Vikings Lead the Way via Trade Odds for Once-Promising QB

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Arizona Cardinals
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings have less than two weeks to decide Kirk Cousins’ fate as free agency’s “legal tampering” kicks off on March 11th.

Vikings Lead the Way via Trade Odds for Once-Promising QB

Cousins could re-sign with the Vikings for a seventh season or embark on free agency where he’d sign with a new team like the Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, or New England Patriots, for example.

Vikings Lead the Way
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) throws the ball as Buffalo Bills linebacker Matt Milano (58) tackles him during the first half of the home opener at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

And according to Sportsline, with or without Cousins back in the saddle, the Vikings are the odds-on favorite to land New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson. Yes, him.

The Jets permitted Wilson to seek a trade this week, a situation that seems like it will end up with an outright release when the dust settles. The Jets advertising Wilson on the trade market is like an average person selling socks with holes in them on Facebook Marketplace.

Folks Are Now Mad
Tennessee Titans general manager Ran Carthon chats with Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah during practice in Eagan, Minn., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

But Sportsline claims Minnesota could want those socks, posting these odds for Wilson’s next team after the news hit that he’d likely leave New York:

  • Minnesota Vikings = +300
  • Las Vegas Raiders = +300
  • Kansas City Chiefs = +400
  • Los Angeles Rams = +600
  • San Francisco 49ers = +700
  • Denver Broncos = +900
  • Philadelphia Eagles = +1000
  • Atlanta Falcons = +1200
  • Buffalo Bills = +1500
New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) warms up at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2022. NFL NY Jets Vs. Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars At Jets. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK.

Some believe a geographical cure could do wonders for the 24-year-old. In this scenario, Minnesota could send a late-round draft pick to New York for Wilson or wait for his release, re-sign the aforementioned Cousins for a couple of years, and hope head coach Kevin O’Connell can develop Wilson in the background. Then, if he showed promise behind the scenes, he could take over for the Vikings down the road. He also now has ample QB2 experience.

Wilson has severely underwhelmed in three seasons since joining the Jets as the 2nd overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft. He ranked 30th of 30 qualifying quarterbacks in 2023 via EPA+CPOE, bedfellows with Mac Jones and Aidan O’Connell — and not in a good way.

Wilson joining the Vikings was a midseason theory last year, too, advanced on The Bill Simmons Podcast by The Athletic’s Benjamin Solak. Of course, the trade never materialized.

Zach Wilson Whispers
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

If the Vikings cut ties with Cousins, or even if they re-sign him to a short-term extension, the franchise is expected to explore a rookie quarterback from this year’s draft. Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2.

Anything is possible regarding Wilson + the Vikings, but it probably wouldn’t be a standalone QB1 solution if the relationship came to fruition.

Wilson will turn 25 in August.


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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