Questions Answered: Saquon Barkley, Big Spenders, Cousins + Raiders

Free Agency Options
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by VikingsTerritory. Today is the February 22nd edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

Questions Answered: Saquon Barkley, Big Spenders, Cousins + Raiders

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

Big Spenders
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Q: Do you think the Vikings will pursue Saquon Barkley or another big-name RB in free agency to finally fix the rushing problem?

Vikings Can Face 4 Teams
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Answer: No, probably not.

Minnesota really, really needs a run-game solution, but flinging $10 million per season at Saquon Barkley doesn’t seem like something the “Moneyball” general manager would do. It feels more likely that the Vikings use a 3rd- or 4th-Round draft pick on a runner like MarShawn Lloyd (USC) or Bucky Irving (Oregon), for example, because of the affordability factor.

Then, that rookie could pair with Ty Chandler to share RB1-RB2 duties, with Alexander Mattison at RB3.

We could be wrong on this one, but spending mucho dinero on a veteran running back doesn’t seem like the Kwesi Adofo-Mensah blueprint for team building.

Q: Will the Vikings be big spenders in free agency?

Subtract Any
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Answer: Relatively speaking, yes.

The Vikings have about $25 million in cap space as of February 22nd, which can grow even higher depending on Harrison Smith’s status or a Brian O’Neill [possible] contractual restructuring. Minnesota will likely target defensive help in free agency, needing EDGE defenders, a defensive tackle, an inside linebacker, and perhaps a cornerback.

But one thing is for sure: the Vikings have more money available this offseason than any since 2017 or so.

Of course, if Kirk Cousins is re-signed, the available funds will dwindle unless his deal is backlogged with void years.

Q: Would Kirk Cousins make sense on the Raiders because all they have is Aidan O’Connell?

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

A: It could make sense, but we don’t expect it to materialize.

The Raiders should try a fresh approach at quarterback, focusing on a rookie passer or trading for someone like Justin Fields. Heading into a season with Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo as the proposed solution hasn’t done much of anything in the last decade. While Cousins is a better quarterback than Carr and Garoppolo, he isn’t a completely massive upgrade over either.

Las Vegas should identify their quarterback of the future from the draft or via trade and try a younger solution because recent veteran fixes have been half-measured.

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