In this unpredictable & downright crazy year the Purple have a good chance of finally breaking through to the final game of the season. That's been the case for the last few seasons and even with the loss of some stalwarts, the fact continues to be true. But I'm going to bypass the 2020 season this time around and look further down the timeline.
The 2021 season will have Kirk Cousins with a $31,000,000 cap hit that would balloon to $41,000,000 if he were to be cut. So year, Captain Kirk's the man for the next two years. And maybe longer because he'll only be 34 going into the final year of his deal. And he did just defeat the team's leading non-divisional rival. And he'll have continuity of coaching on offense this year, so his production could surpass last year's.
But can good (and occasionally great) be improved upon?
I'd be oversimplifying it to say yes but the highest of high-end examples is Alex Smith being traded-up for Patrick Mahomes.
I don't think it's a stretch to say that Kirk Cousins is a better quarterback than Smith but finding a Mahomes in the equation is akin to winning a lottery jackpot. Can that kind of lightning strike twice in the league? Maybe. I'd love it! But the reality is that the odds are as low as those occurrences happening.
It just so happens though that there's a guy who will be draft-eligible and has comparability to the MVP champion. Size and strength are the easy points of similarity but to be as special as Mahomes takes a swagger that most don't have. Trey Lance showed some of the same moxie.
I'll grant to you that there is some bias since he's come through the yard but #5 has already done things that the likes of Kurt Warner, Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Jimmy Garoppolo & Carson Wentz weren't able to. Going into his second year as a starter and only third year out of Marshall high, the guy has got pretty much all the talent evaluators drooling. I'm not taking anything away from that list of super highly accomplished quarterbacks but all of them played through their senior seasons on the 1AA/FCS level and a few took even more circuitous routes to their standings. Frankly, FCS level players aren't supposed to get the kind of buzz that Lance has gotten over the last few months as early as he has been receiving it, so who's to say that he can't come in and do more unthinkable things after a year of sitting behind a quality mentor?
All the attention and praise could go away if his play falls off but lest we not forget that he went INT-free during his first season so I like his chances of staying grounded and handling his business.
The real x-factor in this and why it may only ever be a dream is that Rick Spielman has shown an affinity for not bringing in Bison players. If things continue to trend as they have been it would require a Philly style trade-up from where Minnesota will likely (and hopefully) be selecting to keep the young man at home. With 12 2021 picks already and the potential for a couple more comps, the Purple would have the ammo to make such a move. As things stand I'm skeptical that they'll be that long-sighted and aggressive enough to make the jump.
I'll keep dreaming it though, and maybe the dream will come true. 🤞🤞🤞