5 teams that would be willing to give Kirk Cousins a fully-guaranteed contract

Kirk Cousins may have very well played his last down as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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There is a decent chance we have seen the last of Kirk Cousins in a Minnesota Vikings uniform. Since coming over from Washington in 2018, Cousins has been a mainstay under center in the Twin Cities. He has been a perennial Pro Bowler for the Vikings, but is coming off a ghastly Achilles injury suffered mid-season last year. More importantly, Cousins is in his mid-30s and will be hitting NFL free agency.

Since Cousins cannot be franchise tagged by the Vikings, they are going to have to pay a pretty penny to keep him. He will have a robust market with so many teams desperate for a quarterback upgrade out there. Furthermore, the Vikings are not going to give into Cousins' demands of a fully-guaranteed contract. That is a lot of cash, but would you rather give money to Sam Darnold instead?

Well, that apparently is the cheaper and likelier option for the Vikings at this time. In doing so, they would be making a GOB Bluth huge mistake. If this sets them up for getting into the top-five of the NFL Draft next year, then I understand that logic. Otherwise, just draft J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan with the No. 11 pick, and just be done with it. Darnold is not an NFL starter because he sees ghosts.

Because the Vikings are the way they are, here are five teams who will pay Cousins what he wants.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be an option should Baker Mayfield walk

While we should all expect for Baker Mayfield to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a multi-year deal in his free agency, there is a chance somebody else could sign him. Although Cousins has proven to be the better quarterback at this stage of the game, it wouldn't shock me if Tampa Bay were to at least entertain bringing Cousins in for a visit. However, Mayfield just kind of works in Tampa Bay.

By hiring Liam Coen away from Kentucky to be their next offensive coordinator, the Buccaneers are in a great position to retain Mayfield because they briefly worked together on Sean McVay's 2022 Los Angeles Rams team. Then again, Cousins crossed paths with McVay very early in his career when they were in Washington. Coen replacing Dave Canales is a huge deal, one with major implications.

Overall, I would say the Buccaneers are little more than a dark horse contender for Cousins' services. Them being interested in him hinges entirely on if Mayfield is coming back. If Mayfield does, then don't even bother. Should he walk in his free agency, it would be hard to pass up a player like Cousins, who would probably be the best quarterback in the NFC South simply upon his arrival in Tampa Bay.

The Buccaneers have made the playoffs each of the last four years, so Cousins may be into that.