Cold Water Poured on Kirk Cousins Trade Rumors

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.

If you were ready to conclude the Kirk Cousins era in Minnesota, pump the brakes because his exit probably won’t occur in the middle of the season.

Cold Water Poured on Kirk Cousins Trade Rumors

After the New York Jets lost Aaron Rodgers four plays into the 2023 regular season, many NFL pundits and some Minnesota Vikings fans decided Cousins in New York would check several boxes and that a trade was perhaps imminent.

But that was evidently all rumor and poppycock, as the Vikings reportedly have no interest in trading the 35-year-old during the season or vice versa for New York.

Poured on Kirk Cousins
Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

The Athletic‘s Dianna Russini reported Sunday, the same day the Vikings etched their first win of 2023, “The New York Jets have not called the Vikings about Cousins.”

Cousins encountered a rollercoaster game in Week 4, causing two out-of-character interceptions but delivering two strikes to Justin Jefferson for paydirt. Minnesota won 21-13.

Oct 17, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

“And despite the winless Vikings entering Week 4 with their second consecutive game against a winless opponent, two team sources said the Vikings are not punting on the season and have no plans to trade Cousins, who would have to waive his no-trade clause to be moved,” Russini added about the faux Cousins sweepstakes.

A Cousins trade to New York or anywhere was always far-fetched for three reasons: a) Minnesota was never likely to “mail it in” during the middle of the season despite cries from some fans | b) Cousins starting fresh with a brand new offense in the middle of a week isn’t a very Cousins-ish situation | c) The no-trade clause mentioned by Russini.

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) stands on the field after an incomplete pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

After 2023, however, is a different story for all things Cousins. The veteran signal-caller is not under contract in Minnesota beyond this season, and if everything stays the same, Cousins will jaunt toward open free agency in March. He can sign anywhere in the league — probably at a $45 million per-season pricetag — and begin his career’s third chapter.

The Vikings could also re-sign Cousins if he’s deemed part of the plan for 2024 and beyond, whether that involves a rookie quarterback from the 2024 NFL Draft or the status quo.

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Meanwhile, after the Atlanta Falcons Toy Story loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday morning, some of the same trade-Cousins folks speculated he could be dealt to Arthur Smith’s team. Cousins could probably make Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson cook like never before.

Yet, like the Jets steam, trading Cousins midseason is flat-out unlikely. The Vikings would probably have to accrue a 1-7 record or so by the NFL’s trade deadline for general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to “give up” and begin formally tanking.

Cousins’ Vikings host the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 5 and enter the contest as 5.5-point underdogs.

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