Vikings Reconsidering Kirk Cousins’ Future Amid Draft Buzz, Insider Says

Kirk Cousins

Getty Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

The Minnesota Vikings aren’t entirely out on Kirk Cousins as the steam surrounding drafting a quarterback would suggest.

After declining a long-term extension with Cousins, the Vikings have put the most effort into scouting the upcoming quarterback class since they selected Teddy Bridgewater back in 2014.

All signs point to Minnesota drafting a quarterback in the first two days of the draft, which starts Thursday, April 27.

And despite mocking Florida’s Anthony Richardson to the Vikings in his most recent mock draft, Star Tribune beat reporter Ben Goessling acknowledged that Cousins could still cement a future in Minnesota.

“They are open to the possibility that change at quarterback is coming, [but] they are not closed off on bringing Cousins back on a new deal,” Goessling said on the Access Vikings podcast on April 25.

He added that drafting a quarterback who could develop a year or two is still Minnesota’s preferred action plan at the position.

“Given the fact that [Cousins is] 35. Given the fact he’s not the elite guy that’s going to make up for everything around him, it is time to start thinking about finding that guy.”

Vikings Won’t Settle for Replacement QB, Searching for Franchise-Changer

Unlike Rick Spielman, selecting Christian Ponder and Bridgewater in the first round out of dire necessity at the position, the Vikings don’t have to panic knowing they have competent quarterback play with Cousins.

“They don’t look at this as we have to have a starter right now or we have to have our guy right this second. I don’t think it is impossible that Cousins is here in ’24. I really don’t think they’ve closed the door to that,” Goessling said.

Minnesota is content with Cousins. But the new regime still needs to find their guy they can lean on once Cousins is gone — and they aren’t settling for a game manager.

There’s no guarantee it would work, but if they take a quarterback it would be somebody they believe is a franchise-type guy it’s not going to be, they’re just going to take one to take one,” Goessling said.

While keeping Cousins around as a contingency plan is ideal, the caveat remains that Minnesota gave up all team control by not extending him this season. Sure, an extension could still be worked out before the end of the 2023 regular season, but the Vikings tend to do their business dealings in the offseason.

Cousins, who hoped to strike a three-year extension this offseason, is likely to reach free agency next year. His representation will be on the phones to get an asking price that they can bring into negotiations in Minnesota.

“His camp is going to have conversations with teams around the league about hypothetically if this guy is available what their interest level,” Goessling said. “If negotiations come back around with the Vikings you’re able to do it in a sensible manner.”

 Vikings Have Ideal Situation for Young QB

In an April 24 article, The Athletic’s Alec Lewis spoke with several former NFL quarterbacks who worked with O’Connell, who admittedly would have switched places to have O’Connell as their coach during their playing days.

“(Playing for O’Connell) would be an ideal fit for any rookie QB,” former Los Angeles Rams practice-squad quarterback John Wolford told The Athletic. “If I was one, I’d be champing at the bit to get to Minnesota.”

O’Connell is arguably the biggest sell with his track record of developing quarterbacks. The Vikings also have a pair of Pro Bowl tackles to keep the next quarterback upright and an all-world receiver to throw to in Justin Jefferson.