The Sequel: More Kirk Cousins Trade Destinations

Explained: The Vikings Familiar Weakness from a National Standpoint
Aug 18, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings offensive lineman Garrett Bradbury (56) snaps to quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) during the first quarter against the Seattle Seahawks at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Following on from my piece on most likely Kirk Cousins trade destinations, I will look at four more teams that are possible Kirk Cousins trade destinations. I don’t think these teams are as likely as the first four, though a change in situation could change that for at least two of them. There is a possibility of these teams being interested in the right circumstances.

San Francisco 49ers

Kirk Cousins to San Francisco rumors are a yearly occurrence due to Kyle Shanahan’s reported love of the Vikings quarterback. After trading three 1st rounds pick and a 3rd round pick to the Miami Dolphins to move up to the number three overall pick in the 2021 draft and select quarterback Trey Lance, that should put to bed any future thoughts of Cousins heading to the Bay Area, right?

Not quite.

The 49ers narrowly missed out on a second super bowl in three seasons. After late heroics from Matthew Stafford gave the LA Rams a 20-17 win in the NFC championship game, Jimmy Garoppolo has had his chances, and the 49ers will likely look to trade him resultantly.

The big question facing them is whether Trey Lance is ready to lead a super bowl charge. The 49ers shouldn’t be looking for a step back in 2022, and the evidence from the time Lance spent on the field doesn’t show a quarterback ready to lead a team to a super bowl. Having played so little football in college, Lance always seemed a long-term project rather than an immediate starter. Turning to Cousins for one or two more goes at a Super Bowl before handing the keys to Lance isn’t completely outrageous. Trading Garoppolo would go a long way to finding that cap space. The 49ers have already given away their first-round pick. So, we’d be looking at second and third-rounders if a deal was done. I don’t want Jimmy Garoppolo in Minnesota.

Washington Commanders

The newly named Washington Commanders would have made the “most likely” list, but for one obvious reason. Washington is where Kirk Cousins was drafted and left to join the Vikings. Should that influence the decision-making in Washington? I don’t think so, but I feel it probably will.

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and Minnesota Vikings offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw (71) celebrate after the touchdown in the second half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

After a somewhat surprising trip to the playoffs in 2020, they opted to try for some “Fitzmagic.” That didn’t work out. Ryan Fitzpatrick was injured in his first game and spent the season on injured/reserve. That left them with Taylor Heinicke at quarterback, which led to indifferent results and a 7-10 record — five games behind the Dallas Cowboys and outside of the playoffs.

Would Kirk Cousins make Washington challengers to Dallas? He’d get them close, but I think it’s more likely that they will look to draft a quarterback. Picking at number 11 puts them in a good spot to try and find their quarterback of the future to coincide with their rebrand. That just feels the right fit.

Seattle Seahawks

We come to two teams that aren’t in the picture for Kirk Cousins right now. However, that could all change if their quarterback moved somewhere else.

There were many rumors regarding a Russell Wilson trade last offseason. In the end, he stayed in Seattle and led the Seahawks to a 7-10 record, three games behind third-place San Francisco. The era of the Seahawks being a dominant force in the NFC West looks over, and somewhat of a rebuild is needed. Meanwhile, 33-year-old Wilson will want a chance at another super bowl. A trade just makes sense.

Currently, the Seahawks don’t pick until the 2nd round of the 2022 NFL draft, although a trade of Wilson certainly brings in a 1st. The long-term plan would be to draft the next Russell Wilson. If they aren’t able to get or don’t fancy any of this year’s rookies, they could use Cousins as an expensive bridge quarterback who’d give you a chance at staying competitive. The price would be steep, but the Seahawks would have plenty of cap space available.

Las Vegas Raiders

Finally, we have the Las Vegas Raiders and their quarterback Derek Carr, who is in the final year of his contract and would be due for a big pay rise if given an extension following a good season in which he took the Raiders to the playoffs.

The problem here is the reason to move on from Carr is an unwillingness to pay “Kirk Cousins type money” to a “Kirk Cousins level” of quarterback. For my money, Cousins is the better QB, but general perception probably has them both ranked around the edge of the top 10 in the league.

The only way this works out is if the Raiders can get a really good trade deal for Carr and persuade the Vikings to give up Kirk on the cheap. Then, get Cousins to sign a new, more team-friendly deal. It’s an outside shot, but if they do enter the quarterback market, the Raiders will want someone who can keep them competitive after getting back in the playoffs this season. Marcus Mariota to Minnesota as a bridge quarterback could be part of a deal.