General Opinion Has Changed on Vikings QB1

Explained: Fallout from Vikings Win over New England
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Every offseason since approximately 2020, Minnesota Vikings fans line up for a potent debate on Kirk Cousins and his future with the franchise.

Cousins joined the Vikings via free agency in 2018, replacing Case Keenum, who departed for the Denver Broncos after a magical 2017 campaign. Keenum never again caught on as a consistent NFL starter.

General Opinion Has Changed on Vikings QB1

Since 2018, Cousins has guided Minnesota to two playoff trips and one win in 2019. And in 2023, the veteran signal-caller was injured in Week 8 at the Green Bay Packers, tearing his Achilles tendon and missing the season’s remainder.

General Opinion Has
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Usually, the Cousins debate is singularly focused on one item — money. He routinely finds a way to nab guaranteed money, typically at a Top-12-in-the-NFL rate. As Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency this go-round in March, many Vikings loyalists expect him to entertain a “team-friendly deal” that would check in around $35 million.

Believe it or not, unlike years past, Vikings fans seem content with welcoming Cousins back for another hurrah while also drafting a rookie quarterback with 1st-Round draft capital. Even the most boisterous Cousins critics are on board. SKOR North‘s Phil Mackey tweeted last weekend, “I’d look to sign Kirk Cousins to a very team-friendly contract AND aim to draft a QB in the 1st or 2nd round. Give yourself a room full of options at the most important position.”

Offense Must Show Ou
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Mackey’s definition of team-friendly could wildly differ from reality, but he officially endorses a Cousins-Vikings reunion.

Bleacher Report has changed its tune, too. Analyzing offseason solutions for each team in 2024, BR‘s Brad Gagnon opined about the Vikings, “The trend continues! This is somewhat of a 180-degree turn for yours truly, who has rarely supported the Minnesota Vikings’ continued, um, support of veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins. In past offseasons it has simply felt as though we’d seen Cousins at his peak, and that he just didn’t have the talent or consistency to take Minnesota on a deep playoff run. But here we are again.”

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Cousins was on pace for 5,000 yards, 38 touchdown passes, and 10 interceptions in 2023 before the injury interrupted, well, everything.

“The Vikings are unlikely to hold a top-10 draft pick, there aren’t a lot of enticing alternatives out there, and before a torn Achilles ended his season prematurely in October, he was playing some of the best football of his 12-year NFL career. The 35-year-old won’t likely come at too steep a price considering his age and health situation, and/or at the very least, he won’t require a long-term commitment,” Gagnon continued.

Vikings leaders have maintained their desire to re-sign Cousins for months, but the rubber will hit the road in two months when price is on the agenda.

Will NFL Pundits Admit
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Gagnon concluded, “If he does because somebody else will give that to him, so be it. Move on and make it a rebuild year as you load up around Justin Jefferson and a solid offensive core for 2025. But considering the potential proliferation of quarterbacks set to join the 2024 carousel, the Vikings might be able to give Cousins one more crack at it without crippling themselves financially. If so, they should.”

As soon as the Vikings season ends — whether this Sunday or after a Hail Mary playoff chance — all talkers will turn to Cousins and his future in Minnesota. This time, though, there’s a little more excitement about a sixth sequel.

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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