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Monday Morning Mailbag: Practicing Patience with Vikings Next Moves

Do you have a comment or question? Send it to the Mailbag! Every Monday we'll post several comments and/or questions as part of the Monday Morning Mailbag. Although we can't post every comment or question, we will reply to every question submitted.

Click here to submit a comment or question to the Mailbag, which is presented by FedEx. Remember to include your name and town on the email. The questions below have been edited for clarity.

You can also send Eric a Mailbag question via Twitter.

Who will the Vikings hire as the assistant to [General Manager] Kwesi Adofo-Mensah? Also, I believe the Vikings should move on from Klint Kubiak as the OC, move Adam Zimmer away from assistant DC and leave Andre Patterson as the DC. They need to get an O-line coach that will light a fire under the O-line to play smashmouth football.

— Allen Zierden

Lots of questions from Allen, and many other emailers this week, asking about the state of the Vikings front office.

It's worth pointing out that the Vikings continued their head coaching search by interviewing four different candidates last week.

And while the team has not officially made any announcements on who that head coach will be, more than one of those candidates cannot officially be named to the position if they happen to be coaching in a big football game this coming Sunday.

So, that's where we're at with the head coaching search. I wanted to address it off the top because it's certainly a unique situation.

As for the other specific questions Allen posed, let's quickly run through them.

I wrote in last week's Mailbag that the head coaching search was priority No. 1 for the Vikings. And while that search might be resolved soon, the next item on that list would be the coaching staff for that particular head coach.

And somewhere after that might be the assistant GM to Adofo-Mensah if the Vikings choose to fill that position. Minnesota already has Executive Vice President of Football Operations Rob Brzezinski and Co-Directors of Player Personnel Ryan Monnens and Jamaal Stephenson in place. Brzezinski has been with the organization since 1999. Monnens and Stephenson just completed their 20th seasons with the Vikings and first in their current roles.

As for the other coaches mentioned, Kubiak has already officially been announced as the Passing Game Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach in Denver.

Good for Kubiak, who might have endured a rough first season as an OC here in 2021 but certainly was put in a tough spot there, too. Personally, he and I had a friendly relationship, and I'm sure his return to Denver — where he worked from 2016-18 and has plenty of family roots — will be a welcome change of scenery for him.

As for Zimmer and Patterson, those decisions might not come after the head coach is hired and gives some input on the staff.

I think the best word I can preach right now is 'patience.' Yes, we all want to rush to finalize everything, but some things work a bit slower early in the offseason.

Don't worry, Vikings fans, there is plenty of excitement to come.

Why would the Vikings pass on Jim Harbaugh? He might well have ended up a short-term coach, but talk about firing up the fan base. And I believe he'd have turned things around in a hurry. Harbaugh wanted too much say-so? A hot, up-and-comer OC or DC would be available to be a head coach a few years from now. The league won't run out of them.

— Steven Terry

The interview process of Harbaugh concluded Wednesday when he was the first to announce he is remaining at the University of Michigan.

Steven makes some valid points in favor of Harbaugh, who certainly brought a strong track record and personality to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center when he was here on Wednesday.

But while there was plenty, emphasis on plenty, of speculation in the media and on social media, most of that centered on the fact that the Vikings might seemingly just hand Harbaugh the keys to franchise once he walked through the door.

I'm not sure any NFL team would do that, no matter who the interviewee was.

Job interviews are often a two-way street, especially ones between an NFL franchise and a head coach candidate. Both sides have to agree on the fit, and the team making the hire sure as heck needs to be 100-percent sold on that person.

So, no, Harbaugh won't be the Vikings next head coach.

But Vikings Entertainment Network hopes to tell plenty of stories this offseason on just how both the GM and HC searches unfolded. Once the Vikings get a head coach on board, look for that content on multiple platforms.

And a one quick note on Steven's final line about just simply hiring the next notable coordinator who becomes available.

In short, I disagree. Why would you pass on a candidate you're high on just to see what comes around in subsequent years.

No team hires someone through the prism of, 'I wonder who will be up-and-coming" in three years.

I'm really excited for the new regime changes and am hopeful they will help bring us to the promised land! In light of these hires, I'm thinking Kirk Cousins is likely to stay on, which is both good and bad. With him comes a hefty price tag resulting in limited cap space, which we so desperately need to sign some awesome free agents. Can he offer to take a pay cut like Tom Brady and others have done for the sake of the team? Seems only fair. Truth be told, he hasn't been the missing piece we needed when the pressure has been on and his stats, I believe, have been inflated from the play of our super talented receivers. When you analyze his passes, many aren't on target but behind or ahead. I would prefer he be asked to sacrifice for the sake of keeping the team together and/or improving it; not Adam Thielen or Harrison Smith — as has been mentioned by other pundits.

— Bernie in NYC

Remember when I preached patience at the end of the first question of Mailbag? That attitude also applies to Cousins, who is once again a hot topic and on the forefront of the minds of Vikings fans.

To quickly recap once again: Cousins is entering the final season of his current deal is 2022 and will currently count for a $45 million cap hit.

The Vikings could let him play that year out, restructure and extend him (which is what happened in March of 2020) or try to find a trade partner for him.

Bernie pines for the middle option there, but seems to suggest that Cousins and his camp do so at a lower figure than he's been paid since arriving in Minnesota in 2018.

Will that happen? I have no idea.

Should it? That's not my call to make.

I've always advocated for players to get paid while they can. Yet, it's also worth mentioning that players such as Brady, clearly for the math equation, that was taking less money so that other areas of the roster could be aided, too.

View photos of the Vikings during the 2022 Pro Bowl game in Las Vegas, Nev. at Allegiant Stadium.

I do think Bernie's point about Cousins' being inaccurate is a bit off target itself, as he is routinely one of the league's most-accurate throwers. In fact, he's finished 10th or better in completion percentage in three of his four seasons in Purple.

And yes, there have been multiple 1,000-yard receivers in his time here, including current stars Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, but somebody has got to get them the ball, too, right?

If we've learned anything about Cousins in his four years with the Vikings, it's that he's probably at the top of the list in terms of polarizing figures. That's probably the life of most quarterbacks, though.

As for his future, that's on the list of questions that need to be answered at some point this offseason.

But, if I can once again preach patience, that likely comes after the head coaching hire, after the coaching staff is set and likely after the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine.

View photos of Vikings players from the second day of practice at the 2022 Pro Bowl in Las Vegas, Nev. on Feb 5.

If that seems like a long time to wait, it won't be. The combine festivities kick off in three weeks, and the NFL's 2022 New League Year will be here in just 37 days.

Things are about to get really interesting for the Vikings in the coming weeks.