When the Minnesota Vikings signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year, $84 million, completely guaranteed contract in March of 2018, the logic seemed to be that the Vikings were married to Cousins for the entirety of that contract.
(See how I didn’t make a Wisconsin joke there? Huh? Did ya?)
Anyway, at least one prominent voice on the NFL landscape seems to think that might not be the case, and has even floated a theory wherein the Vikings and Cousins would part ways after the 2019 season.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk has put the theory out there that, should Jimmy Garoppolo disappoint with the San Francisco 49ers and the Niners decide to turn him loose, the Vikings would then turn around and trade Cousins to the Niners to reunite him with Kyle Shanahan, who was Cousins’ offensive coordinator during part of his time with the Washington Redskins.
According to this article from 49ers Webzone, if the Niners were to let Garoppolo go after the 2019 season, they would have to absorb just over $4 million in dead cap. The Vikings would then send Cousins, presumably coming off of his own disappointing season with the Vikings, to the Niners for the final year of his contract (absent some sort of extension).
I’m honestly not sure how much there is to this whole thing. The Vikings’ front office and coaching staff seems to believe in Cousins, and they’re trying to do everything they can to build the offense around him. Cousins will also, presumably, have all his main weapons (Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph) around him for the foreseeable future, and he seems to have developed chemistry with those guys.
This whole thing also seems to leave out the fairly minor point of, you know, precisely what the Vikings would do at quarterback in that situation. Do they turn around and sign the newly-released Garoppolo? Do they use their first pick on a rookie in what looks to be a loaded 2020 quarterback class?
I don’t know. . .I mean, maybe the idea of trading Kirk Cousins sounds like a good idea to some people, but I just don’t see it. While this team has managed to retain a lot of its talent, the window is going to close (or, at the very least, see the opening become much more narrow) in the very near future. I just don’t see them turning things over to a rookie or an unproven quarterback in 2020 when they could keep Cousins and the rest of the offense together for another go-around.
What say you, folks?