It’s Basically a 4-Team Race for Kirk Cousins’ Services

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Free agency is about two weeks away, and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins tops most lists of best players available.

It’s Basically a 4-Team Race for Kirk Cousins’ Services

The 35-year-old is working his way back from a torn Achilles suffered last October and should be ready by September. His free agency can truly break in any direction, and as of February 25th, it’s basically a four-team race for his services.

These are the four teams, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = Cousins’ most likely employer in 2024).

4. New England Patriots

Basically a 4
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The Patriots possess the third overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, but before that, defacto general manager Eliot Wolf and new head coach Jerod Mayo will scour the open market. There’s a slight chance that Cousins is available for the taking, and Mayo and friends can embark on winning now, opting not to wait on the development of Drake Maye (North Carolina) or Jayden Daniels (LSU).

Always remember, New England has several roster holes to fill before free agency — QB, WR (x2), OT (x2), and EDGE — and drafting a sure-thing player like Marvin Harrison (WR, Ohio State) while signing Cousins in free agency could equate to immediate prosperity.

Generally speaking, this one is a longshot, but New England needs a quarterback.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

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The Pittsburgh Steelers may need a new quarterback in the next two months. Kenny Pickett did not develop according to plan in his second year, so much so that he appeared to get kind-of-sort-of benched for Mason Rudolph in 2023. Not ideal.

Mike Tomlin’s team could do some serious damage with Cousins under center, just needing a passer to feed George Pickens, Diontae Johnson, Najee Harris, Jaylen Warren, and Pat Freiermuth, among others.

It’s worth noting that oddsmakers are not high on Cousins to Steelers, though: a +2,500 moneyline.

2. Atlanta Falcons

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Like the Vikings, Atlanta lives in a good-but-not-great spot to draft a quarterback of the future in April. Atlanta showcases weapons galore in Bjian Robinson, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London. Meanwhile, the Falcons hired a head coach, Raheem Morris, who was a Cousins coworker from Washington.

If Cousins does not return to Minnesota, Atlanta should be considered the number-one-with-a-bullet destination for his services. He even has family ties through marriage to the state of Georgia.

1. Minnesota Vikings

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A no-brainer for probability among the teams listed, the Vikings could make the suspense end with the stroke of a pen by extending Cousins for a year or two. They’ve seemed reluctant about it, probably because Cousins’ asking price is chunky, or he wants multiple years instead of one.

But Minnesota’s offense hit its stride the very damn day that Cousins was injured in 2023. The “safest” play for the organization is re-signing him for one or two years, drafting a quarterback like J.J. McCarthy in April, and living in both worlds.

Cousins back in Minnesota is a 50-50 coinflip at the moment, and those odds are currently better than any team on the list.

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