- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
After they spent the offseason giving out short-term contracts to fill holes, the Vikings still sit in relatively the same position they were in last year. After 11 games, both teams sat at 5-6. The 2020 squad beat the league-worst Jaguars by three in overtime, while this year’s squad fell to the league-worst Lions to move to 5-7.
The Vikings keeping their top brass and talent in place is becoming more unlikely by the week. The biggest question mark among them has to be quarterback Kirk Cousins.
While there are many reasons to keep the signal-caller in uniform next season, there are numerous others that point in a different direction. In his four seasons, Cousins is 30-26-1 and holds a record of 56-58-2 in his career. Pair the lack of success with his $45 million dollar cap hit and the decision to move on could become an easy one. If they trade Cousins, the Vikings could save up to $35 million dollars in cap room and the draft class is not rich on quarterback potential. Here are four possible trade candidates for Cousins:
Photo: AP Photo/Peter Aiken
The parallels to the 2017 Minnesota Vikings are obvious — great skill players, top-flight defense and George Paton in the front office. It’s no secret to anyone that this team is a good quarterback away from truly being able to contend. Teddy Bridgewater has done admirably but just doesn’t offer enough upside for the Broncos to take that jump. Paton was instrumental in bringing Cousins to the Vikings in the 2018 offseason as the last piece to the proverbial puzzle and he’s likely looking to make the same type of move
New York Giants
Photo: Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports
The Giants have failed miserably in replacing Eli Manning. After numerous mid-round picks and Daniel Jones, they are left trying to fill the most important position in the Big Apple. New York GM Dave Gettleman has done a lot to improve the situation around Jones, bringing in top free agents at both tackle and wide receiver, along with first-round picks at both positions. The defense is sitting in a good place and an improvement at quarterback could allow them to contend in a weaker NFC East.
Photo: Matt Blewett/USA TODAY Sports
The connection is obvious for the Browns: former Vikings offensive coordinator turned Kevin Stefanski is their current head coach. They have had issues at the quarterback position with Baker Mayfield having his share of struggles. Those struggles have led to numerous close losses and the unceremonious departure of Odell Beckham Jr. The addition of Cousins would take away most of the volatility of the passing game and bring the balance that Stefanski wants in his offense. The biggest question that we don’t have an answer to at this point: Does Stefanski want Cousins?
New Orleans Saints
Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports
The biggest wild card on the list is the Saints. The issues that Cousins has with both pressure and delivering the ball in tight windows would be mitigated with the Saints. The offensive line — when healthy — is a top-five unit in the league with two All-Pro tackles and a solid that will help keep him from feeling pressure. Having Sean Payton as your play-caller allows you certain benefits, including receivers constantly schemed to be open up the seam. Payton did a great job scheming around former Saints QB Drew Brees’ degenerative arm strength. With Cousins, he won’t have that issue.
Why go with Cousins over anyone else? Jameis Winston is on an expiring contract and the future at quarterback is definitely not Taysom Hill. With Payton in his 16th season as the Saints head coach, you have to wonder if he wants to develop a young quarterback or potentially have a readymade pro bowler.