5 Kirk Cousins Storylines Before Week 5

Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Wow, that wasn’t pretty. Even the most optimistic Vikings fans were at a loss after losing to the Bears on Sunday. It was only the fourth game of the season, yet the angry mobs are already coming for quarterback Kirk Cousins. Everyone has an opinion on Minnesota’s quarterback situation, so let’s have a look at some of the hottest takes:

Note: I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with these storylines. Frankly, I feel bad for Cousins and don’t like the uncertainty surrounding my beloved team. Read on, and see what you think.

“Kirk Cousins is the problem!”

https://twitter.com/NickOlsonNFL/status/1178682767908986883

As of late, and looking back to last season, Kirk Cousins has not played up to his $84 million contract. There’s no denying that. Every time he gets a chance to prove his haters wrong, Cousins crumbles in big games and reaffirms the narrative. Against the Bears, his fumbling demons were out in full force, and his vision was M.I.A. as he never saw Diggs or Thielen open downfield. Kirk’s supporters will argue that he had no time to find them due to a porous offensive line, which leads us to the next headline:

“The offensive line is the problem!”

The Minnesota Vikings have had a bad offensive line for at least the last five years. The line seems like it’ll improve every year, but it just never happens. Injuries, retirements, and even a coaching death have derailed their progress. This year, GM Rick Spielman finally invested a first-round pick in center Garrett Bradburry, but the move hasn’t made a huge difference. That said, the front five don’t deserve all of the blame…

Kirk Cousins holds onto the ball longer than any other quarterback in the league (average of 3.06 seconds from snap to throw). If you don’t get the ball out of your hands for that long, you can’t expect any offensive line to hold off defenders like Khalil Mack. When it comes to run blocking, the line has looked pretty good through the first three games, but they couldn’t open any holes in the Bears depleted defense on Sunday.

“Trade Kirk Cousins!”

This headline is nothing but clickbait. For those of you who don’t know, there is a no trade clause in Cousins’ contract, meaning he can’t be traded without agreeing to it. I’m sure he’s not enjoying Minnesota’s fan base right now, but it’s extremely unlikely that he’d agree to be traded to an even more uncertain situation.

“Bench Kirk Cousins!”

Who would have thought this would be on the table when the Vikings signed Cousins in 2017? Certainly not me. I was always on the Teddy Bridgewater or Case Keenum train, but I didn’t think Cousins would struggle to the point that this was a remote possibility. Realistically, I can’t see it happening. I have little reason to believe Sean Mannion would perform better under center. However, if Spielman’s seat gets hot enough in the coming weeks, he might consider an even bolder move:

“We need a new quarterback!”

It sounds crazy, but bringing in competition for Cousins would certainly shake things up. With the state of the Vikings salary cap, it would have to be a cheap veteran, or someone looking for a second chance. Oh yes, we’re talking about a Colin Kaepernik or Sam Bradford signing. I think of this as a DEFCON 2 kind of move, and I haven’t picked a stance on it yet. It would indeed light a fire in the locker room, but I’m not sure if that’s what the team needs or if it aligns with the Vikings values. This would be a move that either ends an era or saves a season, so let’s hope it doesn’t come to this.

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