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Cam Newton as Vikings QB2 Is A Neat Idea but Unlikely to Happen

Cam Newton as Vikings QB2 Is A Neat Idea but Unlikely to Happen

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If it wasn’t for a competent showing by Kellen Mond and a mini “comeback” against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Minnesota Vikings final preseason game, Vikings fans would be in full panic about the 2021 QB2 situation. Some folks may still even be in a state of apprehension on the topic.

On Tuesday, Minnesota released Mond’s primary QB2 competition in Jake Browning and Nate Stanley. Browning should be perceived as a cautionary tale on preseason success. For about a week, prominent Vikings minds believed Browning was worthy of QB2 responsibility based on a practice, but then he totally nosedived in organized preseason games. Now, he’ll seek a QB3 gig elsewhere or live on the Vikings practice squad.

A few hours before Browning and Stanley’s release, New England Patriots signal-caller Cam Newton was shockingly jettisoned from the team’s roster, clearing the way from Alabama Crimson Tide rookie Mac Jones to take the big job much sooner than most experts expected.

Newton is now a free agent.

Wheels were spun — and because Minnesota could, in theory, use a better backup quarterback than a youthful Mond, the Vikings became a “what if” landing spot for Newton’s next tour of duty.

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On the surface, it’s a fantastic idea. Newton would instantly possess qualities to nominate him as one of the best QB2s in the league. The man was the NFL MVP in 2015 for God’s sake, and that was “only” six years ago. Since then, though, Newton never replicated his prosperity, instead transforming into a quarterback that is good-not-great.

The choice of Jones over Newton solidifies the notion that Newton is clearly past his prime, which tosses him into QB2 conversations — like this one.

Although Newton would offer experience, an MVP resume, and a win-now mentality if current quarterback Kirk Cousins was injured, it is extremely unlikely that the Vikings make the call.

For the very reason that Cousins could miss regular season action in 2020 — he is unvaccinated and might be forced to quarantine at any time — Newton carries that same pandemic suitcase. Based on his dealings with the Patriots toward the end of his tenure, the serious implication is that he is not vaccinated. That probably played into the decision by Bill Belichick to roll with Jones who is vaccinated.

The Vikings do not need another unvaccinated quarterback. They have two of those with Cousins and Mond. Head coach Mike Zimmer needs a designated survivor — fully vaccinated — who is better than Jake Browning, Plain and simple. That ain’t Newton.

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Whether you agree with the science of the vaccine or believe the pandemic is made up (or that the vaccine is unsafe), it is counterproductive to holster three unvaccinated quarterbacks. The Vikings must find a player “against the grain” in this fashion — or just stick with Mond.

Additionally, the leaguewide roster cuts on Tuesday didn’t really help the Vikings appetite for exploring a third quarterback. The only free agents available now that would be an experienced alternative to Mond are Trevor Siemian and Will Grier. Do those names excite you?

Mond was the big winner for roster cuts. For the first time, he is now Minnesota’s QB2. And the Vikings generally keep just two quarterbacks on the depth chart at all times from September to January. Outside of trading for Nick Foles — unlikely because the team just sent a 4th-Rounder to the New York Jets for TE Chris Herndon — it’s probably Mond’s job.

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