How the Vikings can keep Kirk Cousins and then some this offseason

If all goes right, Minnesota can have their cake and eat it too.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins / Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings clearly want to bring Kirk Cousins back in 2024. And it certainly feels like Cousins wants to come back to the Vikings. What would it take for that to become a reality?

It's easier than you'd think, according to Jim Souhan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and former Vikings general manager Jeff Diamond.

The number that Diamond has floated around is two years and $90 million. That would put Cousins ahead of Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Daniel Jones and Matthew Stafford in terms of average annual value.

You'd have to think Cousins would take the $10 million per year upgrade on his current deal. But would the Vikings pay the quarterback more than Stafford, a similarly-aged Super Bowl winner? That's the bigger question.

They may have to, considering the consequences of letting him walk. As Souhan pointed out, "if the Vikings let Cousins leave, he will cost them $28 million in dead cap money. If they re-sign him, they can structure the deal to create more cap room for the 2024 season. It doesn't have to make sense to be true."

Kirk Cousins acceptign the right deal would set up Vikings for incredible offseason

Signing Cousins at two years, $90 million would leave the Vikings room to sign Justin Jefferson to a new five-year, $172.5 million extension, according to Diamond. Incredibly, that could reduce Minnesota's cap hit by as much as $10 million.

Then Danielle Hunter could pick up a three-year, $25-27 million deal.

All that seems too good to be true. Keeping Cousins, Jefferson and Hunter would make for an outstanding offseason for the Vikings.

It all hinges on that trio accepting the deals in front of them instead of being swayed by other options. Cousins could seek more money or years on the open market now that he's on the wrong side of 35. Jefferson could reject an extension. Hunter could become a hot commodity.

It's an optimistic expectation for the offseason, but not an unfounded one.

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