Vikings Trade Pitch Swaps Kirk Cousins to Contender for 1st-Round Pick

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

Getty Quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings lost their second heartbreaker of the year to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3, and it might have been a backbreaker as well.

A total of 158 NFL teams have started a campaign 0-3 since 1990 and just four of those squads went on to make the playoffs (2.5%), according to Draft Kings Network. Now, with the season on the brink and the October 31 trade deadline just five weeks away, dealing quarterback Kirk Cousins has become a real possibility.

Speculation about a potential trade involving Cousins, and what it might fetch, has been happening since the preseason. It has already begun to ratchet up to new heights in the less than 24 hours since Minnesota’s most recent loss on Sunday, September 24, which dropped the team to 0-3. That the New York Jets are struggling — losing two in a row since losing Aaron Rodgers for the season in Week 2 — has only added fuel to the fire.

Mike Phillips of FanSided authored a trade pitch on Sunday that would see the Vikings flip Cousins to the Jets in return for the team’s 2025 first-round draft pick.

Jets Grow Frustrated, Making Kirk Cousins More Viable Trade Candidate

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

GettyQuarterback Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings runs onto the field prior to an NFL game against the Los Angeles Chargers in September 2023. 

Phillips rationale for the move takes into account that New York can’t offer its top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft in any trades due to stipulations included in the deal that landed them Rodgers.

The Vikings might as well shoot for the moon and try extracting a first-round pick from the Jets for Cousins, who could give them a legitimate shot to make the postseason while Rodgers rehabs from his Achilles’ injury. New York’s 2024 first-rounder is technically locked in escrow as a result of trade conditions tied to the Rodgers deal with the Green Bay Packers, making the 2025 first the earliest top pick the Jets can move.

Securing that pick would give Minnesota another huge asset to either use to draft a foundational player or as part of a trade package in April to go get a franchise quarterback. Looking to take advantage of potential desperation from the Jets would require at least asking for that first-round pick.

New York might be willing to consider it after video showed frustration from multiple offensive players on the Jets’ sideline during their 15-10 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, including with quarterback Zach Wilson specifically.

Vikings Must Get High-End Draft Return for Kirk Cousins

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Vikings

GettyGeneral Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah of the Minnesota Vikings speaks to the media during the NFL Combine in February 2023.

A first-round pick is a high price to pay for a one-year rental, which is likely what Cousins would be if he landed in New York via a trade.

Rodgers is expected to return from his injury in time to play out the last year on his contract with the Jets in 2024. Meanwhile, Cousins is bound for unrestricted free agency next March after the Vikings chose not to extend him long-term over the offseason.

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is a man who plays by the numbers, and if he doesn’t believe Minnesota has a viable chance at a playoff run then trading Cousins becomes the correct decision. The earlier he trades him, the more value the Vikings are liable to get back.

ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum, a former NFL GM, last week suggested a trade with the Jets swapping Cousins for their 2024 third-round pick. Any asset the Vikings could procure inside the first two days of the coming draft would significantly solidify their position when it comes to finding a long-term solution under center next offseason, which they desperately need to do.

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