When the Minnesota Vikings discontinued the Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer era in January, QB2 Sean Mannion didn’t figure to be in the roster plans for the new brand of Vikings.
But in March, just like Spielman and Zimmer before them, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell decided Mannion was indeed a sound addition to the new Vikings.
While it’s fine and dandy that multiple leadership brains employed by the Vikings believe Mannion is a steady and wise voice in the locker room, there is absolutely no reason for the veteran passer to fill the QB2 role again.
Minnesota has Kellen Mond for that.
And if Mond isn’t good enough to dethrone Mannion from the QB2 throne this summer, his prognosis as an eventual NFL starter is bleak.
Mannion seems like a wonderful guy that everyone enjoys having around. Great. He can perform QB3 duties. His talents have already been displayed twice in Vikings regular season games — once to round out the 2019 season; the other time in 2021 at the debacle in Green Bay — and the production was underwhelming. Mannion is not a Keenumesque innovator of offense. He’s an immobile placeholder who’s thrown one touchdown pass in seven seasons.
The upside of Mond — even if it doesn’t ultimately pan out — is a more sensible course of action for the Vikings at QB2 in September. Because there is a palpable possibility that the Vikings again finish around 8-9 and miss the playoffs, the purple front office must learn if Mond is a potential long-term solution at quarterback. Relegating Mond to QB3 totally disqualifies the trial.
Mannion is slow, undynamic, and predictable. Mond is quick, possibly dynamic, and unpredictable. Should something happen to Kirk Cousins this season, Minnesota is certifiably going nowhere with Mannion in the saddle. Mond, on the other hand, at least has the promise of keeping the boat afloat.
The future may be Mond. The future may not be Mond. But, emphatically, the future is not Sean Mannion, so the Vikings flirting with the notion of Mannion again at QB2 would be the hallmark of silliness.
And it would make the QB room feel like Mike Zimmer never left.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).