Vikings love Kellen Mond, but Kirk Cousins remains the guy

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The Vikings love quarterback Kellen Mond. But they don’t love him enough to turn their current depth chart upside down.

In two years, that could change.

Kirk’s our starting quarterback,” G.M. Rick Spielman told reporters on Friday night, when asked whether he called Cousins before making Mond a third-round pick. “There’s no competition there. It’s just taking another player, it’s like, regardless of position, if we take a player in the third round or first round, I’m not calling the player and saying, ‘Hey, we may take this guy here.’ Our job is to try to get as many good players in here, and let them all come in and compete.”

They surely envision that Mond will compete. Spielman said that the Vikings had done “a lot of work” on Mond, and that he was “one of the top players on our board.”

How high was Mond on the Minnesota board?

“You see him right in that area as where the top three quarterbacks went,” Spielman said.

That’s quite a statement, and it gives the Vikings quite the answer to the contractual leverage currently held by Cousins. With $56 million due to Cousins over the next two years, a practical inability to tag him in 2023, and Cousins making it clear he’s not interested in signing an extension, the Vikings need a Plan B that could develop into Plan A.

“Honestly, I just signed the extension last offseason and it really doesn’t kick in ’til this coming year,” Cousins told PFT PM in early February. “It’s a two-year deal. Those two years begin with 2021. . . . I think it’s more about going out there next season and the year after that and playing at a high enough level that would justify being able to do another deal beyond that. That’s really where my focus is. As I said earlier, would like to be a Viking for the remainder of my career. I’ve got to play well enough to make that happen.”

If he doesn’t play well enough — or if he plays so well that he can hit the market and cash in elsewhere — the Vikings may have a guy who can become the long-term answer at the position.

The Vikings aren’t bashful about looking for a player to be groomed and developed into the starting quarterback for 10 years or longer. He becomes the latest quarterback drafted by the Vikings since their search for a replacement to Fran Tarkenton began in 1977, with a first-round pick invested in Tommy Kramer.

After that, they spent a fourth-rounder on Steve Dils in 1979, an eighth-rounder on Wade Wilson in 1981, a sixth-rounder on Steve Bono in 1985, an eleventh-rounder on Brent Pease in 1987, a ninth-rounder on Brad Johnson in 1992, a seventh-rounder on Gino Toretta in 1993, a fourth-rounder on Chad May in 1995, a first-rounder on Daunte Culpepper in 1999, a second-rounder on Tarvaris Jackson in 2006, a seventh-rounder on Tyler Thigpen in 2007, a first-rounder on Christian Ponder in 2011, a first-rounder on Teddy Bridgewater in 2014, and a seventh-rounder on Nate Stanley in 2020.

With quarterback becoming the most important position in the game and getting more important all the time, the Vikings will now get to work on developing Mond so that he can become the starter in 2023, if the Vikings decide to move on from Cousins after five years as the starter.

While Cousins faces no competition from Mond this year, if his development goes as planned the Vikings may have a viable alternative if/when Cousins struggles at all in 2022.

35 responses to “Vikings love Kellen Mond, but Kirk Cousins remains the guy

  1. Kirk Cousins is the guy whether they love him or hate him, his contract guarantees it. Can’t trade him, can’t cut him. First and 2nd fully guaranteed qb contracts in the NFL screwing up all other teams contract negotiations.

    The Vikings keep proving how much smarter than everyone else while missing the playoffs and making sure their QB is happy.

  2. That seals it . . . another offseason championship for our beloved purple and yellow!

  3. So out of touch. Teams don’t call players to tell them they’re drafting another at their position. Just deal with it. You’re grown men.

  4. Kellen Mond is the epitome and pure definition of a shotgun,throw to the first read,spread college offense QB. Couldn’t read a defense to save his life or was he ever asked to….

  5. Regardless of how high the Vikings may have rated Mond, I haven’t read anyone, anywhere saying he’s a guy who’s ready to take over as the #1 in 2021. So if he sits for 2 years behind Cousins it’s only to the benefit of him and the team.

    The Vikings put themselves in this situation. There was no surprise that a bunch of QBs were going to be available to draft, so surely they knew when they signed Cousins to that extension that they might be looking to draft a QB.

    People seem to frame these things as the player “doing something” to the team, i.e. signing a lucrative contract. The team has to agree to the contract, too. So Cousins isn’t to blame, the team bears more responsibility since it’s ultimately their choice as to how they run their business.

    TL;DR: sit Mond for 2 years. It will be good for him.

  6. This whole thing… Laughable. Monds isn’t their to the throne ready to step in and unseat Cousins. Fact us Monds is a long term project with low upside and was if anything OVERdrafted by being picked in the 3rd round.

  7. Mond can sit behind the highest-paid .500 game-manager in the NFL for several more years, and learn from the “best of the rest.”

  8. These teams all read from the same script. “We like our veteran, he’s our starter” yada yada. Then four games into the season they’re 2-2 or 1-3 and the fans are lighting up talk radio for the kid to play, and everything changes.

  9. I almost thought they were going to snatch Mac Jones when he was available at 14 (their original pick in round one). Cousins is on guaranteed money for 2 more years but those are 2 years Jones could have sat and learned a lot… a WHOLE lot. Say what you want about Cousins in big games or arm strength or whatever, he’s plenty smart.

    We all know the ongoing Rodgers saga, or at least we think we know but I honestly don’t remember… did Brady get his nose out of joint when the Pats drafted Jimmy G?

  10. Let’s at least give the Vikings credit for turning their picks in on time this year.

  11. Obviously they love him, or they wouldn’t have drafted him. Most teams draft QBs they love. Evaluating QBs is difficult for most teams, so they lack confidence, and tend to listen to what everyone else is saying. But everyone else is doing that same thing. That’s why a guys like Brady and Montana slip way down.

  12. Congratulations, rick. Youve needlessly injected a controversy into the team. Everything was fine at QB until you did this. It’s like he’s trying to get fired.

  13. Mond sitting behind .500 starter for two years = good thing.
    Love sitting behind MVP starter for two years = bad thing.

    Got it.

  14. From the same party school that produced such NFL legends as Johnny Manziel and Reggie McNeill as well as career backup, Gary Kubiak… wait the same Gary Kubiak who only last year was the assistant coach and whose son is the offensive coordinator? lol… the in-plain-sight incompetence of an organization and a fanbase too blind to see it.

  15. Washington drafted RG3 in the first round, then got Cousins in the fourth. Most in their organization at the time felt Cousins was going to be the better pro QB. Now the Vikings draft Mond. I’ll bet some in their organization feel Nate Stanley, last year’s 7th round pick, will be a better pro than Mond. Stanley, mentally, plays the QB position at a high level. He had some flaws that I think are correctable. Most 7th rounders never get an opportunity unless a couple guys get injured.

  16. I don’t understand all the bashing on Cousins… You have all these amazing QBs with only 1 ring: Rodgers, Brees, Wilson and all these expensive ones with no ring: Ryan, Jimmy G., Wentz. I’ve been a Vikings fan for more than 35 years and let me tell you, I’ve seen a lot worse than Captain Kirk. He’s passionate, competitive, entertaining and he’s on the field every Sunday…

  17. Something about that statement sounds silly. If they’d rated him as high as the top 3 QBs, they would have drafted him in the first round – if they’d also rated the top 3 players as first round prospects.

  18. There’s no controversy here, it’s not like he was a first round pick. But then 99% of teams aren’t dumb enough to draft QB in the first round when they have an MVP QB already in the building.

  19. Notice that the Vikings have a stud Rookie QB while green bay drafted a rookie QB last year that couldn’t even make the active roster?

  20. scottishvike says:
    May 1, 2021 at 10:18 am
    There’s no controversy here, it’s not like he was a first round pick. But then 99% of teams aren’t dumb enough to draft QB in the first round when they have an MVP QB already in the building.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    You mean dumb like drafting Rodgers and winning their 4th Super Bowl shortly thereafter, while letting MVP Favre go on to end up leading your team to one of his almost patented, devastating, season ending, heartbreaks? Dumb like that? You’re right. Most teams aren’t dumb like that. I’m glad mine is.

  21. Yes, our Vikings outdrafted the Pack again. This is a stud QB, surefire NFL great. But . . . we never seem to be able to touch the success of that Green Bay franchise. How does that work??!!??

  22. Good pick by the Vikes. Mond has the tools to be a very good NFL QB. By apprenticing behind Cousins for a year or more, he’ll learn the NFL game and be ready to produce when his time comes. Although Cousins is on a two year deal, the Vikes can easily move him after this season–if they pay a portion of his salary. That shouldn’t be a problem with Mond on a cheap rookie deal.

  23. When did calling a player because you are going to draft a player that plays the same position become a thing? That is so soft.

  24. eagleswin says:
    May 1, 2021 at 9:07 am
    Kirk Cousins is the guy whether they love him or hate him, his contract guarantees it. Can’t trade him, can’t cut him. First and 2nd fully guaranteed qb contracts in the NFL screwing up all other teams contract negotiations.

    The Vikings keep proving how much smarter than everyone else while missing the playoffs and making sure their QB is happy
    ———————————————————————————————Yet He passed for 4,265 yards and 35 TDs last season. Please let us all know when a QB from the Eagles has done that in the entire history of the team. Not Wentz, Bradford, Vick, McNabb, Jaworski….Enjoy that factoid.

  25. The vikings oline was the 28th rated pass blocking unit. Explain to me how Cousins is your problem? look at his stats with one of the worst lines in the league. if the vikings upgraded it to average around 16, or even to the 10th best, how much better would his stats be? how many less fumbles from getting hit less? how much better would his yards, tds, completion ٪ be? how many less int’s if he has time to go through his progressions? how many more games would he have a multi score lead in late instead of being expected to pull off a comeback with a line that cant block for him? He looks elite and has shown he can carve up a defense on the rare occasion his line can handle an opponent… but the vikings organization and most of their fans can’t figure out what’s holding back their team.

  26. The Almighty Cabbage says:
    May 1, 2021 at 9:41 am

    I almost thought they were going to snatch Mac Jones when he was available at 14 (their original pick in round one). Cousins is on guaranteed money for 2 more years but those are 2 years Jones could have sat and learned a lot… a WHOLE lot. Say what you want about Cousins in big games or arm strength or whatever, he’s plenty smart.

    ~~~~~~~~~

    Quite a difference in money between the 14th pick and the 66th.

  27. Kirk Cousins is the guy .. until he is not the guy.

    That’s life (or is it “like”) in the NFL.

  28. ariani1985 says:
    May 1, 2021 at 11:01 am

    Jordan love = jamarcus Russell

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    More ridiculous dumb stuff. At least wait until Love actually steps onto the field, plays in a game.

  29. Cousins is the guy for this next year. If he does well, he may be extended to lower his cap hit, but if the team fails and doesn’t make the playoffs, they can cut Cousins and fire Zimmer and Spielman. Mond is a very good QB. Go look at his tape. He’s tall, he’s fast, he can scramble, he can throw across his body, he’s accurate, and he has a cannon for an arm. He checks all the boxes of what you want in a QB, not a slow, immobile pocket passer. Cousins needs to lead this team to the division title, and at the very least, a deep playoff run or his time is up in Minnesota.

  30. Vikings fan here. Let me preface this in saying that I’ve only seen Mond in the Alabama game and senior bowl highlights, but given what I’ve seen I certainly hope Spielman isn’t serious that he thinks Mond is on the level of the top QBs in this draft taken in round 1. To me he looks like the quintessential backup NFL QB.. One who checks down and throw slants, but doesn’t take deep shots or make top tier plays. My assumption, and hope, for him is that he can serve as a cheap 2nd string backup for the next couple years, then the Vikes figure out the QB situation from there.

    I hope I’m wrong and he turns into the next great unforeseen NFL QB, however my fear is that this is going to represent that Spielman just can’t scout QBs, which is an issue.

  31. Not trading up in the first round for a QB prospect. Priceless

  32. Bears fan here — I thought for sure the vikings would pick Mac Jones #14. Not sure why they didn’t. The O-line still is the biggest issue, much bigger than whatever QB is back there. (Same for the Bears and their tackles, along with the QB, too, before Fields)

  33. I guarantee you that cousins was not drinking tequila plotting how to get his gm fired

  34. an eleventh-rounder on Brent Pease in 1987
    ______

    They never gave Pease a chance.

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