As the options start to thin, the Minnesota Vikings are coming back to their biggest free agent target.
Case Keenum reportedly intends to sign with the Denver Broncos, and Drew Brees is going back to the New Orleans Saints, so the Minnesota Vikings have to narrow their focus on free agent quarterbacks. According to Mark Rosen of WCCO-TV, the Vikings will sign Kirk Cousins.
There have been plenty of rumors and reports of mutual interest between the Vikings and Cousins, who after being franchise tagged for two straight years by the Washington Redskins is set to reset the top of the quarterback market.
According to Rosen’s report, the Cousins’ deal with the Vikings will average $28 million per year. Nothing can be official until Wednesday afternoon, but Cousins is set to visit Minnesota and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport has offered the length of the deal the Vikings have offered.
And of course, Pro Football Talk has thrown some cold water on the Cousins-to-the-Vikings fire regarding even scheduling a visit.
The Vikings reached the NFC Championship Game last season with Keenum as the primary quarterback. There’s an argument Cousins is not a substantial upgrade, with data to back it up, but his track record is longer. He has started all 16 games and topped 4,000 passing yards with at least 25 touchdown passes in three straight seasons, and Minnesota is a far better situation than the one he’s finally leaving in Washington.
NFL reporters seem to falling all over themselves to get the details of the Vikings’ prospective deal with Cousins.
As a “reward” for throwing for 4,917 yards in 2016 (third in the league), the Redskins led Cousins’ top two wide receivers (DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon) leave in free agency last offseason. Then all he did was deliver another solid season, behind an injury-riddled offensive line with a depleted supporting cast.
The Vikings have two top-notch wide receivers, an above average offensive line, a red zone weapon at tight end and running back Dalvin Cook returning from a torn ACL. Cousins will be set up to succeed, and the Vikings will pay him nicely to deliver if things go according to plan.