Dear Mr. Tom Brady,
Greetings from the polar north! It’s currently seven degrees below zero on a dark and gloomy day in Eagan, but I am writing to you in response to an interesting report that came across my timeline.
Kenneth Teape of the NFL Analysis Network reported that an anonymous NFL executive said the Minnesota Vikings are a dark horse to sign you. At first, I thought it was preposterous. Everyone knows an anonymous source isn’t really a source at all. But in the era of social media, any stray whisper can generate some buzz.
Then I stopped to think about it and realized why wouldn’t you come to Minnesota?
I know what you’re thinking. Why would you want to live anywhere that the wind hurts your face? The Mall of America is kind of just a one-time experience, and the Juicy Lucy is kind of overrated. Even Carlos Correa expressed his love for this state only to attempt to leave twice in free agency. Living here is a love-hate relationship.
But playing for the Vikings? That’s where the love comes in.
You would be stepping into a team that just won 13 games and an offense full of weapons. Remember how much fun it was throwing it up to Randy Moss? We have Justin Jefferson – who might be better than Moss. Remember your pal Rob Gronkowski? Maybe T.J. Hockenson isn’t better than Gronk, but he certainly can play close to that level.
The offensive line is a work in progress, but we have two mammoth tackles to protect you with Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill. The interior? We certainly could shore that up with a signing or two.
The running game needs some work, and there could be an upgrade with the secondary receivers, but it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a phone call from you. Remember how fast Russell Gage ran to Tampa Bay after you called him last year? The same thing could happen here!
Then there’s the defense. It was bad. Like, really bad. But Ed Donatell is gone, and we’re probably going to sign some younger, faster guys and get some more in the draft. If they can just become a middle-of-the-road defense, you could be the missing piece to turn a good team into a great team.
You might be asking yourself, What about Kirk Cousins? He took a step forward last year.
In some ways, this is true. Cousins was more fun to follow last year and took some steps forward. If he were 25 years old, I’d be completely sold that he’s the answer to this franchise, but he also took some steps back.
Cousins threw a career-high 14 interceptions. That’s not the end of the world, but there were more red flags. He posted his lowest passer rating since becoming a full-time starter in 2015, his lowest yards per attempt since 2018, and his lowest completion percentage since 2017.
Even with all the good vibes, my mind keeps returning to the same play – fourth-and-eight against the New York Giants. Despite throwing it in Jefferson’s direction on several desperate plays this season, Cousins refused with the season on the line and opted to check down to Hockenson for a three-yard gain.
At age 35, this is who Cousins is. The Vikings have never really been sold on his improvement, either. The old regime called Drew Brees hours before his initial deal was announced in 2018. Mike Zimmer didn’t even want to meet with Cousins to go over the game plan.
Yet some teams may believe that he has something left in the tank and could give the Vikings draft picks for him. Perhaps the Indianapolis Colts are looking for another aging quarterback to put out of his misery. Maybe his old flame, the Washington Commanders, want to do the same. Several quarterbacks could be available, but perhaps Cousins could be the belle of the ball.
That seems insane for a regime that is fearful of blowing it up. However, in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s July 2022 interview with USA Today’s Jori Epstein, he mentioned that the Vikings had a good quarterback in Cousins but didn’t have Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady.
Do you know how you get Tom Brady? By signing him in free agency.
You still might not be convinced. Las Vegas is definitely warmer this time of year, but Josh McDaniels will be coaching you. Davante Adams is also a nice target, but is a 30-year-old receiver better than a 24-year-old Justin Jefferson? Plus, you would have to go through the AFC, a minefield of franchise quarterbacks, including Joe Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, Trevor Lawrence, and Justin Herbert.
Even then, the San Francisco 49ers seem like a fine destination. They have an elite defense. Their offensive line is dominant. Their offense is loaded and led by guru Kyle Shanahan. But Shanahan doesn’t know what he’s eating for lunch, let alone who he’s starting at quarterback, and one slip-up and you might be backing up a local community college quarterback the 49ers decide to take at the end of this year’s draft.
You’ll have the best of both worlds if you come to Minnesota. The Vikings were a top-10 offense one year ago. Adding the greatest quarterback of all time would make it even better. Your arrival would make it easier for ownership to finally let go of Cousins. Worst-case scenario, if you’re washed at age 46, maybe the Vikings lose enough games to go get Caleb Williams in the 2024 draft.
If anything, it’s worth a shot, and it might turn out better than expected.