Two-Minute Tommy Has a Plan for Vikings QB Opening

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Tommy Kramer, nicknamed Two-Minute Tommy, was Minnesota’s starting quarterback between the late 70s and 80s. Only injuries slowed him down, but they couldn’t prevent him from storming the franchise leaderboards to second place in all major passing categories behind Fran Tarkenton. Now Kirk Cousins has passed him in passing touchdowns. The longtime quarterback advised the Vikings on how to deal with him this offseason.

Two-Minute Tommy Has a Plan for Vikings QB Opening

Two-Minute Tommy Has a Plan for Vikings QB Opening
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The Vikings enter an interesting offseason as quarterback Cousins is scheduled to enter free agency. A return after extending his contract is possible and shouldn’t be ruled out at this point, especially because all parties have stated their desire to get a deal done. But just as likely is his departure after six seasons in purple. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must decide on the veteran and look for a successor, regardless of his status in 2024, as he is 35 years old and rehabbing a serious injury.

This is where Kramer chimed in. While he doesn’t have an official position with the organization, he is a Vikings fan, and just like many others, he frequently gives his opinion on important topics. He recently posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he would like the Vikings to strengthen the trenches and find a dominant lineman like his former teammate Randall McDaniel.

a Pivotal Vikings
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Adding the best lineman on the board would prevent the team from selecting the best quarterback. This is what he would do with starter Cousins: “If they can get Kirk for 30 million, great, if not, let Kirk get his money which he deserves somewhere else, he earned it.”

In today’s NFL, $30 million for a quarterback is nothing. That would rank him 17th in average annual value. His true value likely comes closer to $40-45 million. However, the decision-makers must save some cap space to fill other holes and extend the contracts of his teammates.

They might be willing to start the next era of Vikings football by letting him walk in free agency. Offensive lineman in the first round and Cousins exiting in March would leave the Vikings with limited options to find a solid quarterback. But Kramer still envisions one in the draft as well as a so-called bridge quarterback: “Draft a QB in the 2nd round and bring in Minshew for a couple of years. Only my opinion, I trust this staff to do the right thing for the team.”

FA Idea for Vikings
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Sam Ehlinger (4) and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew II (10) laugh on the sideline Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, during a game against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. © Jenna Watson/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Minshew is a popular backup and bridge starter in the NFL. Just last season, Minshew had his Colts on the brink of a playoff spot, and he almost led the team on a game-winning drive versus the Texans in Week 18 to win the division, but that doesn’t mean he played well. Pro Football Focus ranked him as the 31st of 38 quarterbacks, EPA+CPOE had him 22nd of 31 eligible QBs, and he finished with a TD/INT ratio of 15 to 9 in 17 games and 13 starts.

While he might be a slight improvement from Nick Mullens, who is still under contract for a year, it can be questioned if he is really worth signing over him.

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Regardless of that idea, drafting a passer in the second round is certainly an option, especially if the top guys are out of reach. It is hard to project the landing spots of QBs three months ahead of the draft, but historically speaking, at least one of J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, and Michael Penix Jr. will slide towards the end of the first or into the second round.

The Vikings could swoop him up and develop him behind a veteran starter for at least a few seasons, according to Kramer.

Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to drafting a signal-caller. Neither Cousins nor Russell Wilson, Dak Prescott, or Brock Purdy were picked in the first round. Lamar Jackson heard his name called when the Ravens picked 32nd overall.

Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, and Mac Jones, meanwhile, were drafted in the first round in the same draft class.

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Kramer’s approach is to transform an important area of the team into the offense’s strength while selecting the quarterback of the future in the second round. It could work, at least on paper. However, Vikings fans are done with trying to find QB prospects outside of the first round after seeing Jaren Hall and Kellen Mond picked in the last three drafts.

It remains to be seen which route Adofo-Mensah will choose, but the next few months should stay interesting in the Vikings’ universe.

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