The Vikings are stuck with quarterback Kirk Cousins through 2020. And that fact apparently kept them from signing CFL quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.
Via 3downnation.com, Mitchell recently said that he worked out last December for the Vikings, after being named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player. Coach Mike Zimmer, according to Mitchell, was present.
After the workout, an unnamed team official met with Mitchell and asked how he could help the Vikings win.
“I was like, ‘Well, for one, I’ve never been anywhere in football and not won a championship as a starter,'” Mitchell said. “‘High school, DI, DI-AA, now here in the CFL. Everywhere I’ve ever been I’ve won a championship within the first three years I’ve been there. I can help you do that. I’m going to come in here, I’m going to take Kirk’s job.'”
That wasn’t what the Vikings wanted to hear, according to Mitchell.
“He was like, ‘Oh, no, no, n-n-n-no, we don’t want you to take Kirk’s job. We want you to come in here, help him with his eyes, tell him what you see, do everything you can to make him a better quarterback. But we need a good quarterback room, we don’t want you to cause controversy. At that moment I was like, ‘Well, I’m not signing with the Minnesota Vikings.’
“I don’t understand that thought process. All that tells me is there’s a culture in that building right now that, ‘Hey, your job is secure because of the money we paid you. Don’t worry about anything you do or the decisions you make or anything the media says, just do what we tell you to do and you’re going to be fine.’ It’s mind-blowing. You don’t even want a guy that’s pushing him or creating competition.”
While Mitchell’s version of the events may indeed be accurate, the Vikings wouldn’t be the only team that wants a backup quarterback who knows his place. There’s a way to push the starter and to create competition without having a clear and open effort by the backup to supplant the guy who holds the job.
Regardless of the manner in which Mitchell interpreted the message from the Vikings, the contract given to Cousins says it all. Three years, $84 million, fully guaranteed. It’s his job, unless and until the Vikings decide that they’ve had enough, and that they’re willing to pay all or part of his $29.5 million salary in 2020 for him to go away.
Depending on what happens over the course of the next 12 games, that could be what happens.