Options for Minnesota Vikings Quarterback in 2022

Minnesota Vikings Quarterback
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With the 2021 NFL season now over with for the Minnesota Vikings, the offseason is in full swing as focus quickly shifts from a disappointing year that was to a hopeful 2022 campaign. This offseason is already going to bring a new head coach and general manager. However, a new regime could want to bring new players onto the Minnesota Vikings, and possibly add a new quarterback.

For the last four seasons, Kirk Cousins has been Minnesota’s answer under center. But with his large contract, a new regime could be interested in exploring other options this off-season.

Options for Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Next Season

Kirk Cousins

The first and likeliest option to start under center for the Vikings in 2022 is the quarterback who has led the team since 2018.

Although some think Cousins, who will turn 34 in August, might end up elsewhere next year if Minnesota finds a suitable trade partner to shed some or all of Cousins’ hefty contract, it will be tough for the Vikings to move the quarterback while also finding an upgrade at the position.

Cousins has played in a total of 63 regular season games, along with two playoff games, in four seasons with Minnesota. In 2021, he appeared in 16 games for a record of 8-8, finishing with 4,221 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions while completing 66.3 percent of his 561 pass attempts.

Cousins has done a decent job in leading the Vikings offense, even though he has received some criticism for not stepping up enough on the biggest stages. Even if Minnesota wants to move him before the 2022 season, it will be a tough task, meaning he will likely return for the new year.

Kellen Mond

If Cousins does end up elsewhere this off-season, perhaps the Vikings turn to another internal option on the roster, that being soon-t0-be second-year quarterback Kellen Mond.

Mond, who was drafted by Minnesota in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, appeared in just one game during his rookie campaign and also got some subtle criticism from former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer at the end of the year.

In his lone Week 17 appearance for Minnesota, Mond finished the contest completing 2-of-3 pass attempts for five years. In the last few weeks, Zimmer mentioned the team “didn’t particularly” have a desire to turn to Mond to get a look at him because they “see him every day.” That’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement for the young passer.

A new head coach and general manager could find more of a liking to Mond than Zimmer and company did during the 2021 season, resulting in the 22-year-old getting the nod under center. Even though this isn’t looking like a very likely option, it could still happen if Cousins isn’t on the team next year.

Baker Mayfield

When it comes to external candidates or options that could perhaps dawn the purple and gold and start for the Vikings at quarterback in 2022 is current Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield.

First, this outcome would only be doable if Minnesota would end up trading Cousins to Cleveland, a move that likely would send Mayfield and perhaps other pieces back to the Vikings. If that did happen, Mayfield would immediately be the new starting quarterback for the Vikings moving forward.

Mayfield, who will turn 27 years old in April, is still a young quarterback who will be entering his fifth season in the NFL in 2022. The quarterback has received some growing heat over his lack of production and progression as the Browns starter. In 60 games in Cleveland over four years, Mayfield holds a career record of 29-30 and has two playoff appearances in 2020 to add to his resume.

If Cousins is traded to the Browns to reunite with former Minnesota offensive coordinator and current Cleveland head coach Kevin Stefanski, Mayfield would be one of the pieces returning to the Vikings. And the former number one overall pick could lead Minnesota in 2022 and beyond.

Teddy Bridgewater

If Minnesota were to move on from Cousins this offseason, then the Vikings could look to the free agent pool. One player who could be a bridge player to fill that role under center is a familiar face to Vikings fans and a former quarterback in Minnesota.

Teddy Bridgewater, who is just 29 years old, spent his first three NFL seasons with the Vikings after being drafted by the organization in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. After a brutal knee injury during training camp put his career on a temporary pause, Minnesota was forced to look elsewhere at quarterback and Bridgewater ended up moving on to play for the New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, and Denver Broncos.

With Bridgewater now a free agent, perhaps a reunion in Minnesota might take place. Bridgewater could be a nice, cheaper option than what currently resides in the quarterback room in Minnesota and would still allow Mond the chance to try and fight for the starting role in his second season.

Russell Wilson

When it comes to an outsider option who could take over under center in Minnesota in 2022, the possibility of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to the Vikings is one that not many people will talk about right now. But there are a few reasons why Wilson to Minnesota could be a possibility.

The first reason is that Wilson has been rumored to want to move on from Seattle, where he has spent the entirety of his career. Those rumors and possible frustration almost boiled over last offseason, with Wilson’s agent even providing Seattle with a list of teams the quarterback would like to go to if he were traded. If the organization now agrees that a Wilson break-up should take place, he could finally be sent out of Seattle.

The second reason comes at both the Seahawks and Vikings head coaching positions. Minnesota is on the search for a new head coach after firing Zimmer after the regular season, and there have been rumors circulating that Seattle head coach Pete Carroll could ultimately find his way out of Seattle before the 2022 season. If Carroll is fired or leaves, could the Vikings hire him and then make a trade for Wilson to reunite in Minnesota? It’s an intriguing possibility and seems like a long shot, but maybe Wilson could end up leading the Vikings in 2022 and beyond

Other Free Agent or Prospect

Outside of the options outlined and explained above, there are some other options Minnesota could look at to take reign under center in 2022, both on the free agent market and via the NFL Draft.

When it comes to free agency, there are some interesting options on the market looking for teams to sign with this off-season. That list could includes names such as Ben Roethlisberger (if he doesn’t retire), Ryan Fitzpatrick, Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, Tyrod Taylor, Jameis Winston, Jacoby Brissett, and Marcus Mariota, among others.

The other option would be for the Vikings once again draft a quarterback with one of their upcoming draft picks, as it did with Mond in 2021. This year’s quarterback class is arguably not as strong as past years have been, but there are still some players who could establish themselves as solid professionals. Some top quarterback prospects include Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett, Ole Miss’s Matt Corral, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ritter, North Carolina’s Sam Howell, and others.

Maybe Minnesota isn’t happy with its current quarterback situation and the new regime coming in wants to look elsewhere to fill the starting spot under center. If so, there could be a plethora of options for the Vikings to consider this offseason.

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