Veteran Vikings QB Retires, Leaves for New Start With Packers

Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell of the Minnesota Vikings.

Considered one of Kirk Cousins’ closest confidants and study partners in the Minnesota Vikings quarterback room, veteran Sean Mannion has closed the books on his playing career and crossed the border, joining the Green Bay Packers as a coach next season.

“Former Rams, Vikings and Seahawks QB Sean Mannion is ending his nine-year NFL playing career and has accepted a position on the Packers’ coaching staff,” ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported on February 3. “He’ll work with QBs and the passing game.”

Mannion, 31, was a third-round selection in the 2015 draft by the St. Louis Rams. A backup quarterback throughout his career, Mannion landed with the Vikings in 2019. His value to the team was primarily in the meeting room.

“Sean, for Kirk, was more than a study buddy. When you have a first-time coordinator in Klint Kubiak, then it really behooves you to have somebody who can share what’s happening as eloquently, quickly and from experience as Mannion,” KFAN’s Paul Allen said in August 2022. “So when people would be like Sean Mannion can’t play and he’s our backup, well, that’s hard to argue. But Cousins benefited by having Mannion by his side.”

The Vikings regime with Kevin O’Connell at the helm pivoted off Mannion for the 2022 season. He made his way back to Minnesota for a third time last season, signing to the practice squad on October 11 before landing with the Seattle Seahawks in December.

Mannion made three starts in his career, his last being a Week 17 loss to the Packers in 2021 in place of Cousins, who was on COVID-19 protocol. He threw the only touchdown of his career in a 37-10 loss that game, which eliminated the Vikings from playoff contention in Mike Zimmer’s final year as head coach.

Vikings Should Worry About Sean Mannion Mentoring Packers QBs

Sean Mannion

GettySean Mannion (14) was signed to the Vikings’ practice squad on Wednesday, October 11, 2023.

For Vikings fans, it’s hard to accept the Packers may have found their third franchise quarterback in as many tries with Jordan Love — but giving Love a quarterback mentor like Mannion adds insult to injury.

“I’ve heard from several people over the last few years who said Mannion is destined to eventually coach because of his intelligence and understanding of the game,” Henderson posted on X (formerly Twitter).

Seahawks general manager John Schneider went as far to say Mannion will be a head coach in the league. Mannion will take the first steps toward putting Schneider’s words to the test starting in Green Bay next season.

“Sean is probably going to end up being a head coach in this league at some point,” Schneider said, per “… He’s a guy that is like another coach in the room for Geno (Smith) and Drew (Lock).”

What Sean Mannion’s Retirement Says About Vikings-Kirk Cousins Future

Kirk Cousins and Sean Mannion

Courtesy of VikingsKirk Cousins (left) and Sean Mannion (right)

Mannion calling it a career comes in the wake of major changes to the only two teams that have rostered him in the past five years.

The Seahawks are moving on from legendary head coach Pete Carroll, replacing him with Mike Macdonald, while the Vikings may move off of Cousins after six years.

Yes, the Vikings were comfortable without Mannion in the quarterback room in 2022. That doesn’t necessarily discount that Mannion could have considered Cousins’ future and whether he could follow Cousins to his next team.

Read More