Kirk Cousins Is the Epitome of the Competitive Rebuild

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For some reason, no one wants to understand the ‘competitive rebuild’ of the Vikings. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah invented the words, and they’re actually not very hard to comprehend. In short, they want to be in the mix while overhauling the roster.

Kirk Cousins Is the Epitome of the Competitive Rebuild

It should be an easy concept to grasp, but it apparently isn’t. Most media members and many fans have no idea what this team is doing — for some reason.

Some folks summed up the offseason moves with the words, “They are blowing it up,” but that is asinine. Nobody is doing that just because the team released three players past their primes on huge contracts and crazy price tags.

Adofo-Mensah’s task was to form a younger team with less money tied up in aging players, and that’s what he’s doing.

Kirk Cousins Is the Epitome of the Competitive Rebuild
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is the ‘competitive rebuild’ in a microcosm. The Vikings want to get younger and cheaper at the position and, ideally, also better. It is the exact same thing with the other positions. So why aren’t they trying to change things by finding a new franchise QB?

Well, it is not easy to find one. The front office did its homework on the quarterbacks in the draft, but they deemed nobody good enough except Bryce Young, and he went first overall and simply wasn’t available. Another wrinkle is that Cousins is the guy that keeps the team relevant or ‘competitive’ no matter how much slander he’s receiving from some parts of the fanbase. This team is not in the mix without him. It wouldn’t have been in the last three years.

An available replacement, like Andy Dalton, doesn’t keep the Vikes as currently constructed in the competition for a playoff spot. Some Vikings fans want the organization to enter a rebuild like that, but the Vikings do not. And no matter how often the Vikings’ strategy is called a true rebuild by blowing up the roster, it is not happening, and the best proof is the quarterback.

Naughty List
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A rebuilding team would’ve simply traded him away, gone with Dalton or a similar player, and won four games in 2023. That is not the intention of Adofo-Mensah, the ownership, or Kevin O’Connell. The signing of Marcus Davenport is another obvious sign that they intend to be a good football team in the upcoming season.

However, Cousins’ contract expires after the upcoming season, and the Vikes appear ready to move on to a different player. This year, the goal was to eliminate some expensive contracts, overhaul the defense, and defend the NFC North title.

Next year, the potential rookie quarterback acquired in the draft would enter a team with an insane supporting cast for a young QB. Those players usually join catastrophic teams without much help. Minnesota employs the elite receiver in football, a Pro Bowl tight end, and a great offensive tackle duo.

camp schedule
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

All of that is paired with a former NFL QB who is an offensive-minded head coach. It is truly a special environment for any young quarterback. The Vikings also added Jordan Addison in the draft, a potential excellent second WR down the road.

It can’t be a bad team as long as Cousins is on the roster. Good passing attacks don’t compete for top-five draft picks. Expect the Vikings to improve the team further in 2024 with the cap space created by releasing Cook, Thielen, and Kendricks and target a QB in the draft.

Regardless, one thing has become apparent by the management’s words and actions: the franchise is not ready to throw seasons away by fielding a horrendous team without a real quarterback, and Cousins stands for that competitive part of the ‘competitive rebuild.’


Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt

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