Is Josh Rosen the Answer at QB2?

Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn (USA TODAY Sports)

On Tuesday afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers waived backup quarterback Josh Rosen. The 10th-overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft will look to join his fifth team in four years as a pro, having previously played for the Arizona Cardinals, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rosen has started 16 games in his young career and doesn’t have much to show for it after compiling a 3-13 record and a career passer rating of 63.5 for both the Cardinals and Dolphins. However, there will always be room for a young quarterback who’s been baptized by fire on NFL Sundays to serve as a quality backup.

One team that makes a ton of sense for Rosen is none other than the Minnesota Vikings. With the Vikings’ current backup quarterbacks — rookie Kellen Mond, Jake Browning, and Nate Stanley — having combined for a whopping zero career NFL starts, Rosen’s potential and experience would serve wonders as Cousins’ backup for the 2021 season.

With Cousins making headlines over his unvaccinated status, Rick Spielman and the front office could certainly afford to be proactive when it comes to having a quality contingency plan at their most important position. While folks are optimistic for Mond’s long-term outlook in purple, a true redshirt season — without the responsibility of being the No. 2 on gamedays — is better for both the Vikings and Mond.

With Rosen as the No. 2, Mond could soak up life in the NFL without having to dress for a single game during his rookie year — similar to what the Packers did last season with 2020 first-round draft pick Jordan Love. Instead of having the heir apparent to Aaron Rodgers as their immediate backup, the Packers dressed Tim Boyle every week while Love was in street clothes. And by all accounts, the redshirt year appeared to do wonders for Love and his development as he embarks on Year 2.

After spending the past eight months playing in Kyle Shanahan‘s outside zone offensive scheme, Rosen’s transition to Minnesota’s offense would be seamless. The Vikings are entering their third season running the Shanahan scheme, albeit with their third different offensive coordinator.

Considering the heightened urgency of this upcoming season for Mike Zimmer, Spielman, and the Vikings as a whole, Rosen’s presence would give Minnesota a much better chance in 2021 should Cousins be forced to miss time. Having a quarterback who’s well versed in the scheme with a full season’s worth of starting experience in the NFL would be a considerable upgrade for the Vikings’ quarterback room.

Especially if there’s an unexpected shortage of plexiglass at TCO Performance Center.

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