Sam Ekstrom and Sage Rosenfels evaluate the Alex Smith trade and what it means for the Vikings.


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  1. Sam, I totally disagree with your assessment. I agree Cousins is not a “transformative” QB. There are really only 4 to 5 guys that are in that category. But I agree with Rosenfels that I he’s in that second tier. But those second tier QBs do greatly improve your chances of winning a championship. But to dismiss getting him because of the cost is irrational. What difference does it make if he gets $90 in guaranteed money if he stays healthy and plays well. By the way, you got that number from somewhere that is estimating what his contract. Cousins has stated that winning is his number one priority when he decides where he will play. But lets say he takes a 5 year contract for $125 million with $75 million guaranteed. Is that a fair contract? The Vikings paid $22 million to the 3 QBs on their team this season. I would rather have had Cousins at $25 million this year. Cousins has been a starter for three years. All three seasons he has thrown for 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns. Only Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Dan Marino, Eli Manning, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady have done that 3 years in a row. Someone is going to pay Keenum $15 to $20 million a year. If you think he’s worth that, you are crazy. He had a good year, but the chances of him duplicating that are remote. Cousins had a really good year and that was with the Redskins getting rid of his WRs, his TE being hurt all year, and having no support from his coach or management. He did what he did with crap skill players around him. If Cousins is going to cost you $30 million a year for 5 years with almost all guaranteed money, then you probably do turn to Keenum or Bridgewater. But the Vikings owe it to their fan base to get the best QB possible. And you talk about paying Cousins would make it impossible to keep their D starters. But remember, there will be contracts coming off the books over the next few years. And paying Keenum $20 million will probably mean they will need to get a decent backup incase Keenum isn’t the same player. I don’t think its much of a debate if they can get Cousins. Also, after the way they lost, I think it would help the team to do something in the offseason to get their players, coaches and fans excited going into next year. Nothing would give the Vikings a bigger boost than to have their management go out and get the biggest free agent that plays at the most important position. Players like Cousins don’t come around very often. Not since Drew Brees came available in 2006 have we seen a QB in the prime of their career available. I hope the Vikings at least make the call!

    • Thanks for the well-thought-out response! I can lay this out better on an upcoming show, but if you’re risking weakening the defense and/or going cheap on Cousins’ supporting offensive cast because of his salary, are you really making progress? You mentioned contracts coming off the books — not so much. The big ones — Rhodes, Smith, Griffen, Joseph, Reiff — are locked in for four-plus years if they keep performing. Add $25-30 million per year to the mix and suddenly you’re looking at bargain-barrel tight ends, running backs and back-up QBs.


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