Brian O’Neill Has Endorsement for Next Vikings QB

Significant Week 18
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports.

On New Year’s Eve, Minnesota Vikings right tackle Brian O’Neill played with a broken bone in his foot during a loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Plus, O’Neill also revealed his endorsement for the Vikings’ 2024 quarterback on Monday.

Brian O’Neill Has Endorsement for Next Vikings QB

Left up to him, Kirk Cousins will return as QB1, and it’s a no-brainer for O’Neill.

Endorsement for Next
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins speaks before a joint practice with the Tennessee Titans in Eagan, Minn., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

“Absolutely. Absolutely. One thousand million percent. That’s my guy. I’d tell anybody that. Ten-thousand percent. I love that guy,” O’Neill replied when asked about Cousins’ prospect of returning in 2024.

Cousins is a free agent in March and can sign anywhere in the NFL if the Vikings don’t extend his contract.

O’Neill continued in a rather lengthy appraisal of his teammate, “Everything about how he carries himself. He came in and he was a fourth-round pick. He has the No. 2 overall pick in the same draft class on the same team. He wasn’t the first overall pick. He’s not 6-foot-8. He doesn’t run a 4.2. But he maximizes 100 percent of everything he’s given. And that story is relatable for a lot of guys.”

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Cousins has quarterbacked the Vikings for six seasons, with Minnesota tabulating a 50-37-1 (.573) on his watch. That record might seem like a rubberstamp to retain Cousins, but the Vikings have curiously won just one postseason game with Cousins in charge since 2018.

“I think, regardless of what everybody believes or their purpose or moral compass or how they go about their life or philosophy, I think everybody can look at Kirk and say, ‘Whatever his is, he lives that fully every day.’ He’s more true to himself than most people I’ve ever met. And he’s just true to himself in his preparation and his beliefs. And he’s a baller. And he’s really, really good. I would just love for an opportunity to play with him again,” O’Neill concluded.

Watch for Kirk Cousins
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports.

Minnesota also owns the 11th overall pick in April’s draft, a byproduct of finishing 7-10 in 2023. Cousins tore his Achilles in Week 8 at the Green Bay Packers, and an assortment of quarterbacks couldn’t quite whisk the purple team to the offseason. The upcoming offseason will be the first time Cousins is out of a contract in Minnesota, at least for the next several days or weeks.

If Cousins doesn’t re-sign with the Vikings, a team like the Atlanta Falcons could explore his services, especially after head coach Arthur Smith was fired on Sunday night. And no Cousins on the roster would ensure that Minnesota had no choice but to use 1st-Round draft capital on his successor.

A Vikings Stalwart
Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Otherwise, the Vikings could do both — placating O’Neill’s request — re-sign Cousins for a year or two while still drafting a quarterback to watch and learn in 2024.

O’Neill is under contract with the Vikings through the end of 2026 and was a Pro Bowler in 2021.

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