4 Minnesota Vikings who won't be back if Justin Jefferson gets the bag

The Minnesota Vikings could sign Justin Jefferson to a massive contract extension, but it would impact their present and future.

Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings v Detroit Lions / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
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1. Justin Jefferson may stay, but he'll lose his quarterback

If there was any major free-agent takeaway from the NFL Combine, it's that Kirk Cousins will have plenty of potential suitors. The Falcons make a lot of sense for the right price, as do the Steelers. Cousins' wife is from Georgia, so perhaps living closer to family could be a prevailing factor.

It's unclear exactly what Cousins next contract will look like, but he'll earn more than $40 million per season if he signs elsewhere. There are some limitations on what the Vikings can offer him, as much as Minnesota may want to keep him. The Vikings have also been rumored as a possible landing spot for Justin Fields and any number of quarterback in the draft class should Cousins leave.

Essentially, the Vikings are preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. Cousins is not a top-5 quarterback. He never has been, nor will he suddenly become that. But stable quarterback play is hard to find and the right team could win some playoff games with Cousins at the helm. Heck, the 49ers just won the NFC with Brock Purdy, who is playing at a similar level, albeit much younger than Cousins.

Even more worrisome for the Vikings is that Cousins is coming off a season-ending knee injury. At 36 years old, there is no guarantee he'll be the same player when he returns. Limited mobility can shorten even the best quarterbacks' prime. That's the risk that comes with giving Cousins over $40 million, even on a short-term contract.

Jefferson is worth every penny, but his age makes that extension less of a risk long term. Cousins, on the other hand, could come back to haunt Minnesota at his asking price.

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