Things have come full circle for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.
The guy he once stole a starting job at quarterback from has put Cousins’ future with the Vikings into question.
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RGIII: Cousins ‘Collecting Checks’ With Vikings, ‘Not Real Happy’ With Kellen Mond Pick
Cousins was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft as the backup to the No. 2 overall pick and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III — whom Washington gave up three first-round picks and a second-rounder to get. By 2015, Cousins emerged as the more reliable starter after Griffin struggled to stay healthy and cemented himself as a starting quarterback.
Griffin took the opportunity to swing at Cousins’ future with the Vikings after Minnesota drafted Cousins’ apparent successor, Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond, in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Friday.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 1, 2021
Here’s what Griffin said:
Yeah, I can tell you that No. 8 in Minnesota is not real happy right now, because Kellen Mond represents exactly what he doesn’t do well.
Kellen Mond is the big, physical quarterback. He can run it, throw it all over the field, and I don’t think that’s something that No. 8 is able to do in Cousins in Minnesota. But, I think that’s what the coaching staff and administration is looking for.
Cousins has garnered top-10 pay despite the Vikings underdelivering during his tenure in Minnesota. Griffen added that if Cousins has a bad start to the 2022 season, the mob could call for his replacement.
“As you’ve seen, Cousins has been collecting checks there in Minnesota for a long time, taking them to 8-8, 9-7 seasons,” Griffen said. “If he has a bad start to the year like he did last year, I could see the fans and maybe the organization leaning toward Mond if he comes in and impresses.”
Griffin Has a Point
Whether Griffen’s takes on Cousins are fueled by analysis or bitterness, the free-agent QB did hit his mark on how things could play out in Minnesota.
Mond is by far a better fit of what the Vikings want with their play-action, zone-running scheme. Cousins has worked on his mobility and willingness to run the ball to appease Minnesota. However, the athleticism is not there anymore for the 32-year-old quarterback.
General manager Rick Spielman addressed the media-driven paranoia surrounding Cousins’ job security moments after Day 2 of the draft.
“Kirk’s our starting quarterback,” Spielman told reporters on Friday night. “There’s no competition there. It’s just taking another player. It’s like, regardless of position, if we take a player in the third round or first round, I’m not calling the player and saying, ‘Hey, we may take this guy here.’ Our job is to try to get as many good players in here and let them all come in and compete.”
Due $56 million guaranteed over the next two years, Cousins told Pro Football Talk that he’s not planning on an extension until his current contract is up, forcing the Vikings’ hand to draft a contingency plan when the well run dries.
Mond could be an exceptional starting quarterback, but Minnesota would commit self-sabotage by not letting Cousins play out his contract or trading him with all of his future earnings already on the table.