These 5 Teams Are Players in the Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes

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Quarterback Kirk Cousins is the first major domino to fall in Minnesota’s offseason, as his future also determines the organization’s future. For the first time since signing with the Vikes in 2018, the passer is scheduled to be on the market as general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah restructured his contract last year but was hesitant to hand him an extension.

These 5 Teams Are Players in the Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes

If Cousins indeed moves on from the Vikings, he would leave placed third on the all-time passing-yard list and second in touchdowns, only trailing the great Fran Tarkenton. He would leave a massive void at the most important position in the sport and likely open the door for a rookie quarterback who would be acquired in April.

These 5 Teams Are Players in the Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes
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Because he is an annual Pro Bowl candidate, there should be interest around the league for a veteran with a high floor, especially teams who haven’t had a decent passer in quite some time would be thrilled to get their hands on some consistency. Despite his age and the recent injury, Cousins is undoubtedly the best option on the free agency market. These five teams should be in the mix for the 35-year-old.

5. New England Patriots

The New England Patriots enter a new era with Bill Belichick’s departure and Jerod Mayo as the new head coach. Since Tom Brady left in 2020, the quarterback position has been a big problem. A 2021 first-round pick, Mac Jones looked like the solution after his rookie year, but he has regressed instead of making steps in the right direction.

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A serious threat to the theory that they are after Cousins is their draft position, as they hold the third overall pick, leaving either Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels for them to select. However, if the Patriots either accumulate more draft capital by trading back or want a great player at a different position like Marvin Harrison Jr, they would be a prime destination for Cousins, and his annual 4,000 yards and at least 25 touchdowns are a huge upgrade over Jones and Bailey Zappe.

4. Washington Commanders

A true full-circle moment would be Cousins returning to the franchise that drafted him. He wasn’t particularly treated with respect when the decision-makers used the franchise tag twice instead of signing him to a contract, robbing him of long-term security. But Cousins bet on himself and made a ton of money, while Washington had quite the disastrous QB carousel.

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There shouldn’t be any bad blood, considering the franchise now has new owners and a different coaching staff. Sam Howell was benched multiple times in 2023, and Jacoby Brissett isn’t the answer either. Cousins would stabilize the new head coach, who hasn’t been chosen yet.

Washington holds the second-overall pick, so they are in the perfect spot to choose the quarterback of the future. If they want a mentor for the young guy and sit him behind a veteran for some time while simultaneously trying to be competitive, Cousins is their guy.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

Like the Patriots, the Steelers have had huge problems finding a successor for their Hall of Famer. Since Ben Roethlisberger retired, they have tried to win games with Kenny Pickett, Mitchell Trubisky, and Mason Rudolph. Pickett has thrown for fewer touchdowns in his two-year career than Cousins did in his eight games in 2023. Throwing for only 13 touchdowns in 24 starts should tell the Steelers all they need to know.

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Mike Tomlin returns for another season, and he guarantees a competitive team, but without capable QB play, they aren’t really competing for a Super Bowl. Cousins would give them a considerable boost in the AFC race, as he can feed their decent receivers. Unlike New England and Washington, the Steelers pick 20th, a spot where the top QBs are out of reach, making the veteran an intriguing option.

2. Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons must hire a new coach after letting Arthur Smith go following his third consecutive 7-win season. Bill Belichick is a top candidate after landing a couple of interviews with owner Arthur Blank. Belichick doesn’t have unlimited years remaining as NFL head coach, and he just went through three seasons of young but underwhelming quarterback play. Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke are solid backups, but they shouldn’t be starters in the NFL.

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Cousins would be a flashback to Belichick’s time with Brady — a smart veteran pocket passer. Of course, Cousins isn’t Brady, but their play has some similarities.

The QB was recently asked if he would want to play for the outstanding head coach and he surely sounded appealed by the possibility.

1. Minnesota Vikings

All parties involved, general manager Adofo-Mensah, head coach Kevin O’Connell, and quarterback Cousins, have talked ad nauseam about their wish to continue the working relationship, so until someone offers a different thought, the Vikings should be the front runner for Cousins’ 2024 team.

Betting Odds for Kirk
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What could prevent the team from re-signing their passer is that he always wants to sign multi-year deals for guaranteed money, and the Vikes might not be willing to guarantee money beyond 2024, considering his age and the uncertainties because of his injury.


Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt

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