Some believe the Minnesota Vikings should have pursued the veteran quarterback.
Currently, all signs are pointing to the Minnesota Vikings entering the regular season with Sean Mannion as their backup quarterback for the second year in a row.
Cam Newton is someone who recently became unavailable after signing a one-year, $1.75 million with the New England Patriots. Even with their lack of current cap space, Newton was someone who Minnesota could have apparently afforded.
Did the Minnesota Vikings make a mistake by not trying to sign Cam Newton?
Recently, Forbes’ Steve Silverman suggested that the Vikings would have been an, “ideal,” landing spot for Newton this year, but only as Cousins’ backup. Silverman believes the newest Patriots quarterback would have been an obvious upgrade over Mannion as Minnesota’s No. 2 signal-caller and that he might even be a better fit for the Vikings than their current starter.
"“If (Minnesota) head coach Mike Zimmer had to go to a backup quarterback named Newton, the running game would be devastating. In addition to (Dalvin) Cook’s speed and ability to make tacklers look foolish, the Vikings would be able to double down on the running game with Newton’s skills in that area. While he has taken a lot of hits, he appears to be healthy once again.Newton is a 6-foot-5, 245-pound tank of a quarterback who can run away from and over tacklers. If he was in the lineup along with Cook, opponents would have a difficult time dealing with that 1-2 punch.”"
While it might be true that the combination of Newton and Cook would make the Vikings’ rushing attack incredibly difficult for opposing teams to stop, they would be paying Cousins $40 million in 2020 to sit on the bench.
Then if Newton ended up performing well during the upcoming season for Minnesota, wouldn’t it be safe to assume he’s going to want a new deal that pays him like one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL (and more than Cousins)? In case anyone was wondering, it would cost the Vikings $41 million in cap space to release Cousins in 2021.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it would be an incredibly dumb decision for to Minnesota have two quarterbacks take up around $70 million of their salary cap in 2021.
Sometimes it’s also very easy to look at what Newton agreed to with New England and think he would do the same for any team around the league, when that probably wouldn’t be the case. The Patriots winning three Super Bowls since 2014 likely played a big part in the former Carolina Panthers quarterback being willing to take less money.
Who knows? Maybe the Vikings did put in a call to Newton’s representatives to see how much it would cost for him to be their backup this year and his asking price at that time was just more than Minnesota was willing to pay.
So did the Vikings screw up by not landing Newton? No, not at all. But does Minnesota still need to find a better backup than Mannion for 2020? Absolutely and there’s not much they can do at this point.