ESPN Hints at Kirk Cousins’ 2024 Fate

Will NFL Pundits Admit
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No matter how the Minnesota Vikings finish the topsy-turvy 2023 season, a loud discussion regarding Kirk Cousins awaits.

The 35-year-old quarterback tore his Achilles in October, is a free agent in the offseason, and is adored by the Vikings’ coaching staff and front office.

ESPN Hints at Kirk Cousins’ 2024 Fate

But like every angle relating to Cousins since the start of 2018, the man will be expensive. One might believe a soon-to-be 36-year-old quarterback returning from a serious injury could be signed for cheap. Nothing, though, is ever affordable with Cousins.

ESPN Hints at Kirk
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So, in a few months, all Vikings-related talkers will turn to Cousins and his fate in Minnesota. The Vikings could re-sign him for a year or two, probably for $40 million per season. Otherwise, Cousins will hit free agency and potentially join a club like the New England Patriots or Atlanta Falcons, for example.

Per ESPN, however, the enthusiasm for Cousins to remain in Minnesota is more palpable than most believe. The sports media giant mentioned Cousins’ next steps this week as a panel of Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler pondered this question: “Will Minnesota get through the season with a mix of Joshua Dobbs and Jaren Hall and just say, forget it, let’s throw Cousins the bag and run it back?”

Where Do the Vikings Go
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Graziano opined, “That’s absolutely on the table. Cousins likes it in Minnesota, and the Vikings won’t have a high enough draft pick to take one of the truly elite prospects. Plus, coach Kevin O’Connell’s first two seasons in Minnesota indicate the Vikings can and do expect to contend, rather than rebuild.”

Minnesota lives in a foundational spot where it’s probably time for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell to draft a “quarterback of their own” with high-draft capital to plan for life after Cousins. Because if not now, when?

no quit
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“I was wrong on them. I thought this season would be about figuring out who was and wasn’t part of the future, but they have managed to weather the losses of Cousins and Justin Jefferson to injury and stay in the race. Kudos to them,” Graziano continued.

The Vikings could certainly retain Cousins for a couple of years and draft a player like Jayden Daniels from LSU or Bo Nix from Oregon, but like always with Cousins, the pricetag is the hinge. Can the club afford Cousins’ probable $40 million price range while extending Justin Jefferson, Danielle Hunter, and Christian Darrisaw, among others? The Kansas City Chiefs proved in 2022 that it’s close to impossible for a high-paid wide receiver like Tyreek Hill to accompany Patrick Mahomes’ top-tier quarterback money if the organization wishes to build a formidable roster, including a defense. Maybe the Vikings can be the rule’s exception, but it’s unlikely.

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Graziaon concluded, “They have a large menu of QB options next offseason, and it’s certainly possible they pivot away from Cousins to a different one. But he and the team do like each other a lot, and I wouldn’t rule out a return. You just know he isn’t going to come cheap!”

When Jefferson’s mammoth extension money fully kicks in — probably in 2025 — the time is now for an affordable quarterback. A rookie is generally the only way to do that.

But ESPN seems to think the Vikings can “do both” — pay Cousins and Jefferson, at least for a brief period.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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