The Minnesota Vikings might have to prepare for life after quarterback Kirk Cousins.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported the Vikings want to re-sign the four-time Pro Bowler, who enters free agency in March. However, Minnesota will consider adding someone else if the price gets too high, such as Baker Mayfield or 49ers backup QB Sam Darnold.
The Vikings have the 11th overall pick, within range to draft another passer. In his latest mock draft, Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports predicted they would take Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, who led the Wolverines to their first national title in 26 years.
Along with Cousins, wide receiver Justin Jefferson is entering the final year of his rookie contract, while Pro Bowl outside linebacker Danielle Hunter is also a free agent.
Cap space is tight for Minnesota. OTC estimates the Vikings have $24.65M in cap room. To complicate matters, Cousins’ contract has void years and would add $28.5M in cap charges if they don’t give him a new deal. Extending him would save $18.25M.
Cousins underwent surgery on a torn Achilles in November. He turns 36 on Aug. 19. Despite the durability concerns, the Vikings should try to give Cousins a new contract. It makes more financial sense and provides stability at the most important position.
Minnesota went 3-6 after his injury, cycling through three different QBs (Joshua Dobbs, Nick Mullens and Jaren Hall). And the Vikings can still take a QB in the draft to have a succession plan.