wont get as much for Cousins as you will this year. Wentz is cheap right now and with the better support cast can be just as good. This has a good chance of happening and the 49ers, Vikings and Eagles would all get what they want.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo
This is probably the most obvious move for the Minnesota Vikings if the 49ers come in for Cousins. Jimmy Garoppolo is not the greatest QB in the world but he is solid. He has had injury problems this year but in 2019 he throw 27 touchdowns which puts him in the same league as Cousins. Also, both guys have got large contracts which shouldn’t cause to many issues for a potential trade.
The big upside for the Vikings in this trade is that they would receive more than just Jimmy Garoppolo. As seen with the Jared Goff/ Matt Stafford trade getting a reliable QB costs a lot. Although they have a similar contract, Garoppolo comes with injury concerns and that might be enough to get the extra draft capital.
The Vikings offence is strong and so is their o-line but their defence needs improvement. That extra draft capital that the Vikings would get from this trade would be very useful and could improve the defence. The one difference with the contract is that it wouldn’t cost as much to get rid of Jimmy Garoppolo compared to Kirk Cousins. So, if the Vikings decide pretty quickly that they don’t like what they have in Jimmy Garoppolo then they can ditch him cheaply.
Verdict : This is the most likely replacement for Kirk Cousins if he goes to the San Francisco 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo is the cheapest option that will give them the Vikings the chance to move on from him if they don’t like what they see. They will most likely receive a draft pick with the trade which will help them elsewhere as well.