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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 7 November 2023

“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” - Plato

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NFL: NOV 05 Vikings at Falcons Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It was a great win over the Falcons this past week! Joshua Dobbs did a great job which has created plenty of debate about the QB for the Vikings in 2024.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah certainly has created the flexibility he desired heading into next offseason. He has Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter as free agents and he is unable to use the franchise tag on either one.

It will be fascinating and the debates will more than likely be redundant and boring. We all can only state our case in so many different ways before the record is broken. I doubt this will stop the bloviating.

I think the link below about Kirk Cousins could be prophetic. The QB play around the league is not very good and his play this season was very good. Now some of you would argue that it is the offensive lines and drops by receivers or just bad receivers that is causing the poor QB play. This is likely true in many places. But I digress.

I am of the belief, right now, that Kirk Cousins will have a few suitors next year that will be willing to pay him north of 40M per year on a 2 to 3 year deal. Will they also guarantee all of it? Will Cousins’ team be willing to only accept one year guaranteed? Will that be too much for Kwesi? I do not see Kwesi backing down from NOT fully guaranteeing even a 2 year deal.

I think the floor has to be 40M and if Cousins wants to stay in Minnesota then a 2 year 80M deal guaranteeing one year sounds reasonable. It still might be low.

His current contract looks like this via spotrac ...

2024 : 36 : $0 : $0 : $6,250,000 : $0 : $4,000,000 : $10,250,000 : $28,500,000
2025 : 37 : $0 : $0 : $6,250,000 : $0 : $4,000,000 : $10,250,000 : $0
2026 : 38 : $0 : $0 : $0 : $0 : $4,000,000 : $4,000,000 : $0
2027 : 39 : $0 : $0 : $0 : $0 : $4,000,000 : $4,000,000 : $0

If he is not with the team all of the signing and restructure proration amounts (28.5M) will be charged to the 2024 cap.

The key with an extension is the proration amounts for each year. In 2024 and 2025 that amount is 10.25M.

That has to be included in the cap hits for each year of an extension which will make the 2025 cap hit close to 50M or over depending on the structure.

A two year 80M deal with a 40M signing bonus would look like this ...

2024 : 36 : $20,000,000 : $5,000,000 : $6,250,000 : $0 : $4,000,000 : $35,250,000 : $48,500,000
2025 : 37 : $40,000,000 : $5,000,000 : $6,250,000 : $0 : $4,000,000 : $55,250,000 : $33,250,000
2026 : 38 : $0 : $5,000,000 : $0 : $0 : $4,000,000 : $9,000,000 : $18,000,000
2027 : 39 : $0 : $5,000,000 : $0 : $0 : $4,000,000 : $9,000,000 : $9,000,000

You will notice that the dead cap to cut or trade him in 2025 is 33.25M but you would save 22M

Also, there will be a 18M dead money cap hit in 2026.

This extension would cost and additional 6.75M in 2024 which is doable since the team will have 38M in effective cap space.

Should he extend Cousins for two years and is a 2 yr 80M deal enough?

Would Kwesi decide to go with Josh Dobbs instead?
Josh Dobbs QB Tennessee
Josh has the athletic talent to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He also has the leadership skills that are unique and could make him better than just a starting quarterback. Josh right now is an athlete playing the quarterback position but there is no doubt in my mind of his ability in the future to work from the pocket. He shows a good strong arm and when his feet are set he shows good accuracy. He definitely can move and run outside the pocket but when he learns to slide and give himself some time to make plays from the pocket, I see a quarterback with excellent potential. Josh plays the game like he is still playing sand lot football. That is the type of football that you do whatever you have to do to make a play. There is a quality in the way Josh works his teammates that reminds me a lot of former Bears QB Jim McMahon. He doesn’t have McMahon’s technical & mechanical skills but he has that “seat of the pants” leadership skills.
The fact is… Josh is a development quarterback and I could name numerous issues that he has to correct but the other undisputable fact is that the kid is a sponge for learning. I saw that in his Senior Bowl practices and when he was throwing at the combine. Josh WANTS to learn to be an NFL quarterback. The only thing I’m not quite sure of is his arm strength. Because his mechanics are poor its difficult to tell how strong an arm he has and that means most cold weather teams will most likely steer away from selecting Josh in this draft. Warm weather teams should not have an issue because Josh looks to have least average arm strength as of this writing.
Jim McMahon was one of the most consistent and mechanical sound quarterbacks I have ever seen. He had the leadership ability to make his teammates think that he didn’t care how the game was played but the truth is he was a bit of a perfectionist. Josh gives me that same feeling and although right now he is not the technical sound quarterback that Jim was I do believe he will eventually be proficient in all areas of the QB position because, he seems to have that same perfectionist type of attitude. I like his ability to see the whole field even if he struggles to understand what to do with that ability. I like the way he works his teammates on the sidelines. I also like the way he is in control before the snap of the ball in spite of the fact that things get out of control after the snap of the ball. Josh should be an excellent backup quarterback while he learns because he is very smart and will not need a lot of reps to learn the plays. He will need a lot of reps to learn how to get better playing the position technically but the play book will never be an issue for him. A smart team will select Josh and develop him and that smart team could find themselves a future quarterback who could lead the team into the playoffs and the big game. Of course that will take some time but I think Josh will be worth that time.
Drew Boylhart MAR.2017

Since yore last open thread ...

2023 NFL Week 10: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings 31, Atlanta Falcons 28: Dobbs last-minute magic gives Minnesota fourth straight win

Somehow, Someway Vikings Cobble Together a Win Over Falcons

From Josh Freeman to Joe Webb in less than two hours

Around the web: The best of the Josh Dobbs experience

Vikings/Broncos game in Week 11 to stay on Sunday Night Football

Cam Akers injures Achilles, done for season

Joshua Dobbs now has the best nickname in the NFL

NFL Opening Odds: Vikings start as home underdogs against Saints

Other Vikings News

Vikings plan to start QB Josh Dobbs vs. Saints after sensational debut

Report: Vikings have ‘uncertainty’ over Justin Jefferson’s return

Schefter reported Saturday night that Jefferson’s injury was initially set to sideline him 4-6 weeks but he has yet to meet with doctors to evaluate the injury. Schefter added that the Vikings have to decide “how they want to handle Jefferson’s injury and that there is “uncertainty” about his status.
There are some ominous phrases in the report but it also reiterates some facts that came out when Jefferson was injured in a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 8. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Oct. 10 that Jefferson’s timetable was going to be based on his recovery from the injury and he was slated to meet with doctors after four weeks.
Regardless of Jefferson returning next week or not, the Vikings can open Jefferson’s 21-day window to return from injured reserve if they think he’ll be ready to return within three weeks.
Keep in mind that head coach Kevin O’Connell was on with Pat McAfee this past week and said Jefferson should “hopefully return soon.”

Vikings Offer Good & Bad News on Justin Jefferson’s Health

Head coach Kevin O’Connell spoke to Jefferson’s status on Monday, offering both good and bad news on his situation.
“‘It’s possible we will open up his (21-day) window on Wednesday,’ Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell says about WR Justin Jefferson,” Jonathan Jones of CBS wrote on X. “Talking about a practice window as Jefferson is eligible to return from IR this week would indicate Vikes aren’t expecting JJ to play Sunday vs. Saints.”
Doctors initially said Jefferson’s injury would keep him out 4-6 weeks, and Jones’ report that the wideout is unlikely to play this weekend against New Orleans tracks with that timeline. O’Connell was adamant that Minnesota would not rush its All-Pro back from injury, which he added might necessitate protecting Jefferson from himself.
Vikings Expected to Extend Justin Jefferson Over Offseason
While the playoffs are now a realistic possibility for the Vikings, Jefferson has other incentives to return as well. Namely, he is eligible for a contract extension and is expected to sign the richest deal for a wide receiver in NFL history.
Minnesota and Jefferson negotiated toward a new deal last offseason, though never reached an agreement. The Vikings are in the middle of turning over what was an expensive and veteran-laden roster as the organization moves to a younger and sleeker personnel model. There are some exceptions, however.
Tight end T.J. Hockenson was the most recent exception, signing a historic four-year, $66 million deal that has the potential to be the richest in history for his position with incentives. Jefferson figures to be another exception, with Spotrac projecting his market value at $29.3 million annually over a new four-year contract.

Vikings, Raiders show that midseason misadventures needn’t result in giving up on the 2023 season

The Minnesota Vikings and the Las Vegas Raiders are proof that major midseason upheaval doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to start aiming for the draft instead of the playoffs.
Days after the Vikings acquired him in a deadline deal with Arizona following Kirk Cousins’ torn Achilles, Joshua Dobbs was pressed into duty when rookie QB Jaren Hall went out with a concussion in the first quarter Sunday at Atlanta.
Dobbs gathered his offensive linemen on the sideline to go over his cadence, then led the Vikings to three touchdowns, including the game-winning 6-yard throw to Brandon Powell with 22 seconds left to rally the Vikings past the Falcons 31-28.
All this from “a guy who’s still living in a hotel,” marveled Minnesota offensive lineman Dalton Risner, who knows a thing or two about the challenges of joining a team midstream after he signed with the Vikings in late September.
“I can only imagine, bro. I know what it was like to learn this in three weeks and have to get on the field,” Risner said. “His was what? Three days? Just a stud, man.”

5 things that stood out in the Vikings’ wild win over Falcons

2. Very little success on first downs to start drives
Drive 1: 2nd-and-10
Drive 2: First down play got a first down
Drive 3: 2nd-and-14,
Drive 4: 2nd-and-12
Drive 5: 2nd-and-13
Drive 6: 2nd-and-9
Drive 7: 2nd-and-10
Drive 8: 2nd-and-11
Drive 9: 2nd-and-5
Drive 10: First down play got a first down
Drive 11: 2nd-and-10
Drive 12: 2nd-and-7
3. Incredible scrambles by Josh Dobbs

Kirk Cousins returning to the Vikings in 2024 still a possibility despite free agent status, per report

While the Vikings could end up drafting a quarterback at the 2024 NFL Draft , that move could be coupled with Cousins’ return, according to NFL Media . This report comes after Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah told reporters this week that “every option is still available with Kirk,” so it does seem like the organization is open to the possibility of bringing him back.

NFL News

NFL Power Rankings: QB play is down this season and the league is suffering for it

In any season, the NFL is as good as the quarterback play. That’s never going to change. The reason the NFL has all the rules to protect quarterbacks is to avoid situations like the league faces now.
The bottom end of NFL quarterbacks is not good enough. It’s hard enough to find 32 good starters; when teams have to turn to backups it can get really bad. Clayton Tune had 27 passing yards through three quarters for the Cardinals on Sunday. Over a little more than four quarters of game action through his first two games, Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito had just 10 yards. Brett Rypien put up a 45.2 passer rating for the Rams. Tyson Bagent threw three interceptions for the Bears. At least Joshua Dobbs was good for the Vikings when pressed into duty Sunday, though he was bad enough for the Cardinals that he was benched and traded.
18. Minnesota Vikings (5-4, LW: 24)
Sunday’s win said a lot about Joshua Dobbs, his professionalism and competitiveness. It probably said as much, if not more, about head coach Kevin O’Connell. We see coaches with good quarterbacks come into games with their teams looking unprepared. O’Connell figured out a way to have Dobbs, who had just been benched by a horrible Cardinals team and traded, run a fully functional offense and win on the road. O’Connell has had some good moments but Vikings fans should go forward after Sunday with more confidence than ever in their coach.

NFL Free Agents Most Likely to Be Overpaid in 2023 Offseason

Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins will be one of the more intriguing free agents to follow when he officially hits the open market this spring.
The Minnesota Vikings quarterback slots in at No. 10 on Bleacher Report’s free-agent big board for good reason, as he was performing well while playing out the final year of his contract before his campaign was cut short by a season-ending Achilles tear.
The Week 8 injury—which could sideline him for up to nine months—may give some suitors pause, but with how many organizations are in dire need of a passer, it’s almost certain Cousins will cash in with yet another big payday.
Cousins was on pace for a third consecutive Pro Bowl nod before going down. While the Vikings were just 4-4 in his starts, the 35-year-old was completing 69.5 percent of his passes—one of the best marks of his career—and had tallied up 2,331 yards and 18 touchdowns against five interceptions. He was clearly well within his prime and could still have plenty left in the tank if he can make a full recovery.
While the veteran has racked up plenty of individual accolades and impressive stats in recent seasons, playoff success has remained elusive. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2015, he has only reached the playoffs on three occasions. He’s won just a single game during those trips and suffered perhaps his worst defeat yet during last year’s Wild Card Round.
Cousins, who has piled up a whopping $232 million in career earnings, has a $39.3 million per year Spotrac valuation. His elite play under center during the regular season warrants that type of cash, but it’s going to be difficult for a 36-year-old coming off a devastating injury to get back to playing high level football in his 13th NFL season. That alone would be a feat, but it is likely asking too much for that to occur as well as a reversal of his well-documented playoff failures.
With Father Time set to inevitably take its toll at some point soon, any big contract for Cousins could wind up being a disaster.

Yore Mock

Trade Partner: 49ers
Sent: Pick 20, Pick 125
Received: Pick 26, Pick 57
Trade Partner: Cardinals
Sent: Pick 57
Received: Pick 65, Pick 129
Trade Partner: Jaguars
Sent: Pick 162
Received: Pick 188, Pick 220

26. Leonard Taylor DT Miami (FL) 6’3” 305

51. Bralen Trice EDGE Washington 6’4” 274

65. Sedrick Van Pran OC Georgia 6’4” 310

115. Blake Corum RB Michigan 5’8” 213

129. Omar Speights LB LSU 6’1” 235

151. Nazir Stackhouse DT Georgia 6’3” 320

159. Mike Sainristil CB Michigan 5’8” 210

188. Brenden Rice WR USC 6’3” 210

205. Javion Cohen OG Miami (FL) 6’4” 305

220. Lathan Ransom S Ohio State 6’1” 210

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