One Dumb Vikings Theory Smacked Down

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About two weeks ago, folks suggested the Minnesota Vikings may not have total agreement about letting Kirk Cousins depart via free agency.

One Dumb Vikings Theory Smacked Down

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote, “Kevin O’Connell told us in Indianapolis that there have been no discussions about trading Jefferson. What if Adofo-Mensah decides that the only way to get in position to acquire a true franchise quarterback is to package Jefferson with the eleventh overall pick in the draft and move up? Whatever the truth, the Cousins situation suggests that there’s division. Disagreement. Possibly dysfunction.”

He added, “Unless O’Connell was just being nice and secretly wanted to move on from Cousins. Time will tell whether and to what extent the decision to let Cousins walk away constitutes a ‘dysfunctional thing.’ If it is, there will be more. Eventually, there will be enough to justify calling the Vikings a dysfunctional team.”

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Fast forward to late March — after the Vikings pulled off a mighty trade with the Houston Texans, positioning themselves for a supplemental move up the draftboard for a quarterback of the future without a Jefferson trade — virtually nobody wonders about the team’s harmony in finding the next QB1.

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis noted this week, “The coaches of the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots shared this week that their teams would listen to offers for the No. 2 and 3 picks, respectively. The Vikings are not likely to pursue this massive move without organizational alignment. Everyone would have to agree on parting with premium assets (and, likely, future picks) for an uncertain bet. That’s a high bar, but it’s feasible in a class featuring numerous high-end prospects.”

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Also this week, Vikings owner Mark Wilf opined about the team’s quarterback plan, “When it comes to the quarterback position, it’s certainly critical, and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and coach Kevin O’Connell are working hard. We’ve got a plan, and Sam Darnold is part of it. We’re excited he’s in the building, and we’re excited we have two first-round picks, so we’ll see where it all goes. We have a lot of flexibility, and we’ll see what happens.”

“We’re certainly engaged all the time with Kwesi, coach, and Rob Brzezinski, the whole football operations, but we have a lot of confidence that they know what they’re doing, that they got the right ideas, and we’re behind them to the extent that if they want further involvement from us, we’re there to help but we know what we know, and we know what they know. They’ll get it right,” Wilf added.

Wacky Justin
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And after the first wave of free agency, when Cousins bolted for the Atlanta Falcons, head coach Kevin O’Connell told the reporters, “There was complete alignment with how everything played out from the standpoint of our plan for Kirk. Sometimes, things just don’t work out. The most important thing is that alignment and understanding that our plan is in place. As much as I would’ve liked to have Kirk here, the right thing moving forward for our team is where we are today.”

Suggesting that the Vikings leaders were dysfunctional or at each other’s throats never had any merit. It was just some off-the-wall theory about what if these guys don’t agree with each other?

If the general manager, coach, and owner aren’t in lockstep about the team’s next steps, they’re assuredly doing a rather good job of bluffing. It would mean everyone is superficially saying they’re aligned when they’re secretly disjointed and discombobulated — also known as borderline conspiracy material.

The NFL draft is 29 days away.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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