Vikings Eyeing Exciting Young QB Who ‘Would Enjoy’ Landing in MN, Insider Says

O'Connell, Cousins, Vikings

Getty Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell (left) and quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The feelings are mutual between the Minnesota Vikings and LSU quarterback prospect Jayden Daniels.

According to a report from ESPN insider Dan Graziano, the idea of pairing Daniels with Justin Jefferson “has appeal” inside the Vikings organization.

“Minnesota knows it eventually has to address the quarterback position long term, and the notion of bringing in Daniels to pair with their star LSU alum wideout Justin Jefferson has appeal to some in the organization,” Graziano wrote on February 10.

KSTP’s Darren Wolfson reciprocated those feelings from Daniels’ side, saying the Heisman Trophy winner, a consensus top-five pick in this year’s draft, “would enjoy” landing in Minnesota.

“And Daniels, no surprise, would enjoy landing here = the word,” Wolfson posted on X (formerly Twitter), signaling that’s what he’s heard from sources on Daniels.

Vikings a Candidate to Trade Up to No. 3 to Land Jayden Daniels: ESPN

Jayden Daniels

GettyJayden Daniels of the LSU Tigers

Since turning down a deal on a long-term extension with Kirk Cousins last offseason, the Vikings have positioned themselves to move on from the veteran quarterback — however, a succession plan is not in place with only Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall under contract for next season.

Neither backup quarterback offered any confidence when they played in place of Cousins, who missed the final nine games of the season after a season-ending Achilles injury on October 29.

That creates short- and long-term needs at quarterback for the Vikings, considering they’d ideally want to give a first-round prospect a buffer year behind a veteran starter.

Yes, moving on from Cousins would likely make it difficult to compete in 2024 considering the loss of a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback and the $28.5 million in dead cap the Vikings would have to eat. However, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah admitted he’s not afraid to take a step back to better position the organization for future years.

That makes the prospect of a trade-up more plausible, and Graziano sees the Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons as ideal candidates to trade up to the No. 3 pick (currently held by the New England Patriots.)

“The Patriots also need a quarterback, but there are people around the league who believe they are open to trading the No. 3 selection, moving back in the draft and addressing the quarterback position in free agency,” Graziano wrote. “If the Pats do trade that pick — which could be Daniels or Maye — the two teams I’d keep an eye on are the Falcons (moving from the No. 8 spot) and the Vikings (moving from the No. 11 spot, assuming they don’t bring back Cousins).”

The Vikings would likely still want to sign a veteran quarterback for next season even if they landed Daniels, but at a more affordable price that wouldn’t commit any guarantees against the cap beyond the 2024 season.

Kirk Cousins Expected to Command a Strong Market in Free Agency

Kirk Cousins, Vikings

GettyQB Kirk Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings.

Let’s make it clear: the Vikings would like Cousins to return, and Cousins would also like to be back — both sides have expressed that several times in the past year.

However, there are financial reasons a deal was not done before the start of the 2023 season, which sent Cousins into a contract year.

Cousins intends to entertain free agency come March, and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero expects him to command a “strong market” that could outbid the Vikings’ previous terms of an extension.

“(The Vikings) would like to re-sign Kirk Cousins, who is set to become a free agent in March, but my anticipation is Cousins will have a strong market, even at age 35 coming off a torn Achilles.” Pelissero said on NFL Network’s “NFL Gameday” on February 11. “Minnesota is examining all options in the event that Cousins ends up landing elsewhere. If, in fact, the price tag goes too high, the Vikings likely would pursue a more economical veteran.”

Read More