Insider’s Proposed Vikings Trade Lands ‘Preferred Option’ at QB

Kirk Cousins, Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

Getty Head coach Kevin O'Connell and Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings.

There is a lot of speculation about the Minnesota Vikings’ plans, especially at quarterback as Kirk Cousins approaches free agency. Could the uncertainty inspire them to seek a trade, specifically in the 2024 draft, for their quarterback of the future?

If Cousins returns, he can mentor the youngster. If Cousins leaves, the new QB1 can step in.

The Athletic’s Alec Lewis suggested such a scenario in his latest mock draft, sending a package of picks to the AFC runner-up Baltimore Ravens for the No. 30 overall pick. The target? Oregon quarterback Bo Nix.

“The Baltimore Ravens … tend to be willing to trade down,” Lewis wrote on February 13. “To get this done, the Vikings would likely have to part with their No. 42 overall pick, a 2024 fifth-rounder and a 2025 third-rounder.

“Trading up would not only secure the Vikings their preferred option at quarterback, but it would also secure the potential fifth-year option.”

Here’s how Lewis’ hypothetical trade scenario breaks down.

Vikings get:

– 2023 first-round pick (No. 30 overall)

Ravens get:

– 2023 second-round pick (No. 42 overall)
– 2024 fifth-round pick
– 2025 third-round pick

Proposed Vikings Trade Lands ‘Most Experienced’ College QB

Bo Nix, Minnesota Vikings

GettyQuarterback Bo Nix of the Oregon Ducks.

Nix is the “most experienced quarterback in NCAA history”, per the National Football Foundation. He led the nation this past season, completing 77.2% of his passes and throwing 40 touchdowns, and was a Heisman Trophy finalist.

He also led the Ducks to a 45-6 victory over Liberty in the Fiesta Bowl to cap his college career.

Nix’s projections have varied depending on the source. The prevailing sentiment is he is a second-tier option relative to the top passers in this class, Caleb Williams and Drake Maye.

“Nix, specifically, is a polarizing prospect,” Lewis wrote. “The Ducks’ offense featured countless high-percentage screen passes and quick passes to the sideline. Buried in his film, however, are layered passes over the middle and full-field read ability (watch the Arizona State tape, for example).

“This is not to say he possesses all the abilities head coach Kevin O’Connell seeks. … But Nix would make sense as a mature developmental option whose rookie QB contract would offer immense flexibility.”

Lewis projected the Vikings to select Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II with the No. 11 overall pick in his seven-round mock draft.

Vikings’ Financial Outlook Will Impact Offseason Plans

Kevin O'Connell, Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

GettyKirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Vikings have $28.9 million in cap space, per Spotrac. That is the 14th-most in the NFL this offseason, and they have avenues to unlock more.

They already have to navigate Cousins’ situation. He will count $28.5 million against the cap if he is not on the roster next season thanks to void years in previous deals. Cousins is also expected to command top dollar if he hits the open market.

Those factors would seem to suggest the Vikings should work out an extension.

That will still be costly. Cousins has also said that those conversations have not happened yet, noting the end of February into early March as the time he expects them to pick up.

Looming over everything is Justin Jefferson as he enters the final year of his contract in line for what figures to be a historic deal. The Vikings also have myriad holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball setting the stage for an eventful offseason before any potential trade.