ESPN Name Drops 3 Possible Kirk Cousins Destinations

Would a Kirk Cousins
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Everything about the Minnesota Vikings’ ultra-pivotal 2024 offseason starts with Kirk Cousins. It’s just undebatable.

ESPN Name Drops 3 Possible Kirk Cousins Destinations

Minnesota can re-up with Cousins, probably in the $40 million yearly range. Or the Vikings can let him walk to free agency for the first time since 2018.

ESPN Name Drops 3
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

The outcome is truly a game of roulette; it could go either way, and no Vikings fan should be surprised. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell will eventually want “their guy” at quarterback, and Cousins turns 36 in August.

Left up to ESPN, though, Cousins could latch onto three teams if Minnesota cut ties — the Atlanta Falcons, Las Vegas Raiders, and Pittsburgh Steelers. ESPN’s Dan Graziano did not mention the New England Patriots, another team that probably needs a fresh alternative at quarterback. New England also owns the draft’s third overall pick, prime territory to nab LSU’s Jayden Daniels, for example.

a Real Chance
Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

Graziano explained the would-be Cousins new teams, “There are some in the league who believe Minnesota could try to make a big trade up for a top-three pick in the draft. That would likely mean someone like LSU’s Jayden Daniels starts for them in 2024 and Cousins goes elsewhere. Atlanta, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh and other QB-needy teams are keeping a close eye on this situation.”

Cousins was on pace for 5,000 passing yards, 38 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions last year before an Achilles tear ended his campaign at Lambeau Field in Week 8.

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

Graziano also added about the Cousins-Vikings situation, “Cousins was playing as well as any quarterback in the NFL before he got hurt, and quality starting QBs don’t hit free agency very often. It sounds like Minnesota would like to bring him back, but if he’s set on maxing out his market, it might not be able to get it done. And at some point, the Vikings know they need to think about a long-term solution at the position.”

The Falcons, per Graziano, make all the sense in the world. Atlanta’s new head coach, Raheem Morris, crossed paths with Cousins in Washington. Playmakers like Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London would feast with Cousins delivering the rock.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

The Raiders might be a bit odd, recently wrapping up seasons with Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo at QB1. Many, not all, would consider Cousins a do-over of Carr + Garoppolo. Las Vegas, though, has around $36 million to spend on free agents.

Finally, the Steelers, like the Falcons, check many boxes. Pittsburgh tunneled to the postseason in 2023 with an unflattering quarterback hodgepodge of Kenny Pickett, Mitchell Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph. Cousins would provide an immediate upgrade for Mike Tomlin’s team.

NFL free agency begins on March 11th with “legal tampering,” which is when the Cousins Sweepstakes would really catch fire if the Vikings don’t extend him.

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