The Wide Angle: Draft day, or pretending to know what a general manager thinks

Published 6:30 am Saturday, February 27, 2021

Was there ever a time Vikings fans haven’t wanted to trade Kirk Cousins?

Asking for a friend.

The quarterback’s time in Minnesota has not exactly been the smoothest and as soon as he didn’t live up to the hype of his paycheck, people immediately started talking trade, especially when there was a hot young QB on the market that gives people dreams of Super Bowls.

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Case in point: Most everybody in the world sees Houston’s Deshaun Watson as a perfect fit for their team and aspirations of a championship. Heck, Manchester United probably sees Watson as their quarterback of the future and they are the wrong kind of football if you ask most every American ever in the history of America.

However, more recently Cousins has been part of the out-of-control speculation in terms of where Watson may end up and the range of how that might happen has fluctuated wildly. Apparently, if you write for a blog of any kind, you get to throw these wild ideas around.

I even saw one trade possibility somebody or another pontificated about that would send Anthony Barr and Alexander Mattison,  along with a whole slew of first and second round draft picks, to the 49ers and then the 49ers would send someone somewhere else and the whole thing is a tangled knot of confusion of athletes.

I feel that my amateur football analyst mind could point out the shakiness of giving away one of your best defensive players and a quality back-up running back, A) just one year after a defensive rebuild ended in a 7-9 record from a team with all sorts of issues defensively and B) just to get a quarterback who may or may not be the answer to our championship ills, of which there are just so many to choose from.

One might also point out that putting up points behind a flashy quarterback doesn’t necessarily mean much if the defense can’t stop the other team. Nevermind the fact that Cousins was pretty darn good last year. Yes, there are issues. He’s about as mobile as a sloth, holds on to the ball too long and only has one catch-phrase.

“You like that?!”

I tried that once at the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention and contest after winning an award and was on my way back to my seat.

A lot of questions were asked, why I was dressed like a football player at the MNAs and screaming at people. Moving on.

But we’re not here to talk about logic in football trades. We’re here to talk about maybe putting the brakes on speculation that more than likely won’t happen.

I’m fully of the realization that wild speculation is something of a national pastime when it comes to football, or any sports for that matter. Fans, after realizing that they do not like a player, will latch onto another player ESPN may have briefly touched on as possible trade material and then proceed to push a narrative on how we get to that end that may or may not involve witchcraft.

And I’m just as guilty. When Brett Favre was on his way out with the Packers, I once voiced an opinion on how it would be funny if he came to the Vikings, only to have several Packer fans calling me crazy, and then suddenly Favre signs with the Vikings. I laughed, they laughed, I laughed some more, and they cried.

While I made this prediction, I wasn’t all that happy with it. Yes, I knew what Favre could do and yes, I knew he held the career touchdown record. But you know what else he held? Go ahead, think about it, I’ll give you a moment ………….. The career interception record!

Yeah, I bet you know exactly what I’m getting at, don’t you? We could have had our Super Bowl Minnesota if only somebody might have run 10 … more … yards.

I’m also aware of what a one Thomason P. Brady, esq. (clearly not his name, quit nitpicking), did this year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but give me your honest opinion Vikings fans. Do you really think that kind of lightning will strike twice just by dumping any remaining talent on the team to get a quarterback that hasn’t won a Super Bowl?

I doubt it. Personally, I think we missed our chance with Matthew Stafford if I’m to throw out wild trading theories.

The Vikings just can’t give up Barr and Mattison. They would probably have to give up those two, three different first round picks, a microbrewery, a barrel of lutefisk and a lake to be named later.

I’m also not entirely sure Watson even wants to come here. The Vikings are short on a talented offensive line and it’s a bit presumptive to put everything on the back of Cook when a novice defensive coordinator such as myself would know to stack the box and then put one good person on Adam Thielen.

I know it’s an oversimplication, but they do give the ball to Cook an awful lot.

Or, what you could do …  now hear me out … DRAFT a quarterback! Yes, Christian Ponder, I know, but here’s the kicker. Mr. Brady was drafted 199th in the sixth round (seven Super Bowl wins). Brett Favre was drafted in the second round (one Super Bowl, a gazillion records or some such nonsense). Fran Tarkenton was drafted in the third round and while he didn’t win a title, he was one of — if not the — best quarterback in Minnesota Vikings history.

I know it’s difficult to get that kind of gold, but giving up the farm for one player isn’t necessarily the best course of action, no matter how much your knee jerks and even though I know how much fun it is to speculate.

I mean, remember how much fun Herschel Walker was?