9 Predictions for the Vikings’ QB in Week 1

Vikings QB1
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports.

Soon, Minnesota Vikings fans will learn if quarterback Kirk Cousins returns to Minnesota for a seventh season. Free agency is about two weeks away, and a Cousins verdict will be rendered then or before.

9 Predictions for the Vikings’ QB in Week 1

Meanwhile, we asked VikingsTerritory writers to predict the QB1’s identity for Week 1. These are their responses.

1. Nick Mullens

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Janik Eckardt

Kirk Cousins exits the franchise after six years, and the Vikings draft his successor in April. Because most franchises don’t start their rookie in Week 1, it will be Nick Mullens for a few weeks until the rookie is prepared.

2. Drake Maye

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Dustin Baker

Kirk Cousins will depart the franchise after six seasons, probably latching onto the Atlanta Falcons. Then, the New England Patriots will realize they can turn the third overall pick into four high-round selections. The Vikings will call, and the deal will be made.

Washington will draft Jayden Daniels at No. 2 because Kliff Kingsbury prefers Daniels’ style more than Maye’s — see: Kyler Murray and Caleb Williams.

And badda bing, Minnesota will draft Maye on April 25th.

3. J.J. McCarthy

Forced by Broncos
Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy celebrates after the 34-13 win over Washington to win the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

Prediction Maker: Adam New

It takes one team to offer Kirk Cousins the guaranteed money he wants for the Vikings to pivot to a rookie. I predict that will happen, and the Vikings will take J.J. McCarthy and trust the national championship-winning quarterback to run the offense from Week 1.

4. J.J. McCarthy

for Vikings Rookie
December 31, 2022; Glendale, Ariz; USA; Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy (9) throws a pass during the pregame before the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Ncaa Fiesta Bowl Game

Prediction Maker: Cole Smith

I predict the Vikings’ QB1 for Week 1 will be JJ McCarthy. The Michigan product might not have all of the highlight-reel plays that Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels have, but he started in a pro-style offense for two years. His ability to consistently convert on third-and-long and throw on the run makes him an intriguing prospect. Now, do the Vikings wait for him to fall to 11, or do they trade up for him?

5. Kirk Cousins

9 Predictions for the
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Josh Frey

Of course, this could depend on how much money Cousins can garner on the open market. The Vikings shouldn’t overpay to bring the veteran back in 2024, but I remain unconvinced that heading into his age-36 season and coming off an Achilles injury, he will get $40-50 million in guaranteed money from anybody this offseason. The Vikings were playing strong football when Cousins was in the lineup and run it back one more time.

6. Kirk Cousins

Picks Another Fight
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Kyle Joudry

Still thinking it’s Kirk Cousins. He may leave, but both sides value the partnership, so both sides give ground a bit in negotiations. So, I’ll go with the boring answer and say, Mister Cousins.

7. Kirk Cousins

Buzz Takes Stab
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Ali Siddiqui

The Vikings will re-sign him for two years and draft a rookie in the first round.

8. Kirk Cousins

London Calling for
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction Maker: Wes Johnson

Kirko Chainz, QB1, them bullies of the North. That’s right. Kirko returns for season #7 in Minnesota. Eschewing the Christian Kirk Cousins moniker and truly entering his NFL bad boy era, following Ochocinco and Metta World Peace before him, Kirk Daniel Cousins is no more. We officially enter the Kirko Chainz experience. There will be dancing on Tuesday, there will be flashy jewelry on Tuesday, and there will be a championship parade on a Tuesday.

9. Kirk Cousins

Vikings QB Situation
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Prediction Maker: Ted Schwerzler

Kirk Cousins is back under center because the Vikings had to pay Justin Jefferson’s guy to keep continuity. They draft a rookie, but that guy isn’t ready to start yet.

Ideally, they pay Justin Jefferson and trade what it takes to get Jayden Daniels and set up the future.


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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