‘Trade Kirk for Teddy’ Is Latest Talking Point
The rumors involving Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins quieted over the weekend after head coach Mike Zimmer proclaimed “Cousins is our guy.”
It was a good run for a few days.
Because the Carolina Panthers were allegedly in the mix for Matthew Stafford’s services via trade, their hypothetical trade package is now applicable to the Vikings [for some reason]. At least per SKOR North’s agenda:
This swap is especially spicy as Teddy Bridgewater is a Vikings-original drafted in 2014 by the franchise with the 32nd overall pick. He showed palpable promise in 2014 and 2015. Bridgewater even grabbed the 2014 Pepsi Rookie of the Year award.
But on a fateful day of practice during the late summer of 2016, it all came undone for the Vikings organization. Bridgewater was beset by a gruesome injury that caused him to miss a full season and then some. He would regain a starting gig with the Panthers four years later.
In that audition with the Panthers, Bridgewater was underwhelming. He authored 15 touchdown passes in 15 games, a paltry total in 2020’s NFL.
Here we are, though, debating a swap of Cousins for Bridgewater and a sexy draft pick.
Would that be worth it?
Sure, if the Team Relies on Defense Again
One would have to believe or vehemently hope that Bridgewater was on the cusp of a first-ever prolific season for this theoretical swap to make sense. Bridgewater’s 15 touchdowns in 2020 was a career-high. In 2014 and 2015, he tossed just 14 scores during each season.
For Bridgewater to be considered remotely sensible for recent renditions of the Vikings, Zimmer’s defense would demand a roar-back to 2015, 2016, or 2017 form. Otherwise, the idea is pea-brained. Bridgewater’s 15 paydirts would not cut it for most teams outside of a squad holding a “best in the NFL during the last decade” type of defense. And it certainly would not jive with Minnesota’s 29th-ranked defense from 2020. Yuck.
The Vikings season in 2020 remained afloat because their current quarterback – yes, Cousins – delivered 35 touchdowns. That’s 20 more than Bridgewater — a gigantic difference.
Minnesota must get more prolific on offense – not take a step back and hope for the best with a maybe-deadly defense.
8th Pick Would Be Nice
The deal sweetener for SKOR North’s strange what-if scenario isCarolina’s eighth-overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. That was evidently in play for Detroit a couple of weeks ago when the team robbed the Los Angeles Rams of three draft picks and Jared Goff.
Therefore, this deal must be available to the Vikings too, right? Something like that.
A Cousins-to-Panthers deal only adds up for two motives. First, Zimmer would need unadulterated job security as 2021 would likely go pear-shaped with Teddy or a young quarterback. Teddy cannot solely carry a team, and this was evidenced in the Panthers 5-11 record last season. Then, a rookie rarely arrives the NFL and swoops his new team to the postseason – and Zimmer needs to reach [and probably win in] the postseason to coach the team again in 2022.
But, sure – if Zimmer is a lock to be the team’s leader in 2022, the front office is quietly disenchanted with Cousins (there is no evidence of this), and the franchise is content with undergoing a Bridgewater-into-New-QB metamorphosis, then the deal is fathomable.
The Vikings could then examine the long-term prognoses of Zach Wilson, Trey Lance, Justin Fields, or Mac Jones. It justtakes a copious amount of dominos to get to this phantom storyline.
But Let’s Be Serious
The real stakes are clear. The Vikings must boast a winning record in 2021, have a competent showing in a playoff game and probably win it, and display a clear pathway to prosperity for 2022. If those happenings do not come to fruition, the front office is likely searching for a new coach in 2022.
Bridgewater or his imagined mentee do not offer the best avenue to reach 2021’s goals. Yes, there is a universe where the Vikings defense screams back to life and emulates 2017, 2018, or 2019 versions. Anything close to those years will be welcomed because the 2020 defense was so dreadful. But the defensive storm-back theory cannot be fully trusted. Realistically, the defense should improve but probably not to a Top 3 bunch.
With that in mind, Minnesota needs all the offensive firepower it can get. And a change of course to Bridgewater or a rookie is not conducive to win-now.