2 Ex-Vikings Quarterbacks Make Appearances in the News

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Minnesota’s quarterback position will be closely monitored in the next three months as the Vikings enter the offseason without Kirk Cousins under contract for another season. For the first time since he signed in 2018, there is a real chance he could depart from the organization, leaving Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall as the only passers on the roster. Re-signing the veteran or finding his successor will be crucial for the franchise’s future.

2 Ex-Vikings Quarterbacks Make Appearances in the News

2 Ex-Vikings Quarterbacks Make Appearances in the News
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But Cousins isn’t the only signal-caller with a stint in Minnesota on his resume who has received media attention. Teddy Bridgewater and Sean Mannion, two ex-Vikings, closed the chapter of their playing careers and began to pursue a future in the coaching ranks. Both were hired to become coaches, but at two very different levels.

Bridgewater will take over the head coaching duties at his alma mater, Miami Northwestern Senior High School. Athletic director Andre Williams spoke highly about the school’s former student and new coach: “Teddy, he’s never left the school. Since he’s been in the NFL the last 10 years and certainly in college, he was always at the school during the offseason, working out with the young men, giving them his knowledge of the game. He’s never left the school, so we’re just officially bringing him back as the head coach.”

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He was the second of two first-round picks Rick Spielman made in 2014 after hiring Mike Zimmer as his head coach. The first was UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr, and the second one, after trading up to pick 32, was Louisville standout passer Bridgewater.

After a disastrous time with Christian Ponder and some other journeymen under center, it was time to find a franchise quarterback. The first-round pick was a highly-touted prospect but failed to live up to the hype in the NFL. A serious knee injury certainly played a role, turning his tenure in Minnesota into a massive what-if.

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Bridgewater was supposed to have a breakout season in his third year in the league but suffered a dislocated knee just days before the season kicked off, ending his 2016 campaign before it started. He then returned as a backup halfway through 2017. Still, he left in the following free agency period, becoming a spot starter and backup in the NFL world with stints with the New York Jets, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, and recently, the Detroit Lions.

In 30 games with the Vikings, the passer tabulated 6,150 passing yards and 28 passing touchdowns. His positive attitude always made him a fan favorite, and, combined with the adversity he has overcome, will surely help him become a decent coach and a mentor for kids.

Mannion, meanwhile, was never supposed to be on the field and throwing passes in a Vikings uniform. With the durable Cousins under contract, the franchise settled for a cheap backup who had never threatened Cousins for a second. And he showed why in his two starts with the franchise–one meaningless final game of the season and one massive game with the season on the line and Cousins laboring a COVID infection.

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In those two contests, Mannion threw for one touchdown, two interceptions, and a pedestrian 315 yards. The Vikings lost both games, and he didn’t show why he was an NFL quarterback; he never did on the field. But there’s one reason why he was in the league: his high football IQ. Helping the starting quarterback prepare for Sunday’s matchup is a significant part of backup duties and he always drew praise from the coaching staff and Cousins.

The Seahawks also realized that. After leaving the Rams in 2019, the franchise that drafted him in the third round, he signed with the Vikings. In 2021. he moved to Seattle and back to Minnesota just to return to Seattle in 2022. 2023 would be his final year in the league, and he spent it, once again, with both franchises.

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He is now doing what many fans claimed over the years when they lamented that the front office wouldn’t add a serious QB2 to the team: “Just sign him as a coach already.”

Well, he is a coach now. Just a month after ending his playing career, Mannion joined the coaching staff of an NFC North team. But not in Minnesota. Instead, he will join Matt LaFleur’s staff in Green Bay.

Mannion is now officially beginning his coaching career, but in reality, he has been a coach in a jersey for years. While the exact job has not been named yet, he will presumably help Jordan Love continue to develop. Hopefully, he will not become Minnesota’s worst nightmare by elevating Love in the MVP conversation.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt