Former QB Claims Vikings Have Almighty Choice of 2 Stars

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings will spend the next few weeks, possibly five, debating and deciding to extend quarterback Kirk Cousins’ contract. The veteran passer is scheduled to hit free agency in the second full week of March.

Former QB Claims Vikings Have Almighty Choice of 2 Stars

Meanwhile, wide receiver Justin Jefferson is due for a contract extension, an eventual agreement that will set the market for all players at Jefferson’s position.

Have Almighty Choice
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And according to ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky, a former NFL quarterback, Minnesota won’t be able to do both. It’s just not possible, he says.

“You’re not gonna be able to afford both Justin at a high number and Kirk Cousins at the number that he’s probably gonna be able to command in free agency,” Orlovsky said Thursday on The Pat McAfee Show, just three days before Super Bowl LVIII.

Mel Kiper Envisions Receiver for Vikings
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As a long-term condition, Orlovsky is mostly correct. The Kansas City Chiefs proved two years ago that it’s extremely difficult to keep multiple chunky contracts on the same ledger, as Tyreek Hill was traded to the Miami Dolphins in 2022. Now, for the Vikings, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is grappling with keeping Jefferson and Cousins, plus extending outside linebacker Danielle Hunter — and left tackle Christian Darrisaw at this time next year. Adofo-Mensah made tight end T.J. Hockenson the highest-paid player ever at his position five months ago.

But as a one-year solution, perhaps two, the Vikings could probably finagle a way to make the numbers work for all parties. The comeuppance may bleed into the 2026-2028 salary cap with dead-money funds, but if Minnesota absolutely must retain Cousins and the rest of the gang, there’s a path. Executive Vice President Rob Brzezinski is good at his job.

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The aforementioned Jefferson said Wednesday on Mad Dog Radio, “I’m definitely grateful for what Minnesota has done for me. I definitely wouldn’t be in this situation if they didn’t pick me, to be the fifth receiver taken. With everything that has happened and everything I have gave to the organization, of course, I would want to stay.”

Cousins told Sky Sports about a week and a half ago about the free-agent waiting game, “I’m just waiting it out, and time will tell as those final head-coaching vacancies fill, and teams start to decide how they want to draft and handle free agency, and we’ll start to figure out — including my own team, the Vikings — where I’m going to end up. But we’ll have to wait.”

Vikings Have Either
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It is unclear which domino will fall first, Cousins’ or Jefferson’s deal, but action should heat up before the start of free agency (March 11th).

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).

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