The 5 Teams Kirk Cousins Could Play for in 2024

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles tendon in late October, ending his sixth season in Minnesota.

The man is also scheduled for free agency in March.

The 5 Teams Kirk Cousins Could Play for in 2024

Vikings leaders have hinted for months that they’d enjoy Cousins back in 2024, but with a salary cap demanding payments to Justin Jefferson, Danielle Hunter, Christian Darrisaw, and [already] T.J. Hockenson, it is unclear if Cousins’ customary request for $35-45 million will fit in the budget.

Generally speaking, these are the top five landing spots for Cousins next season, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most likely spot).

5. Los Angeles Rams

The 5 Teams Kirk
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Current QB:
Matthew Stafford

If Stafford hangs it up — there’s not too much hoopla about that right now — Sean McVay would need a quarterback. And McVay worked with Cousins for five seasons in Washington from 2012 to 2016.

This one is predicated on Stafford’s retirement, and if he skedaddles, Cousins would make all the sense in the world to end up in Los Angeles, extending McVay’s Super Bowl window, assuming the team retools this offseason.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Current QB:
Baker Mayfield

Although they beat the Vikings in September, the Buccaneers’ season has floundered, and Baker Mayfield and friends own a 4-7 record, probably out of the mix for the postseason.

Tampa Bay will likely use a 1st-Round pick on a quarterback to reignite life without Tom Brady under center, but there’s always a chance it gauges Cousins’ interest in a free-agent relationship. The Buccaneers employ Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and those men aren’t terribly young.

If the Buccaneers want to try and win now (2024), Cousins is a reasonable solution.

3. Atlanta Falcons

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Current QB:
Desmond Ridder

The Falcons were sideways in the rumor mill two months ago for Cousins when some thought the Vikings might offload the passer after a lousy 1-4 start. Of course, the Vikings began winning games and held no fire sale at the trade deadline.

But the Desmond Ridder + Taylor Heinicke combo at quarterback isn’t working, and the Falcons have more weapons than a survivalist’s basement. Cousins could uncork players like Kyle Pitts, Bijan Robinson, and Drake London.

Atlanta will also have about $50 million cap space, which would satiate Cousins’ asking price.

2. New England Patriots

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Current QB:
Mac Jones

Mac Jones performs well about once every five games, and that won’t cut it long-term in the NFL. New England could use its upcoming high draft pick to draft Drake Maye, for example, in April. But if they do not, Cousins should be at the top of their shopping list.

Especially if Bill Belichick stays, the Patriots’ defense will remain solid, only needing a consistent and productive QB1 to guide the ship. Cousins can be that.

New England has the second-most cap space available in 2024 free agency, on deck to work with a $90 million budget. Fling $35-$45 million at Cousins, and New England can return to the playoffs.

1. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings Apparently Have a Great Offensive Line
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Current QB:
Who Knows?

It’s time for the Vikings to draft a quarterback of the future, but if Minnesota wants to be one of the teams that works a youngster gradually into the business, re-signing Cousins for a year or two checks out. There’s always a slim chance, recovering from a major injury, that Cousins takes a smaller deal than usual — so, like, $30 million instead of $40 million. It’s a longshot, but it’s possible.

Then, Minnesota could use its 1st-Round draft pick on someone like Jayden Daniels (LSU) or J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) and let the guy soak behind Cousins for a year.

“Kirk Cousins is going to be healthy again. I know he’s going to be a free agent after this season, but Kirk knows how I feel about him, and that will be something, you know, that hopefully will work itself out,” head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters after Cousins’ season-ending injury.

The Vikings coaching staff and front office love Cousins. That has to mean something.


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 OverTheCap.com.

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