Ranking 5 best Vikings Kirk Cousins replacements if he signs with Falcons

The Minnesota Vikings will face stiff competition for Kirk Cousins' services. Here are the potential alternatives.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages
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4. Vikings can bet on 2024 Pro Bowl QB Gardner Minshew

Gardner Minshew is a 27-year-old quarterback fresh off his first Pro Bowl appearance, so naturally, his future as a starting QB is completely undecided. The Indianapolis Colts will turn the offense back over to Anthony Richardson, leaving Minshew's status in limbo. There are only so many starting gigs available, and those teams don't appear overly interested in the Washington State product.

What he lacks in size and traditional athleticism, Minshew makes up for with gumption and solid game management skills. He's mobile in the pocket, he can deliver the standard throws, and he's going to rally a locker room with his charisma. The Vikings stand to lose quite the vocal leader in Cousins, so Minshew's persona could help in that regard.

Minshew was thrust into a difficult situation with the Colts last season and he thrived. A lot of his success has been chalked up to Shane Steichen, but Minshew completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 3,305 yards, 15 touchdowns, and nine interceptions with a winning record (7-6) under center. At worst, he is a proven bridge QB who can hold the offense to a relatively high standard until Minnesota finds its long-term replacement next offseason.

The Vikings are running out of options to add Pro Bowl QBs to their roster. Minshew won't live up to that label, to be clear, but his success last season deserves to be rewarded with another chance to start. He may very well be the best arm left in free agency not named Kirk Cousins.