Two of the more disappointing teams in the NFL this season were Baker Mayfield and the Cleveland Browns and Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings. Both looked like teams that could make some noise in 2021 with a few things ironed out.
Cleveland came into 2021 with a lot of hype around them as a Super Bowl dark horse after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers and giving the Kansas City Chiefs a run for their money in the postseason. Minnesota had some expectations after finding a groove offensively. If they could get the defense back on track, they could make some noise themselves.
Both fell woefully short as neither qualified for the postseason. They had identical 8-9 records, which has led to some major questions heading into the offseason.
For Cleveland, they have to figure out if Baker Mayfield is the answer at quarterback. Minnesota cleaned house, firing general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer. If they want to go full clean slate, Kirk Cousins could also be on the move.
Would a quarterback swap between the two teams make sense? It was a proposed crazy quarterback trade at SpinZone and it is a deal that would be intriguing for both teams.
The Browns have what looks like a Super Bowl contending roster. Make an upgrade here and there, such as wide receiver, and this is a team that could be in business. Mayfield showed toughness playing through an injury, but it has become abundantly clear that Odell Beckham Jr. was not the problem in Cleveland.
Adding the efficient Cousins could elevate an offense that wants to run the ball as much as possible. He also has experience working with Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, who was with the Vikings before taking the head job in Cleveland.
With a new regime in town, the Vikings would be getting a free look at Mayfield. Seven years younger than Cousins, Mayfield is theoretically a higher-upside, long-term option if he develops.
The pieces would be in place for the Oklahoma product to produce. Dalvin Cook is an excellent running back while Justin Jefferson and Adam Theilen combine to make one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL.
Should Mayfield struggle in 2022 in that situation, the Vikings can easily move on. Then, during the 2023 offseason, the new general manager and head coach can come together on figuring out who their quarterback of the future will be.
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