Vikings Fans Torn on QB1’s Fate beyond 2023

Watch for Kirk Cousins
Nov 10, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) reacts to a first down run in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports.

After the Minnesota Vikings lost to the New York Giants at home on January 15th, the team’s fans pondered the quarterback’s future — an annual occurrence concerning Kirk Cousins since the end of the 2019 season.

Vikings Fans Torn on QB1’s Fate beyond 2023

Folks have often wondered if Cousins would be extended, his contract left as-is, or even traded to a hungry suitor. The San Francisco 49ers are often nominated as the trade partner, but a deal never materializes.

To a degree, Minnesota’s front office put its foot down this offseason, opting not to extend Cousins beyond 2023, signaling an end to his services as a Viking, at least on paper. As it stands, the 34-year-old is scheduled to hit open free agency next March.

Vikings Fans Torn
Nov 13, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass in the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

So, what happens to Cousins after this season? Well, we asked that question of Vikings fans on Twitter. Minnesota has a handful of options:

a) Draft a Rookie QB in 2024
b) Let It Ride with Jaren Hall as QB1
c) Extend Cousins into 2024+
d) Find a non-Cousins Veteran QB

With a new leadership regime in general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell, Option A is probably afoot — at some point. Cousins will turn 35 in August, has aided the Vikings in winning just one playoff game since 2018, and is quite expensive each year.

Vikings Fans Have Majority
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in action during the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Yet, Vikings fans aren’t buying it — not yet anyway. The majority of the poll’s respondents expect Cousins back in 2024, and after that, we shall see.

Here’s the full poll.

Six hundred twenty-seven people weighed in, and the poll was unscientific.

Some 54.5% predict a seventh year in purple for Cousins, whereas 45.5% foresee another mode of QB1. And this is a very Cousins-oriented poll result, as the man is a rather divisive creature compared to most NFL signal-callers.

Oct 14, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates his touchdown with wide receiver Stefon Diggs (14) during the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Of course, the outcome largely depends on Cousins’ 2023 performance. He’ll have the same offensive coordinator in back-to-back years for the first time since 2015 and 2016, when a guy named Sean McVay led the offense in Washington. Cousins will also experience offensive line continuity for his first time as a Viking. Christian Darrisaw, Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, Ed Ingram, and Brian O’Neill are in line to start again as a fivesome. In theory, Cousins could thoroughly excel inside his ‘contract year.’

If not, though, and Minnesota loses prematurely in the postseason — or doesn’t make the tournament at all — the decision becomes more explicit. Adofo-Mensah would almost assuredly find ‘the next guy’ at QB1 in either scenario.

PurplePTSD: Cousins Evidently Had a Terrible Game
Jan 5, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass during warm-ups before an NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook -USA TODAY Sports.

Since joining the Vikings five years ago, Cousins ranks fourth in the NFL in touchdown passes and fifth in passing yards. Those rankings don’t grow on trees, and, in fact, if Jaren Hall tabulated those exact numbers from 2024 to 2028, fans would absolutely do backflips out of excitement. But Cousins, for the most part, gains no such praise.

Indeed, the Vikings quarterback could start his purple swan song in 2023, but most fans aren’t convinced ‘this is it.’

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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by