NFL Rumors: Sure sounds like Vikings are ready for life without Kirk Cousins

If the Minnesota Vikings lose Kirk Cousins to free agency, they won't balk at finding a replacement in the NFL Draft.

Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers
Minnesota Vikings v Green Bay Packers / Michael Reaves/GettyImages
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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is set to enter free agency in the coming months. Cousins will receive one last major payday prior to retirement, as he'll be 36 years old at the start of next season.

Still, Cousins is a top-10 quarterback even if he's coming off injury. On the open market -- and as the best quarterback available that won't cost severe draft capital -- he'll get at least $40 million per season, guaranteed. The Vikings can afford that up to $42.5 million, per CBA rules.

NFL Rumors: Vikings are prepared for life after Kirk Cousins

However, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has a long plan, and it may not involve paying Cousins. Minnesota with Cousins arguably isn't good enough to win its own division anymore, let alone the Super Bowl. Why not rebuild through the draft and chase a young prospect the Vikings front office and Kevin O'Connell believe in?

“If they’re going to take one, it’s going to be someone we love or we’re not doing it," Goessling told KFAN's Paul Allen Tuesday. "If you have to give up a couple first-round picks for future years, I don’t think they’d bat an eye at that.”

The 2024 NFL Draft class is loaded with quarterbacks, headlined by Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Heisman winner Jayden Daniels. As Goessling outlines, hitting on one of those three prospects would set up the Vikes for the next decade. Cousins only guarantees them a few years of moderate success.

"They have certainly looked at this as 'we need to get the guy that we can plant our flag with for the next 10 years and if it costs a lot to do that, so be it,'" continued Goessling. "I don't think they're going to limp in on this, so to speak, and be like, 'Well, if it's QB5 and we're kind of OK with him let's take him anyway.'"

The best-case scenario for Minnesota may be a sign-and-trade of some sort, where Cousins gets to choose his next suitor, but the Vikings can receive some high draft compensation. Losing Cousins will sting in the interim, but it may be for the greater good long term.

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