When the Minnesota Vikings, amid a run on quarterbacks atop Friday night’s third round, selected Texas A&M quarterback Kellon Mond, it signaled to some that Kirk Cousins’ time was running out in Minnesota.
According to one of his former teammates and QB mates, Cousins’ time is already up.
Robert Griffin III, currently a free agent and formerly the starting QB to Cousins’ backup in Washington, said on a Bleacher Report show Friday night that Mond’s move to Minnesota proves Cousins’ grip on the Vikings starting job is tenuous.
“Yeah, I can tell you that No. 8 in Minnesota is not real happy right now,” Griffin said. “Because Kellon Mond represents exactly what he doesn’t do well. Kellon Mond is the big, physical quarterback. He can run it, throw it all over the field, and I don’t think that’s something that No. 8 is able to do in Cousins in Minnesota. But, I think that’s what the coaching staff and administration is looking for.
“As you’ve seen, Cousins has been collecting checks there in Minnesota for a long time, taking them to 8-8, 9-7 seasons. If he has a bad start to the year like he did last year, I could see the fans and maybe the organization leaning toward Mond if he comes in and impresses.”
Cousins took over for the injury-prone former No. 2 overall pick Griffin in Washington in 2015, spending his last two seasons in D.C. (2016 and 2017) on expensive franchise tags while the club kicked the can down the road on his future. Eventually, Cousins hit free agency, and the jackpot, in 2018, landing a three-year, $84 million fully guaranteed contract in Minnesota. His record with the Vikings over three seasons: 25-21-1, which averages out to around eight and nine wins per year. (Right on, Robert.)
Captain Kirk is coming off one of the best statistical seasons, throwing for 4,265 yards (2nd in career) and 35 TDs (1st). He also threw 13 INTs and the Vikings missed the playoffs for the second time of his three-year tenure. Ahead of the 2020 campaign, Minnesota cut Cousins another check, this one a two-year, $66M extension.
With Cousins under contract, and uncuttable, through 2022 and no other formidable QB on the roster heading into the draft (sorry, Jake Browning and Nate Stanley), Minnesota was right to pursue landing a new arm.
Whether Griffin, ex-phenom, longtime journeyman backup and current online draft analyst, was right to call out Cousins for “cashing checks” while playing football and taking what the market will offer is another matter.
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