Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins tore his Achilles on October 29th, ending his season in the middle of a Vikings winning streak.
Two days later, Minnesota swung a trade for quarterback Josh Dobbs, and the winning ways continued, as the Vikings then toppled the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints.
Kirk Cousins Predicted to Return with Vikings at Massive Price Tag
And in about two months or so, all Vikings-themed conversations will turn to Cousins’ future. The 35-year-old is scheduled to hit free agency for the first time since 2018, and his status in Minnesota is unclear. The team’s leaders seem to want Cousins back, but with Dobbs thriving so far in Minnesota, perhaps the plot will thicken.
Still, Spotrac believes Cousins will be back in purple — on a sizable contract. Spotrac‘s Michael Ginnitti predicted a Cousins extension for three years and $120 million and explained, “Torn achilles & ridiculous Josh Dobbs story aside, Cousins returning to the Vikings on a last minute extension should still be the betting odds favorite by a lot. He’s a top tier regular season QB that hasn’t found the code to get it done in the postseason just yet.”
Adding Cousins for three more years at that sum would require financial gymnastics, as Justin Jefferson is due for a mammoth extension. So is Christian Darrisaw. Danielle Hunter needs a new contract. And Minnesota extended tight end T.J. Hockenson a couple of months ago to tune of the richest TE contract ever.
“If we assume a $245M league salary cap for 2024, 16% would afford us a $39.2M average salary for Cousins, which also just happens to be his exact valuation in our system, currently speaking. Is it enough to bring him back? Honestly, before the Achilles injury, that answer would have been a hard and fast no. But a 35-year–old suffering an injury of this magnitude has to come with some reservation. We’ll bump the price slightly to round it off nicely,” Ginnitti added.
Meanwhile, the same site and author foresaw a Vikings extension for Dobbs, too. Ginnitti foretold a Dobbs extension for two years and $18 million.
“So what does the future hold for a player like Dobbs financially speaking? It’s not reckless to say that a contending team may look at what he’s done this Fall as a bonafide insurance policy for their current star QB, and make him the highest paid backup in all of football,” Ginnitti spitballed.
Both theories would allot $49 million per average annual value to the quarterback position, a daunting task when hoping to retain Jefferson, Darrisaw, Hunter, and others. But stranger things have happened.
The Vikings — and 31 other teams — also have the luxury of examining the 2024 NFL Draft for rookie quarterbacks. The upcoming class is deeper than most, and even if Minnesota nets the 20th or so overall pick, a promising prospect will be available.
Otherwise, if Spotrac is correct, the Vikings could just unload top dollar to its preexisting veterans and let it ride.