There’s a Real Chance the Vikings Play AGAINST Kirk Cousins in 2024

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They were in the rumor mill two months ago.

When some believed the Minnesota Vikings could trade quarterback Kirk Cousins in October — it was a media- and fan-driven theory that the team never really considered — the Atlanta Falcons were a possible landing spot.

There’s a Real Chance the Vikings Play AGAINST Kirk Cousins in 2024

Now, with the Vikings’ season over, all eyes turn to Cousins’ free agency, as his and the Vikings’ contract talks will act as a first domino of Minnesota’s offseason. Whether Cousins hits the open market or re-ups with the Vikings for a year or two will determine everything else — cap space, the urgency of drafting a quarterback, 2024 win expectations, etc.

a Real Chance
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And if Cousins walks to free agency, there’s a reasonable chance he’ll sign with the Falcons, a club that encountered quarterback hell with Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke in 2023. Atlanta may draft a passer with the 8th overall pick, but if they do not, they’ll need a veteran signal-caller to feed the ball in the direction of Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson. Cousins can do that.

Based on where the Vikings finished in the NFC North this season — third-place — Minnesota will host Atlanta in the 2024 regular season, meaning Cousins versus his old teammates could play out.

Cousins to NFC
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Conversely, the Vikings may not let Cousins walk. “Kirk Cousins is going to be healthy again. I know he’s going to be a free agent after this season, but Kirk knows how I feel about him, and that will be something, you know, that hopefully will work itself out,” head coach Kevin O’Connell told reporters in late October.

Per open market pricing, Cousins will probably fetch between $40-$45 million annually via his next deal, but some think — maybe it’s just wishful thinking — he’d return to the Vikings on a “team-friendly” deal in the ballpark of $30-$37 million. It is unclear if the team-friendly arrangement would fit into the Vikings’ 2024 budget. Minnesota has about $37 million in cap space on deck for the offseason, according to OverTheCap.com.

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O’Connell added two months ago after Cousins’ season-ending injury, “You guys know how I feel about Kirk. Kirk knows how I feel about Kirk. I think he was playing as well as anybody in the National Football League.”

The rumor mill, too, is ablaze about Cousins to Falcons. Through marriage, the 35-year-old has ties to Georgia, and some feel his family would enjoy the change of scenery or at least not mind. JPA Football tweeted last week, “The Falcons are a team to keep an eye on for free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins this offseason, says Darren Wolfson. There are other teams expected to be in the mix, but Atlanta is viewed as a logical landing spot for Cousins if he doesn’t end up staying in Minnesota.”

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Minnesota holds the 11th pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, the spot where it drafted Daunte Culpepper 25 years ago. The 11th hole will be a helpful springboard if general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah wants to trade up in the draft for Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), or Michael Penix Jr. (Washington). Minnesota could also stay put sans trades and explore quarterbacks J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) and Bo Nix (Oregon).

In addition to potentially playing a Cousins-led Falcons squad next autumn, Minnesota will host Aaron Rodgers’ New York Jets at U.S. Bank Stadium.


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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