4 Vikings QB targets to make good on Kwesi Adofo-Mensah's promise to Justin Jefferson

The Minnesota Vikings want to pay Justin Jefferson like one of the best non-QBs in football. To justify that investment, there needs to be a solid plan at QB.

Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings / Nic Antaya/GettyImages
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2. Vikings can make a play for Baker Mayfield

The reason Minnesota is hesitant to pay Kirk Cousins is simple. He's 35 years old and he's coming off a torn Achilles. Had Cousins not spent last season rehabbing from a severe knee injury, we'd be having a whole different discussion right now. Aside from Cousins, there is one veteran on the market with surefire Pro Bowl upside and a much longer competitive window — Baker Mayfield.

After a turbulent few years, Mayfield came into his own as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting QB in 2023. The former No. 1 pick should make every effort to stay in Tampa, where he unlocked a level of maturity and poise we had not previously seen. But, the free agent market could have other plans. Minnesota has the money to spend on a QB in addition to Jefferson's forthcoming deal. Mayfield will probably cost more than $20 million annually, which is a lot considering he was on the verge of career backup status prior to last season's renaissance. A lot doesn't mean too much, though, especially with the general dependability of the Vikings' offensive scheme.

Mayfield really took it to a new level last season. He captained Tampa all the way to a postseason victory. The circumstances of that postseason victory were extremely favorable, but even so, it's a real accomplishment. The Bucs didn't fall apart without Tom Brady, as the entire NFL media landscape expected. Mayfield built a strong relationship with Mike Evans, which he could hope to translate into a partnership with Justin Jefferson in Minnesota.

The key here, of course, is age. Mayfield is 28 and should have a lot of quality years left in the tank. Unlike Cousins, he is a QB with whom the Vikings can feel good about guaranteeing money. It's fair to wonder if Mayfield really promotes a Super Bowl ceiling, but with such a strong collection of talent around him, the Oklahoma product would be well positioned for success in the Vikings' offense.