Kevin O’Connell Reaffirms Vikings QB Plan for 2024

can grab momentum
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It’s not very mysterious: the Minnesota Vikings want Kirk Cousins back in 2024.

Kevin O’Connell Reaffirms Vikings QB Plan for 2024

Whether Cousins’ asking price meshes with Minnesota’s 2024 budget remains to be seen, but left up to head coach Kevin O’Connell, beyond the shadow of a doubt, he wants the 35-year-old back in the saddle for another run.

Reaffirms Vikings QB Plan
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“I think Kirk wants to be a Viking. He knows we want him to be a Viking. Hopefully, we can work to get there,” O’Connell told KFAN’s Paul Allen moments before taking the podium at the 2024 NFL Combine.

O’Connell also mentioned the team’s need to plan for the future beyond 2024 and didn’t rule out re-signing Cousins while also drafting a rookie quarterback as early as Round 1. Many Vikings fans hope the franchise can “do both” — re-sign Cousins at a reasonable price and draft a passer like Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy.

Gets the CNN
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For a few weeks — it feels like a long time ago now — Vikings faithful reserved hope that Cousins would rejoin the purple team for a seventh season on a “team-friendly deal.” Some outrageous personalities believed that could be between $10-$25 million. More realistically, $35 million felt like an appropriate hometown discount. But as the offseason has progressed, Cousins taking a dinker deal to stay with the Vikings has seemed to fall by the wayside. He can fetch optimal earnings on the open market, and if Minnesota wants him back, it has to at least be in the ballpark.

The 35-year-old was scripting one of his career’s best seasons in 2023 before the Achilles injury ended everything. The Vikings were 4-4 at the time and whimpered to a 3-6 finish sans Cousins. And if Cousins hits the open market, a team like the Atlanta Falcons, Pittsburgh Steelers, or New England Patriots could pounce.

ESPN Name Drops 3
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Earlier this week, ESPN published an outlandish Cousins pricetag, claiming the veteran signal-caller could command $51 million per season on the open market.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell listed the $51 million number and wrote, “Any team hoping to win over the next three years that isn’t in position to land one of the top starters in the 2024 draft should be trying to pursue Cousins. That’s a group that includes the Broncos, Buccaneers, Falcons, Raiders, Steelers and Titans, with the Dolphins and Seahawks as outside candidates if they move on from their current starters. Some of those teams will opt for longer shots in the draft, but if Cousins’ recovery is on track, he should be able to get one more significant deal as a 35-year-old free agent.”

PurplePTSD: A Zimmer-ish Quote, Kirk Debates Galore, MNF
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Fifty-one million would all but price the Vikings out of the Cousins sweepstakes as general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah must find a way to re-sign outside linebacker Danielle Hunter, extend Justin Jefferson’s contract, and get ready for left tackle Christian Darrisaw’s humongous extension talks next year.

But one aspect of Cousins’ future is clear and has remained consistent for months if not years: O’Connell wants him back.

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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