The team’s 2023 playoff prospects are one thing, as Dobbs is all but a lock to captain the Vikings through the remainder of the season — barring significant injury. The short-term and mid-range futures of the franchise are another, though Dobbs has a chance to play himself into those conversations as well.
Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report made an early prediction on Saturday, November 18, that the Vikings will ultimately sign Dobbs to a two-year extension in the spring.
It’s easy to get swept up in Dobbs’ numbers this season. He’s 13th in Total QBR, has 11 touchdowns to five interceptions and he’s led the Vikings to two wins in his first two appearances.
But when you consider his career to this point and what teams have historically paid for a player like him, his market becomes more realistic. Jacoby Brissett had a similar run as the [Cleveland] Browns‘ temporary quarterback [in 2022], and he wound up with a one-year, $8.5 million contract. That’s right in line with the two-year, $18 million contract that Spotrac recently forecasted for Dobbs.
If that’s the price, the Vikings should happily pay it. Dobbs can keep them competitive while they work to develop his heir over the next two seasons.
Josh Dobbs Could Alter Course of Kirk Cousins’ Career with Vikings
If the Vikings do bring Dobbs back, they can go a couple of different ways ahead or behind him on the depth chart.
Rookie Jaren Hall is under contract through the 2026 campaign on a deal worth $4.1 million total, which will make it easy for Minnesota to retain him as a backup and/or future successor to Dobbs. Then there is the question of six-year starter Kirk Cousins who will play next season at 36 years old.
Cousins declared publicly this week that he intends to return to the NFL in 2024 and would like not only to play for the Vikings next year, but hopes to retire in Minnesota whenever the time comes.
“It’s always been that way since I got here,” Cousins told KFAN on Friday. “I understand there are a lot of options, but it’s my desire to be a Viking, retire a Viking and finish my career here.”
The issue is that Cousins will earn $35 million total in 2023 and was playing well enough prior to his Achilles injury on October 29 to justify a similar salary in 2024. By comparison, Dobbs is earning just $2 million this season and may well fall short of $10 million annually on his next deal.
Jordan Schultz of Bleacher Report reported on November 14 that there is a considerably better chance that Cousins returns to Minnesota next season following his injury, in large part because the QB may be more amenable to a one-year contract than he was previously. Under those circumstances, the Vikings could potentially bring back Cousins, Dobbs and Hall in 2024 — though that seems unlikely.
Kirk Cousins Predicted to Get Interest from Falcons, Packers
However, if Cousins and Dobbs can’t coexist, there are other options for the Pro-Bowl veteran.
In the context of Dobbs’ hypothetically signing a two-year extension with the Vikings, Ballentine also posited on Saturday that Cousins could land with the Atlanta Falcons.
There are a lot of teams that should be interested in Kirk Cousins if he winds up on the free-agent market.
The Vikings already have a $28.5 million void year on the books next season. Finding a cheaper alternative, like the one they have on their roster in Dobbs, could give them an off-ramp from the Cousins era. If they take it, there are several teams that could use a veteran to step in and bring viability to their offense. Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano of ESPN threw out the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers as possibilities, respectively.