The good and bad of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and the circumstances of Joe Mauer's $184 million contract expiring (combined with Mauer's retirement) have created a sort of passing of the torch.
As with Mauer, every failure on Cousins' part is now being micro-examined and griped about. Successes are still celebrated but they also carry a weight of "that's what he's paid for" with fans.
For a while, I thought the Wolves' Andrew Wiggins and his max contract might be the new big thing to whine about. But it's not even close. Remove the 1 from Mauer's deal, shrink it by five years, and assign it to the most important player on the most important team in this market.
The $84 million QB has stepped up nicely to fill the void left by Mauer as the guy everyone is mad at for making so much money and not succeeding 100 percent of the time.
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.