Kirk Cousins’ Future Is Fluid after 2023
Now that the draft is over and the Vikings have selected a quarterback, what is the future of Kirk Cousins? Well, it is safe to say that Kirk Cousins’ future is fluid after 2023. He said as much himself at the Wednesday press conference.
Where does Cousins’ contract stand right now? In March, the Vikings renegotiated his contract to create additional cap space. Although, renegotiation means that the Vikings will eat a $28 million dead-cap charge in 2024 if nothing further is done with the contract. Regardless, this move clearly signaled that the Vikings were not ready to commit to Kirk beyond 2023.
However, the door for Kirk to return as the starting quarterback in 2024 is not closed. Several factors include the development of Jaren Hall, Cousins’ performance in 2023, the 2024 draft, and Cousins’ contract price.
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has made it very clear that cap space flexibility is an important part of his organizational development. He does not want to ever find himself in a situation where he does not have some sort of leverage. This is a stark change of the guard from Rick Spielman, who accepted rigid terms from Cousins and heavily favored him.
It is important to note that Kwesi also doesn’t want to leave the organization with just anybody at quarterback. There must be a plan for the most important position on the team. This is where Jaren Hall and the 2024 draft come into play.
Kirk Cousins’ Future Is Tied to a Developmental Quarterback
The Vikings selected Jaren Hall in the 2023 draft. Many hopeful Vikings fans believe he could be the guy to take the team’s reigns in 2024. However, I am a bit skeptical of this option.
Of course, he could certainly develop into an excellent player and solid starter. But he was selected at pick 164 for a reason. There is a whole lot of development to occur still. And there is a big question mark on whether he can develop at 25.
That said, there is a lot to like about Hall. He has a pretty solid arm and was a leader at BYU. One of the most impressive things I have seen in his film is his ability to hit the “turkey hole” throw. This throw is a fade route to the sideline, typically 20 to 30 yards downfield. It is one of the most difficult throws a quarterback makes due to the distance and touch you must have.
Here he is making that throw from the far hash:
This is an encouraging sign for a potential successor to Cousins. However, there is a good chance he doesn’t turn out to be “the guy.” If so, the Vikings will turn to the 2024 draft.
It is no secret that the Vikings were eyeing up a quarterback this year in the draft, but the board did not fall the way they needed. Many reports suggested they wanted Anthony Richardson or CJ Stroud but were only willing to move up to pick 8 to get the job done.
If Jaren Hall doesn’t develop well this year, they must be very aggressive in 2024. Getting one of the top 2 quarterbacks next year will likely mean moving up into the top-5. And yes, it will mean mortgaging the future because there is no way the Vikings will be so back this year that they get a top-5 pick naturally.
The question that Kwesi and KOC will need to ask themselves is, is there a guy we like enough to make such a move?
However, there is a chance that they don’t even need to ask themselves that question at all. If Kirk Cousins goes out in 2023 and performs at an elite level, which is possible with Addison, Jefferson, Hockenson, and Osborn, Kwesi will give him an extension. If that happens, we as fans should be absolutely stoked because that means the team had an amazing run and maybe even won the super bowl.
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Mitch Massman is a lifelong Vikings fan. His first heartbreak was the 1998 NFC championship game. His full-time job is as an economic development professional in rural Minnesota. He fantasizes about the Vikings winning a Super Bowl one day, but until then he will write about the Vikings. Follow him on Twitter @skol_vikings3
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