As the Minnesota Vikings contemplate the formulation of the 53-man roster at the end of the month, the general manager and coaching staff must decide a path for second-year passer Kellen Mond.
Minnesota traded a conditional 7th-Round pick (2024) to the Las Vegas Raiders for Nick Mullens on Monday, creating a full house at quarterback. For now, the Vikings employ Kirk Cousins, Nick Mullens, Kellen Mond, and Sean Mannion.
If the Vikings were faced with this same situation before 2022, the resolution would be simple — keep Cousins and Mullens and stash Mond on the practice squad while likely cutting Mannion.
But that’s the “old way” of thinking.
Nowhere is it written that the Vikings must keep only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster. In fact, they could very reasonably keep three, probably Cousins, Mullens, and Mond. While Mannion is said to offer substantial guidance and comfort as a locker room presence, the trade for Mullens probably signaled the end of Mannion in purple.
In 2021, new head coach Kevin O’Connell worked for the Los Angeles Rams. He won a Super Bowl with the club as the offensive coordinator. Heading into that triumphant, storybook season, Los Angeles carried three QBs into September — Matthew Stafford, John Wolford, and Bryce Perkins.
The 2022 version of Stafford, Wolford, and Perkins can be Cousins, Mullens, and Mond. Why not?
Of course, so much conversation and fuss over QB2 is, in all likelihood, unnecessary. Cousins has never missed a game to injury — he did miss one pivotal matchup due to COVID in 2021 — in his career, an overlooked attribute. The 2022 season will probably come and go with Cousins starting 17 games.
Still, the Vikings were forced to rely on QB contingency plans in 2016 and 2017. Sam Bradford was brought aboard the roster in emergency capacity six years ago. And the following year, Bradford, too, was hurt, thrusting Case Keenum into the QB1 role. Therefore, wondering who might support Cousins in the event of injury is worthwhile.
Based on how Los Angeles conducted business last year, retaining three quarterbacks isn’t all that far-fetched. Mond could be the QB3 while Mannion hits free agency.
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).