Prominent ESPN Personality Calls for Kirk Cousins to Jets

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins speaks before a joint practice with the Tennessee Titans in Eagan, Minn., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

The New York Jets 2023 season was supposed to be a storybook, adding Aaron Rodgers in April and later ending in a Super Bowl triumph 10 months later.

Prominent ESPN Personality Calls for Kirk Cousins to Jets

The storybook turned into a graphic novel, though, as Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon four plays into his Jets career, and that was that on his 2023 season. Rodgers seems to believe he can return for the that’s-not-gonna-happen Jets playoff push, although his theory is probably farcical.

And because the Minnesota Vikings are 0-2 and Kirk Cousins isn’t committed to Minnesota on paper after the 2023 season, the veteran quarterback’s name has spread like wildfire as a Rodgers’ replacement in East Rutherford.

Prominent ESPN
Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) leaves the field before a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

That probably won’t happen either — the Vikings won’t mail it in on a season after two losses — but the media craves the possibility of Cousins in green.

ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, a noted Jets enthusiast, is leading the charge for Cousins-to-Jets, and his vociferous strategy only amplified over the weekend when the Jets were spanked by the Dallas Cowboys, 30-10. Rodgers’ replacement, Zach Wilson, played buffoonishly, so the Cousins-trade smoke didn’t fade, not one iota.

Feb 1, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; ESPN personality Mike Greenberg is interviewed on radio row at the George R. Brown Convention Center in preparation for Super Bowl LI. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports.

Greenberg bemoaned Wilson as “not an NFL quarterback” on Monday, about two and a half years removed from Wilson’s selection as the second overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Greenberg also instructed the Jets front office, “Call the Vikings and beg them to trade you Kirk Cousins or someone else.”

Last Friday, ESPN’s Get Up showpage tweeted, “Kirk Cousins to the Jets! Who says no? Mike Greenberg is ‘all in’ for New York to make the trade for the QB.”

Aug 26, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) reacts after a game against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Vikings asking Cousins to waive his no-trade clause for an experiment with the Jets would involve the purple team mailing it in this season, just a few days after starting a season 0-2 — which is, you know, severely unlikely. Minnesota would tab Nick Mullens or Jaren Hall at quarterback and then endorse “tanking,” a practice general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah called “unconscionable” about six months ago.

Like nearly every Cousins theory, the 35-year-old is unlikely to depart the team via trade, especially in-season, and New York will probably end up rolling with Zach Wilson + an insurance policy involving a quarterback like Nick Foles.

Cousins became the first quarterback in Vikings history to throw for 700+ passing yards and 6+ passing touchdowns in the first two games of a season. And he’s the 11th quarterback in NFL history to achieve the mark, with only Drew Bledsoe (1994) and Matt Ryan (2020), plus Cousins, accompanied by 0-2 team records.

The Vikings 11 Projected
Dec 8, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up prior to the game against the Detroit Lions at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, Greenberg isn’t alone with the Cousins-to-Jets idea. Social media ran with the theory, as well, following Rodgers’ injury. So did Pro Football NetworkPFN’s Dallas Robinson also nominated Cousins as a Jets solution, “Here’s another potential option that probably wouldn’t be available until the trade deadline. Kirk Cousins seems unlikely to return to the Minnesota Vikings in 2023, so if Minnesota isn’t contending by late October, they could try to get a draft pick package for Cousins instead of letting him walk as a free agent.”

It’s also a little odd that the quarterback savaged for primetime struggles is now coveted by a Super Bowl-contending team. Either the primetime narrative is false, or folks want the Jets to trade for a quarterback who “can’t get it done” in primetime.

Cousins’ Vikings host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday to attempt a season salvage, and the Jets take on the winless New England Patriots at Metlife Stadium.

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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