The 3 Big QB Rumors in the Vikings’ Orbit
The Minnesota Vikings’ offseason has three weeks in the books, and other than the signing of cornerback A.J. Green III to a futures deal, most news about the club is purely speculative.
The 3 Big QB Rumors in the Vikings’ Orbit
No Vikings-themed talker is as prominent as the club’s choice at quarterback, deciding between an extension for long-time passer Kirk Cousins or letting him walk to free agency while drafting the next guy.
And with quarterback rumors in full swing, these are the top three at the moment, ranked in ascending order (No. 1 = most credible).
3. Russell Wilson Could be the “Patchover” Guy
Wilson and the Denver Broncos appear on the brink of a full split after the nine-time Pro Bowler was benched down the stretch of the regular season in favor of Jarrett Stidham. Equipped with ample cashflow earned in Denver, Wilson could sign for cheap at his next destination — and ESPN believes that new NFL home could be the Vikings.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler wrote earlier this month. “League sources see several logical fits for Wilson, who could thrive in an offense that schemes clearly defined throws off play-action and the running game. Don’t be surprised if Wilson, should he become a free agent, is intrigued by Minnesota, assuming Kirk Cousins doesn’t re-sign with the Vikings (a big if).”
Denver will already pay Wilson no matter what, so much so that his next team can sign him to a dinker contract. Otherwise, his payday in Denver would be offset. Therefore, Wilson has a vested interest to play for cheap in 2024.
And some believe Wilson in purple as a “bridge quarterback” is the way.
2. Kirk Cousins Could End up in Atlanta
The same analyst, Fowler, formally predicted this week that Cousins will end up with the Atlanta Falcons, teaming up with Raheem Morris, who was hired this week. Atlanta is number-one-with-a-bullet in the would-be Cousins rumor mill if he doesn’t reunite with the Vikings, and the ESPN publication does nothing to change that.
“Kirk Cousins and Bill Belichick will be Falcons … and win the NFC South. The feeling out of New England was that Belichick planned to target an established veteran quarterback for the Patriots in 2024. If he gets the Atlanta job, as some expect, he can follow a similar blueprint,” Fowler wrote Wednesday.
Atlanta’s quarterback experiment involving Desmond Ridder and former Viking Taylor Heinicke wildly flopped in 2023. The Falcons likely need a new quarterback, whether a free agent like Cousins or a rookie in the draft. Cousins also has ties to Georgia through marriage.
Fowler added, “Cousins very well might re-sign with Minnesota, but if not, the Falcons offer several high-end skill players on offense and an improving defense — they’re the proverbial quarterback away.”
Cold water might’ve been poured on this theory, though, because it seemed predicated on Bill Belichick taking the Falcons job.
1. The Vikings Are Willing to “Trade the Farm” for a Rookie QB
Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling joined Paul Allen’s show on KFAN this week and explained Minnesota’s draft mindset regarding quarterback, “If they’re going to take one, it’s going to be someone we love or we’re not doing it. If you have to give up a couple first-round picks for future years, I don’t think they’d bat an eye at that.”
A couple of reports have indicated in the last year that general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was prepared to trade up last year for Anthony Richardson or Bryce Young, depending on their draft standing, but no deal materialized. The Vikings stayed put and drafted wide receiver Jordan Addison instead, a move celebrated by essentially everybody.
“They have certainly looked at this as ‘we need to get the guy that we can plant our flag with for the next 10 years, and if it costs a lot to do that, so be it. ‘I don’t think they’re going to limp in on this, so to speak, and be like, ‘Well, if it’s QB5 and we’re kind of OK with him, let’s take him anyway,'” Goessling added.
At the Vikings’ organic 11th pick, Adofo-Mensah will be in prime territory to disavow trades and select Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), or Bo Nix (Oregon). But the question is whether Minnesota wants a blue chip, Top 3 prospect. If so, it will have to trade up near spot No. 2 or 3 with the Washington Commanders or New England Patriots for Drake Maye (North Carolina) or Jayden Daniels (LSU). Caleb Williams (USC) is expected to go off the board first, probably to the Chicago Bears, the franchise holding the pick.
Goessling added, “They looked at it last year. They probably didn’t have quite enough capital to get up to three or four to get Anthony Richardson. Richardson, Stroud, Young, they liked all three of them.”
This talker will shoot to the top of the list if Cousins is not re-signed.
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).