Some people will never appreciate what Kirk Cousins has done with the Minnesota Vikings.
Before Kirk Cousins signed his original contract with the Minnesota Vikings during the 2018 offseason, imagine if someone had said he would go on to average around 4,000 passing yards, 28 touchdowns, and fewer than 10 interceptions in his first two years with the team.
Most Vikings fans would be ecstatic, right?
People wouldn’t constantly blame Cousins for things that are out of his control, right? No one would attempt to say that he can’t lead his team to an impressive comeback, a primetime victory, or a playoff win, right?
Unfortunately, Cousins is still a lightning rod of blame for the majority of Minnesota’s failures during his tenure, regardless if it is directly due to a decision he made or not.
Whether it’s in the national media or within the Vikings fan base, Cousins will probably just never be able to make people happy. There’s a good chance that he could help deliver Minnesota its first-ever Super Bowl victory and his critics will still comment that the team won the championship in spite of their starting quarterback.
Most quarterbacks around the NFL are compared to a handful of talented signal-callers when it comes to deciding who is great and who is not. Cousins, like others, is pitted against other passers like Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Russell Wilson. Guys who have each only led their teams to one Super Bowl victory during their tenures in the league.
Aside from the mind-boggling absurdity of Tom Brady’s greatness, a number of past champions haven’t needed a future Hall of Fame quarterback to lead them to a championship. They just needed a passer who can come up with the necessary plays during the right moments and Cousins is someone who has proven he can do this before and during his career with the Vikings.
Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, and Nick Foles were all able to lead their teams to Super Bowl wins during the past decade. So why can’t someone like Cousins, who has displayed a similar skill level as these three quarterbacks, do the same for Minnesota?
Do Minnesota Vikings fans even know how to properly evaluate quarterback talent?
Since their very first season in 1961, stability under center hasn’t exactly been the specialty of the Vikings franchise.
Fran Tarkenton was magical during his career with Minnesota in the 1960s and 70s. But since then, the Vikings’ relationships with their starting quarterbacks have been less stable than most junior high romances.
Tarkenton is the franchise’s clear No. 1 signal-caller of all-time. But after him, there are a handful of guys to choose from as the team’s second-best quarterback of all-time and most of them weren’t even good enough to maintain any sort of success at the NFL level.
Minnesota’s quarterback history is more full of guys who have had a good single-season or two. Cousins has already proven he can put up the numbers and lead the team to success, but he can also provide the Vikings with a stable option as their starting quarterback for a number of years.
No matter what though, it seems like some are always looking for a better option than Cousins.
Every year when the NFL Draft comes around, there are some who hope Minnesota can land the next Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson. However, these same people seem to forget about the other first-round quarterbacks who didn’t turn out well like E.J. Manuel, Christian Ponder, Paxton Lynch, Mitchell Trubisky, Blake Bortles, and Johnny Manziel.
Finding a franchise quarterback is no easy task. The Vikings think they have found their guy in Cousins for the next few seasons and they’re going to roll with him as their starter no matter how mad it makes some of their fans.