Regarding Kirk Cousins, Is Dan Orlovsky Crazy?

Indianapolis Colts QB Dan Orlovsky handed the ball off to RB Joseph Addai. © Matt Kryger/IndyStar via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

For years analysts and fans alike have dogged Minnesota Vikings starting quarterback Kirk Cousins. Maybe they don’t like him because he’s quirky. Perhaps he should be more flashy. Maybe they don’t like his “you like that” tagline.

Whatever it is, former NFL quarterback Dan Orlovsky has officially gone off the deep end.

The crux of the issue regarding Cousins for most is that he takes up too much of the salary cap in relation to his ability. That is a fair stance, given he was a highly paid free agent acquisition. Almost every time a quarterback is near the best option on the open market, they will be paid well above their perceived value. The only surefire way to keep a quarterback’s salary depressed is to draft one and have them work out.

Regarding Kirk Cousins, Is Dan Orlovsky Crazy?

Regardless of your stance on Cousins’ paycheck, he has certainly put up numbers for Minnesota in the past few years. He has been named to the Pro Bowl in three of his five seasons with the Vikings, and this year was near a career-best. His 4,547 passing yards were the second most of his career, and the 29 touchdowns represented a respectable number. Cousins led the Vikings to a 13-win season, and they’ll now host the New York Giants for a playoff game on Sunday because of it.

On a recent ESPN radio show, Dan Orlovsky ranked Cousins the 11th-best playoff quarterback this year. Considering there are only 14 teams in the playoffs, having Cousins that low seems somewhat crazy. Then, you have to consider how he got there, and it seems Orlovsky may truly be off his rocker.

Regarding Kirk Cousins
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

There are no real qualms at the top. Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts are all better quarterbacks than Cousins. It’d be hard for anyone to argue otherwise. Justin Herbert is an emerging talent, and his place is also secure.

At number six, though, Orlovsky makes the first head-scratcher. Listing Lamar Jackson, who has been out for over a month and will not play for Baltimore, is beyond odd. It looks even worse when Orlovsky has rookie Skylar Thompson correctly included in the list, as Tua Tagovailoa has been ruled out due to a concussion.

Where things again get odd is directly in front of Cousins. It would be pretty hard to argue that Daniel Jones, Trevor Lawrence, or Geno Smith are presently better than Cousins. The first of that trio has already lost to Minnesota this year and needed a head coaching change to save his career. Lawrence has looked much better this season but is still a bit raw. Smith may claim the Comeback Player of the Year Award, but I don’t think that immediately makes him better than Cousins.

Beating on the Door
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

Again, the shade thrown at Minnesota’s quarterback has been obnoxious for some time now. Orlovsky does himself no favors here by doing it while seemingly being unaware that Jackson won’t take the field. Orlovsky has made a bigger name for himself in the media than he did as a player, but his takes are generally credited for the wrong reasons.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.