As the idea of trading Kirk Cousins lingers, here are three deals the Vikings should actually make.
The NFL quarterback carousel is already spinning this offseason, with trades that swapped Matthew Stafford for Jared Goff and sent Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts. With those deals has come speculation about what other quarterbacks could be moved, and the potential trade value of Kirk Cousins has gotten some attention from Minnesota Vikings fans.
On the surface, the dead-money implications ($20 million) makes it hard for the Vikings to trade Cousins. But an acquiring team could see the cost they’d take on for this year, $21 million guaranteed, and see a reasonable cost before his $35 million salary for 2022 becomes fully guaranteed on March 20.
If Wentz can fetch a possible first-round pick among two draft picks coming off a dreadful season (as long as he plays as much for the Colts as he’s expected to), it’s not unreasonable to think Cousins’ value would be at a peak right now. I tabbed a solid return at two second-round picks in late-January, but the Wentz deal changes the price of poker. Supply and demand, economists of all levels might say.
This side of Watson, is there a better quarterback who might be available via trade than Cousins? The Vikings would have to have a plan to replace him, but trading Cousins shouldn’t be totally off the table until further notice.
Here are three deals involving Cousins the Vikings should consider making.
3 realistic Kirk Cousins trades the Vikings should do
3. Kirk To Foxboro
There may be no more quarterback-needy team out there than the New England Patriots. Cam Newton didn’t work out in the first year post-Tom Brady. The draft, perhaps as early as the No. 15 pick (if they stay put there), is sure to yield someone.
But another path says Bill Belichick will make every effort to secure a veteran signal caller. The Patriots have the third-most cap space in the league right now ($62.2 million, according to Over The Cap), so money won’t be an issue. It’s easy to tie them to bringing Jimmy Garoppolo back, assuming the San Francisco 49ers move on. But Cousins is a better quarterback, and Belichick openly praised him ahead of a game against the Vikings a couple years ago.
“He’s a smart guy,” Belichick said. “He’s a tough kid. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s another guy who’s kind of come up the hard way, earned his stripes. Nobody’s given him anything. He’s had to go out there and earn it, and he has.”
Here’s an offer the Patriots could make for Cousins to get Minnesota’s attention.
QB Kirk Cousins
2021 2nd Round Pick
2021 5th Round Pick
2022 3rd Round Pick