The Minnesota Vikings hired a new offensive coordinator, Klint Kubiak, earlier this year. The team also added Ryan Ficken as special teams coordinator and Keenan McCardell as wide receivers coach. Then general manager Rick Spielman signed a litany of defensive autonomous agents to build depth, culminating in Everson Griffen’s reunion with the team on Monday. The NFL Draft was highlighted by the selections of Christian Darrisaw, Wyatt Davis and Kellen Mond. Spielman also got over Danielle Hunter’s alleged dissatisfaction, convincing the Vikings pass runner to stay with the franchise for 2021 and to reassess his contract next spring.
This is all Ordinary thing. The Vikings were not without wacky stories as head coach Mike Zimmer hopes to bounce back from a poor 7-9 season last year.
Here are the four most scandalous scenarios of the Vikings 2021 offseason.
A Kirk Cousins business
Matthew Stafford was traded from the Detroit Lions to the Los Angeles Rams in late January for a king’s ransom. The offseason was supposed to result in an unprecedented quarterback move between teams, so Kirk Cousins was understandably the next man on the business register.
It was wrong, and it was never true from a distance.
There are receipts:
# 49ers still looking to take a step at QB. Kirk Cousins, I’m told, is a name to watch out for. Yes #Vikings are open to negotiation, San Francisco will do everything possible to acquire it. The ties to Shanahan make him an intriguing potential fit.
– Evan Massey (@massey_evan) February 1, 2021
Does not occur.
Looks like it’ll be Cousins in San Francisco, but anyway, I still think Jimmy G starts the opener for the Pats. 🤷♂️
– Ross Tucker (@RossTuckerNFL) February 1, 2021
All of Tucker’s claims were downright false. While Cousins is a semi-polarizing player, the Vikings had no intention of ditching him. San Francisco topped the fake list due to Cousins’ ties to Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers drafted Trey Lance instead. Cousins was also linked with the Denver Broncos as their long-term prognosis for the quarterback remains fluid. Even the Chicago Bears were whispered as Cousins destination before the team selected Justin Fields.
Cousins is making a lot of money – there’s no doubt about it – but Spielman will continue the experience for one more season. Cousins-à-elsewhere has never been so plausible. Since joining the Vikings in 2018, Cousins has delivered the fifth most touchdown passes in the NFL. It doesn’t grow on trees with some Garoppolo gossip. And Spielman knows it.
Dakota Dozier is actually starting over
Here’s the deal: The Vikings’ coaching staff knew early on in the offseason that it wouldn’t be a intelligible plan to revive Dozier to the right guard. Dozier struggled profusely in 2020, ending the season at bottom of the barrel with Focus on professional football among the offensive guards.
Still, the Vikings took their time replacing Dozier – Spielman didn’t add any notable free-standing goalies. Instead, he traded with the Arizona Cardinals for Mason Cole, drafted Wyatt Davis from Ohio State and [along with Zimmer and Klint Kubiak] promoted Oli Udoh to the starting RG position.
Fans made the memes of Psychosis, a wacky, panicked illustration that tried to get the Vikings to sign a guard. But they didn’t. Cole-Davis-Udoh was the ultimate plan, for better or for worse.
But Dozier was never going to start RG1 in 2021 as “the solution”.
The Vikings as Julio Jones’ commercial destination
This one was fun.
Julio Jones wanted to leave Atlanta after a decade. Of course, he had come to the Vikings, right? Negative.
Jones-to-Minnesota was super fun to meditate – for about five seconds. Usually under Zimmer, the Vikings lead football in the top five for percentage of plays in progress. Minnesota is a top team, hence the lucrative direct deposits that hit Dalvin Cook’s bank account. Adding Jones to the stable with Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson would be an embarrassment of wealth, especially for a team that rarely throws compared to teams that come first.
The Tennessee Titans won the Julio contest. Why? Because they didn’t have a proven WR2 in their case like the Vikings. The Titans lead the ball a lot – as do the Vikings – but they were missing a second home hitter on the WR echelon of the depth chart. They don’t do it anymore, however.
The only way Minnesota could face Jones and his contract would be through a top asset swap – and Spielman wasn’t trading a Thielen, a Minnesota folk hero.
Rodgers-Less NFC North
Vikings Territory participated in this scandal – full disclosure there. Relations between a distant Rodgers and a strangely stubborn Packers front office were so strained it really looked like Rodgers would be traded to the Denver Broncos or the Las Vegas Raiders – or simply retire at the height of his powers for Danger.
We were wrong. Rodgers casually waltzed back to Green Bay with Vikings fans speculating that this was a trailer for Rodgers to join Minnesota in a few years a la Brett Favre in 2009. Now, that part, is scandalous.
If the Vikings are to conquer NFC North, they will have to go through Rodgers, which is fair considering that a team must kill formidable enemies if they are to hope to complete a Super Bowl trek.
Minnesota is due. The franchise has lost six straight NFC Championship games. Meanwhile, the Packers are two behind on the questionable mark with four straight conference championship losses – all in the past seven seasons.