Vikings’ Rival Named as Possible Landing for Kirk Cousins

The 2022 Vikings, According to All National Power Rankings: Week 15
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense, but Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio believes it’s possible.

Florio named the Detroit Lions as a possible landing spot for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins if Minnesota does not retain Cousins for 2024.

Vikings’ Rival Named as Possible Landing for Kirk Cousins

Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency in March but may not see the open market if Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Cousins’ representation meet in the middle on an extension.

Rival Named as Possible
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Still, Florio said this week, “I don’t know how Lions fans feel about a [Jared Goff] for Cousins upgrade. I know how they should feel because it would be an upgrade, and it would put you in better position to potentially win a Super Bowl if you had Kirk Cousins there.”

Goff is under contract in the Motor City for 2024, but if Detroit wanted to move on, they’d eat just $5 million in dead cap funds while saving over $26 million.

Cousins Critic Does
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

Whether Cousins remains with the Vikings or departs via free agency will dominate all Vikings-themed discussions for the next 1-2 months. Reporters asked Adofo-Mensah on Wednesday if he planned to re-sign Cousins, who will turn 36 in August, and he replied, “Yeah. I’ve been pretty consistent with that. Kirk, the player, is somebody that, as we saw what he does to this team, I thought we were playing really good football before he got injured. It’s the most important position in sports.”

In addition to the Lions, the Atlanta Falcons could be in the mix for Cousins if he becomes a free agent, per Florio.

Adofo-Mensah added at the Vikings’ end-of-season press conference, “It ultimately always comes down to can you find an agreement that works for both sides and all those things, but as a player, it’s certainly my intention to have him back here.”

Is the Competitive
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Cousins and Goff aren’t worlds apart in terms of talent. Goff ranked 11th in 2023 per EPA+CPOE, an efficiency metric used to adjudicate expected wins added. Cousins ranked 5th. Goff threw 30 touchdowns to 12 interceptions this season; Cousins was on pace for 38 touchdowns and 13 picks before he tore his Achilles in late October.

On the whole, Cousins-to-Lions is unlikely to materialize for two reasons: a) Cousins is more likely to return in Minnesota for a year two; all one must do is listen to words from the team’s leadership b) The Lions just won the division for the first time in 30 years, and kicking Goff out a few weeks later would seem odd.

Lions quarterback Jared Goff passes against the Vikings during the second half of the Lions’ 34-23 win over the Vikings on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, at Ford Field. © Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Detroit also has rookie quarterback Hendon Hooker on its depth chart.

Cousins’ next contract — from the Vikings, Lions, or elsewhere — should fetch between $40-$50 million per season, although some Vikings fans think he’ll return in purple at a discount.

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