Late Sunday night, as my daughters attempted to unwind and fall asleep after a full summer day, I sat in their room thinking about ... quarterback depth charts?
Don't worry. I didn't incorporate them into any sort of bedtime story. Wouldn't want the girls to have nightmares thinking about what might happen if Kirk Cousins was injured.
But I did go team-by-team through all 32 NFL QB situations, the Vikings included, trying to figure out where there might be some spare depth.
This was a day after an entirely underwhelming performance by Kellen Mond and Sean Mannion in a 17-7 preseason loss to the 49ers, which was a continuation of an offseason theme interrupted only briefly by a few nice throws by Mond in the first preseason game.
The upshot: There had to be some better options, right?
As it turns out, the Vikings were doing roughly the same thing as the rest of us. And on Monday morning, they made a low-leverage deal for a more experienced and capable potential backup by trading a conditional seventh-round pick to the Raiders for Nick Mullens. He was one of the QBs I had identified, though Pittsburgh's Mason Rudolph was the most appealing potential target.
Andrew Krammer and I dissected the Mullens move and what it means on Tuesday's Daily Delivery podcast.
To me, it signaled a few things:
*The new regime under Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O'Connell is taking the backup QB position more seriously — or at least in a different direction — than their predecessors. With the same set of circumstances a year ago, the Vikings decided to keep Mannion as their primary backup while letting Mond develop.
While Mannion has been praised for his intelligence and ability to help in the QB room, he gave the Vikings no chance to win against the Packers when Cousins missed a game due to COVID.
*This is a bigger indictment of Mannion than Mond. It's hard to imagine Mannion sticking around, assuming Mullens wins the No. 2 job. Mond should get another year of development on the practice squad with another chance to win the backup role next year. If he can't cut it at that point, it will be time to move on.
*Sometimes the obvious move is the most logical one. In this case, the Vikings saw what we all saw and acted accordingly.