Another year, another 2 month long quarterback discussion primarily surrounding the notorious Kirk Daniel Cousins Contrary to what the name suggests, Cousin’s ruthless contract negotiations have repeatedly put the Vikings in an awkward position. Year after year the same discussions are had which predictably go like this… “Kirk was good, not great this year but is paid like a great QB and the Vikings should consider moving off of him or extend him to lower his cap hit” and nearly every year the Vikings choose door number two. Seemingly every year the Vikings choose to kick the can down the road and extend Cousins to a short term deal reducing his cap hit for one season and elevating it significantly in later seasons. Two conclusions can be drawn from this repeated cycle.
- Cousins’ deserves a Nobel prize for his ability to keep the power balance in his client’s favor
- The Vikings have shown repeatedly to be afraid of a world without Cousins.
To further expand on conclusion two, the Vikings have passed on multiple chances to move on from Cousins in years past but have repeatedly made a concerted effort to maintain the soon to be 35 year old QB under contract. Throughout his tenure with the Vikings, Cousins has not entered a season with only one year on his deal. Barring an extension this would be the first, potentially leading to a contract dispute and in a worst case scenario a hold-out in training camp. While the circumstance seems dire regarding the Vikings’ expensive (and far from young) QB a new door has emerged, one that while being risky could solve the annual Cousins dilemma.
Enter Trey Lance. In 2021 the injury plagued San Francisco 49ers looked long and hard in the mirror and realized their limitations at QB. While the team reached some impressive heights with now 31 year old Jimmy Garappolo, one throw will forever linger in the minds of 49ers staff and fans alike. 3rd and 10 with the game on the line, 49ers trail the Kansas City Chiefs 20-24 in the Super Bowl with 1:40 on the clock. With everything riding on the arm of Garoppolo, one overthrow changed the way the franchise viewed their two and a half year starter. Garoppolo sails the ball 5 yards past Emmanuel Sanders. After a bitter Super Bowl defeat, the 49ers knew that soon they would need a QB who could eclipse Garoppolo, one who would make that throw.
One season later, the 49ers made a trade that sent the league spinning. 49ers General Manager John Lynch sent the Miami Dolphins the 12th overall pick of the 2021 draft along with two additional 1st round picks the following years to move up to the 3rd overall pick. After months of speculation between which QB the 49ers will take, Trey Lance out of North Dakota State University is selected 3rd overall in the 2021 NFL draft.
Now flash forward one season and just when Trey Lance begins his sophomore year, a season ending ankle injury occurs in a win against the Seattle Seahawks. After a brief rekindling of the 49ers and Garoppolo’s relationship, another season ending injury puts this year’s Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy in prime position to start. And let’s just say it could not have gone any better for the QB-Franchise combo. Purdy is undefeated as a starter posting a 67% completion, a 13/4 TD:Interception ratio and a passer rating of 107.3. Purdy has led the 49ers to not one but two playoff victories and has shown no signs of slowing down.
Now after hearing the QB drama that has been brewing in Santa Clara, you might be asking yourself, “How does this affect the Vikings?” Well, let’s just say both Trey Lance (A talented QB looking for a starting spot) and the Vikings (A talented roster looking for a star QB) may have mutual interest and the risk just might be worth it.
- The price Minnesota would have to pay for Lance would be far cheaper than most previously expected. According to Michael Silver of the San Francisco chronicle, San Francisco might not fetch more than a 3rd round pick for the 22 year old QB. Minnesota just so happens to have a third round pick in this year’s draft. One that has the potential to change the future of the team depending on the potential for a Trey Lance trade.
- Lance has elite physical tools. Lance stands at a colossal 6’4, 225 with a sub 5.0 second 40 time including an incredible arm, with both the physical tools and the playmaking ability to put the ball nearly anywhere on the field.
- Lance has elite rushing potential. With both size and speed, this is a very rare statement to make about a potential Vikings QB considering Cousin’s lack of mobility. Lance’s mobility might provide a solution to the Vikings’ continuous interior offensive line issues and introduce another wrinkle into an already potent offense, giving even greater play freedom to head coach Kevin O’Connell.
- Lance’s one full season in college was spectacular, Lance racked up a completion percentage of 67%,a 28/0 TD:Interception ratio and a college passer rating of 180.6, pairing that along with 1100 rushing yards and 14 rushing TD’s. One can easily see the potential of a QB with Lance’s playmaking ability.
- The underlying issue with Trey Lance can be traced back to what makes him so exciting, his inexperience. Lance has not played a full football season since his Sophomore year in college. Because of Lance’s injury this season, there are still many unanswered questions surrounding Trey Lance’s ability with the ball in his hands.
- In the limited time Lance has had to shine, he has been what many would call a mixed bag. Lance has repeatedly shown a knack for seeking receivers downfield in his limited reps. The results have brought about mixed results with some attempts finding open targets and others falling in the hands of the opposing team. Lance still has plenty of development needed in order to take that next step as a QB.
- While many reports have suggested this should not be a serious concern, an injury is always worth mentioning. Lance was injured in week 2 of this year, breaking his ankle and fracturing his fibula. This injury could impact one of Lance’s greatest strengths, his mobility. After all, the previous 3rd overall pick’s asking price is only a 3rd round pick for a reason.
- So with all of this information laid out, what do you think the Vikings should do? Should the Vikings take the risk on a rare talent or should the Vikings run in back with Cousins? For all things Vikings and more, keep it here at NFCNorthReport.com