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The quarterback carousel has already started to spin

How is this going to affect the Vikings?

Pro Bowl Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Even though the start of the 2018 NFL league year doesn’t hit until the middle of March, the quarterback carousel is officially spinning, and a name that many Minnesota Vikings fans had bandied about will no longer be making his way north.

According to Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star, the Kansas City Chiefs have agreed to the terms of a deal to send quarterback Alex Smith to. . .the Washington Redskins.

Yes, the Washington Redskins. As in the team that Kirk Cousins plays for and was going to try to work out a long-term deal with him. That’s certainly not going to be the case now.

The Redskins will reportedly give Smith a four-year extension that is rumored to be in the neighborhood of $94 million. That includes $71 million in guarantees. That’s just about the same per-year cost as the franchise tag for quarterbacks this year is going to cost should the Vikings (or any other team) decide to use it.

And, with that, the free agent quarterback market is set.

With this, Cousins almost certainly becomes the best available quarterback on the free agent market. . .unless you think either Jimmy Garoppolo or Drew Brees is going to come available, in which case you’re fooling yourself. . .and you can bet that he isn’t going to come cheap. After Cousins, the next three best free agent quarterbacks on the list might all currently be members of the Minnesota Vikings

The quarterback situation for this team is going to be the big topic this offseason, and things are getting kicked off six weeks early, it appears.