The Kirk Cousins Timeline Takes Shape

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The 2023 NFL season is complete, and the Kansas City Chiefs are champions. After winning five straight Super Bowls from 1981 to 1994, the San Francisco 49ers have lost three in a row (2012, 2019, and 2023.).

The Kirk Cousins Timeline Takes Shape

Now, the league embarks on its offseason, and free agency is one month away.

Cousins Timeline Takes
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Among popular Minnesota Vikings-themed talkers, Kirk Cousins’ lingering free agency dominates. The offseason starts with the decision to extend Cousins for a year, two, or three — or to let the man hit open free agency in four weeks.

And according to ESPN, the Vikings front office could decide by the month’s end. On Super Bowl eve, ESPN’s Dan Graziano wrote about the Cousins timeline, “Kirk Cousins’ impending free agency is a story at this year’s Super Bowl, much like it was six years ago when the big game was in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Vikings are working to see if they can keep their 35-year-old quarterback — who is coming off an Achilles tear — and they’d like to have an answer in the next few weeks so they can plan accordingly.”

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The “legal tampering” phase of free agency begins on March 11th, so if Minnesota is interested in re-signing the passer, it likely has to do it at least a few days before Cousins sees the light of the open market. Some fans have held out hope that Cousins would accept a “hometown discount,” while others recognize his market value, which is around $45 million annually.

The Vikings encountered a somewhat similar situation to Cousins’ with Case Keenum in 2018, and that news surfaced on February 26th, 2018 — that Keenum was not in the organization’s plans after he helped guide Minnesota to the NFC Championship. There is a chance that word is leaked to the press before March about Cousins’ fate in Minnesota.

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Yet, according to Cousins, it’s a March thing. He told Sky Sports about two weeks ago, “Many people who ask including friends and family are surprised conversations don’t really begin until March.”

The Vikings’ leaders have said for months, nearly a year, that they’d like Cousins back for Year No. 7 if the contract terms align. The veteran signal-caller was on pace for 5,000 passing yards, 38 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions before his unfortunate Achilles tear three months ago. Minnesota finished the season 3-6 without him.

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“I would love to know where I’m going. I would love to get those conversations going now, but I’m just sitting at home watching the playoffs and don’t have much going on apart from rehab,” Cousins added while chatting with Sky Sports.

If the Vikings don’t re-sign Cousins, drafting a quarterback in Round 1 would become damn near mandatory. Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Round 1.

The ESPN article also hinted that the Vikings could explore a splashy draft trade involving LSU’s Jayden Daniels. Graziano wrote, “Minnesota knows it eventually has to address the quarterback position long term, and the notion of bringing in Daniels to pair with their star LSU alum wideout Justin Jefferson has appeal to some in the organization.”

Cousins will turn 36 in August.

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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