$7.5 Million QB a Top Option to Replace Vikings’ Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings

Getty Quarterback Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings.

The Minnesota Vikings fear that Kirk Cousins is lost for the season, which means the search for a new quarterback must begin immediately.

Cousins suffered a non-contact injury during the fourth quarter of the team’s 24-10 road victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, October 29, forcing him to hop off the field on one leg.

Head coach Kevin O’Connell said following the game that the team fears Cousins tore his right Achilles tendon, which would sideline the QB for the season and could mean the end of his career in Minnesota. ESPN’s Adam Schefter wrote on social media that a team source confirmed the Achilles tear following the game, though the Vikings will conduct an MRI on October 30 to certify that diagnosis.

However, Cousins’ long-term future isn’t the team’s immediate concern. The question of who will start at quarterback in his stead very much is. Minnesota is now 4-4 on the heels of its third consecutive win. Firmly back in the NFC playoff hunt, the Vikings must act quickly to secure a veteran option under center.

Analysts will sort out potential trade scenarios over the next two days as the league barrels toward its October 31 trade deadline. However, free agency is the less expensive and less complicated path toward Minnesota adding another signal-caller.

The Vikings worked out veteran Colt McCoy on October 10 following an injury to backup QB Nick Mullens, making McCoy the default favorite to land in Minnesota in the next few days.

Rookie Jaren Hall Is Vikings’ Only Active-Roster QB as of Sunday

Jaren Hall, Vikings

GettyQuarterback Jaren Hall of the Minnesota Vikings passes in a preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals in August 2023.

Jaren Hall filled in for Cousins following his injury Sunday, but he didn’t inspire tremendous confidence. Hall completed 3-of-4 passes for 23 yards but also fumbled deep in Vikings territory — a turnover that put in question what was otherwise a secure win.

Reasonable people may differ on whether Minnesota should favor Hall — a rookie who has studied and worked within the Vikings’ offense for months — or a middling veteran like McCoy, who has more experience but has proved himself a solid, at best, backup in his 12-year NFL career.

That argument is actually moot, considering the Vikings must add another quarterback whether they view Hall as the potential starter or not. With Cousins out and Mullens on injured reserve (IR) for at least another week with a back issue, Hall is currently the only QB on the team’s active roster.

Colt McCoy a Better Long-Term Play for Vikings in 2023 Than Jaren Hall or Sean Mannion

Colt McCoy, Cardinals

GettyQuarterback Colt McCoy, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals, worked out for the Minnesota Vikings in early October.

Sean Mannion — who served as one of the Vikings’ reserve quarterbacks from 2019 to 21 and started two games over that span — is on the practice squad. His elevation to the active roster could, and likely will, represent the Vikings’ immediate response to Cousins’ injury.

However, McCoy has vastly more success and experience in the NFL than Mannion and Hall combined — and he has already caught Minnesota’s eye. The Vikings brought in offensive guard Dalton Risner for a workout several weeks before injuries necessitated they sign him. Risner has now started the team’s previous two games in place of injured guard Ezra Cleveland.

Minnesota’s history of familiarizing itself with free agents then adding them midseason is track record enough to believe that McCoy will be their guy — at least for the next week or two — if the team decides to add a veteran quarterback.

McCoy is 11-25 as an NFL starter. He has completed 62.6% of his 1,220 career pass attempts, amassing 7,975 yards and 34 touchdowns against 32 interceptions.

The 37-year-old QB most recently signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals in March 2022. McCoy has also played for the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Commanders and New York Giants since entering the league as a third-round pick in 2010.

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