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Kirk Cousins Resume Prompts Scrutiny

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February 27, 2018

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Count former Viking Bob Lurtsema as someone hoping the Kirk Cousins to the Vikings rumors aren’t true. Yesterday and today multiple reports speculate the Redskins’ free agent quarterback could be headed to Minneapolis.

“He is not a leader,” Lurtsema told Sports Headliners. “Look at his record. He is a loser.”

Rich Cimini, writing on ESPN.com February 25, said the 29-year-old quarterback has a 4-19 record against winning teams (based on final season records). He is 19-9-1 against losing clubs, 3-2 versus .500 teams. His overall regular season record is 26-30-1, and he is 0-1 in the playoffs, Cimini reported.

“What the hell has he done?” Lurtsema said of Cousins who has played six NFL seasons—all for the Redskins.

Cousins has set franchise passing records for the Redskins. The last three seasons (starting with 2015) his passer ratings have been impressive—101.6, 97.2 and 93.9, but he isn’t regarded as a superstar quarterback. In the NFC North where the Vikings compete he could be ranked behind not only the Packers Aaron Rodgers but also the Lions’ Matthew Stafford.

The Vikings, though, have had success in recent years fitting three different quarterbacks into their system. They may regard Cousins as healthier and potentially better than any quarterbacks on the current roster.

Speculation is the Vikings might spend in the neighborhood of $100 million on a contract for Cousins who is regarded as the NFL’s best free agent quarterback. If the Vikings pay out that kind of money it’s yet another indication of the Wilf family’s willingness to spend money in their pursuit of a Super Bowl win.

“The Wilfs will do anything to get a winner,” Lurtsema said about the Vikings’ owners. “They’re not afraid to do whatever it takes to make a winner. Good family.”

It could be the Vikings prefer to move on from Case Keenum, believing Cousins is a better talent.  Keenum, as a sub for the injured Sam Bradford, went 11-3 as the team’s starter during the last regular season. Lurtsema is a fan of Keenum and praises his performance including leadership in 2017.

NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling is writing today that the Vikings maybe unlikely to put the franchise tag on Keenum and that when free agency talks start next month Minnesota’s target could be Cousins. “If I were a betting man, that’s where I would say he lands,” NFL authority Gil Brandt wrote on Twitter yesterday.

Worth Noting

Big Ten Network streaming or BTN pay TV might be the only way for fans in Minnesota to watch the Gopher men’s Big Ten Tournament hockey games at Penn State on Friday and Saturday. No official word yet but a University of Minnesota athletic department spokesman confirmed the possibility yesterday.

Among new players on the Gophers football roster when spring practice starts next week will be wide receiver True Thompson, son of former U all-time leading rusher Darrell Thompson. True is a preferred walk-on from Iowa Western Community College who also was recruited by Syracuse.

Darrell told Sports Headliners True has better hands and jumping ability than dad. His son is looking forward to playing for wide receivers coach Matt Simon. “I hear nothing but great things about Matt,” Darrell said.

Race Thompson

Another Thompson son, Race, is a redshirt freshman basketball player at Indiana. Race is friends with Rochester John Marshall’s Matthew Hurt, a high school junior and among the most highly recruited players nationally in the class of 2019. Hurt made an unofficial visit to Indiana last year and spent time with Race, Darrell said.

Quoting Dick Bremer on Twitter: “The acquisitions of Jake Odorizzi and Logan Morrison from the financially crippled Rays reminds me of the theft of Jeff Reardon and Al Newman from the Expos before the 1987 season. Hoping for the same result.”

Reardon’s heroics as the Twins’ reliever included getting the final out in Game 7 of the 1987 World Series. Newman was a versatile utility player and he also was a contributor to the 1991 World Series championship team.

Bremer, who has been doing Twins TV play-by-play man since the 1980s, turns 62 on Thursday.

For the first time in franchise history, all 162 of the Twins’ regular season games will be televised. Fox Sports North will do 154 games, FS1 six and ESPN two including the April 18 game against the Indians from Puerto Rico.

Edina and Minnetonka are favorites to emerge as class 2A state champions next month but a sleeper pick is Moorhead. Spuds junior defenseman Ethan Frisch is a name to follow at Moorhead and he could be a star in college at North Dakota where he has verbally committed.

For the second consecutive year the Golden Gophers men’s basketball team will have the season-ending banquet at Williams Arena. The Golden Dunkers booster group will host the March 5 banquet featuring table seating on the historic arena floor. The 6 to 8:30 p.m. event includes player autographs. Seating at coach Richard Pitino’s table is $400 per person, with other tickets priced at $75 ($37.50 for eighth graders and younger). More at Goldendunkers.com.

Pitino will speak to the Twin Cities Dunkers March 6 at the Minneapolis Club. Pitino is nearing the end to his fifth season as Minnesota coach this week in the Big Ten Tournament. The Gophers play Rutgers in a first round tournament game on Wednesday night in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section. A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

(2) Readers Comments

  1. avatar
    Tom Klas
    February 27, 2018 at 5:02 pm

    David, You mentioned Edina, Minnetonka, and Moorhead as favorites for the Class AA championship. Not Saint Thomas Academy, which is presently ranked #4? I'm just curious because I'm a hockey fan, not because I'm an STA graduate (cough).

    • avatar
      David Shama
      February 28, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Thanks for the comment. I referenced Moorhead as a "sleeper" pick. Perhaps would have been better to have referenced Edina and Minnetonka as among the favorites.

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