Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins could be on the move this offseason, as his contract will expire at the beginning of the new league year. This offseason's free-agent market is light on quarterbacks, with Cousins being the most recognizable name available. Cousins remains a top-10 quarterback in the NFL at 35 years old, but he is coming off a major knee injury.
If Cousins agreed to take a pay cut to re-sign in Minnesota, then perhaps they'd consider it. Even a short-term deal works in the Vikings favor, despite the high AAV. Yet, if a quarterback-needy team blows Cousins away with a lucrative contract, the Vikings can afford to let him walk. That's where the New England Patriots come in.
Minnesota Vikings have a plan to replace Kirk Cousins
Per Dan Graziano of ESPN, sources around the league believe the Patriots are open to trading back from the No. 3 overall pick. Minnesota and the Atlanta Falcons are two teams that could reportedly be interested, per Graziano.
There is no 1-for-1 guaranteed replacement for Cousins. The Vikings would be banking on potential with any one of these young quarterbacks, including Caleb Williams. The most likely option for them is either Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye. The Washington Commanders are also in need of quarterback help at No. 2, which complicates matters.
A pre-draft trade for the No. 3 pick seems unlikely unless the Vikings are sold on Maye or Daniels, or perhaps know something we don't about the Commanders intent. As for Vikes receiver Justin Jefferson, he is prepared for the possibility of life after Kirk.
"It could be Kirk, it could not be Kirk," Jefferson said on the Super Bowl Live broadcast. "I have no idea, but it doesn't matter who's going to be throwing me that ball, you know I'm going to be that same type of player."
Jefferson has faith in the Vikings front office to address that need. If Cousins returns, great. If not, they will have a plan in place to move on.