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What have we learned about the Vikings’ QB situation at the NFL Combine?

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback quandary has been at the top of the storyline list from Indianapolis at the NFL Combine this week.

Both Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer talked with the local and national media and every national reporter has been looking for an indication of which direction the Vikings will go.

So here is what we’ve learned so far:

– If the Vikings want to sign Kirk Cousins, they are going to have to pay him either as much or more than other teams who are in the hunt for the top free agent QB. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports from two sources that the Denver Broncos are all-in on Cousins.

“Ultimately, the determination within these teams could be determined by the structure of Cousins’ next deal, which may not end up looking like the classic seven-year contracts typically signed by franchise quarterbacks. Instead, Cousins could end up seeking a deal as short as three or four years, with salaries that are almost fully guaranteed each season,” Robinson wrote.

Mike Zimmer did not name drop Cousins, but it was clear he was referencing the veteran starter when saying this in a side session with the Twin Cities media:

“The one thing I told Rick was, I said look, we’ve had a good team, that’s why we’ve won 40 games,” Zimmer said Thursday at the NFL Combine. “It’s not because we’ve had this one guy or that one guy. Let’s make sure we keep understanding the team is why we have done good things.”

Of course, Spielman told the TC media that the front office has planned for years to spend big on a QB at this point. However, adding $30 million to the cap would offer some limitations, even if the Vikings kept upcoming free agents like Danielle Hunter, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Stefon Diggs.

– The feeling still lingers that Zimmer wants Bridgewater. The Vikings’ head coach said during his podium session that Bridgewater has the “heart of a lion” and said that he hopes he can keep coaching Teddy.

That could be a message to Bridgewater’s camp that they want him to stay.

– Zimmer seemed downright sad about Sam Bradford’s knee situation, which he called “degenerative.” Zim wondered aloud whether Bradford would be the guy who plays 15 games or one. He raved about Bradford’s arm and his Week 1 performance against the Saints. Bradford and Zimmer grew closer last offseason and it appeared the Vikings’ head coach had been won over until the injury issues.

– Zimmer also wondered aloud whether Case Keenum’s year was a product of small sample size and supporting cast.

There are statistical indicators that he might have a tough time repeating his 12-3 season. Like his career high numbers under pressure, for example, or Stefon Diggs’ incredible catch percentage on contested throws.

– Both Zimmer and Spielman mentioned the notion of a quarterback in the draft. Put that under the “never say never” category. But we won’t have any idea whether Lamar Jackson or Baker Mayfield etc. would be in their plans until after some of the pieces have fallen into place.

– One thing that Spielman said that’s believable: Nothing is set in stone. Sure, one reporter said Cousins was “destined” to land in Minnesota – and that makes a lot of sense – but the Vikings have to know where all three of their QBs stand and get a sense for Cousins’ demands before they can make a final call.

They might even want to see what other teams like the Dolphins and Bills have planned or check into whether Nick Foles is available for trade as well.

So the sense from the Combine so far is that it’s very wide open, but we know if the Vikings want Cousins, it’s going to be a costly endeavor.

The post What have we learned about the Vikings’ QB situation at the NFL Combine? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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