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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 28 December 2023

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali

Detroit Lions v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

There is a lot of discussion about what the Vikings are going to do at the Quarterback position for 2024. I believe a slight majority want to see Kirk Cousins re-signed albeit for a cheaper than fair market deal. The number of fans who want him back likely decreases if he wants a fair market deal. Ahhh ... Minnesota Nice eh?

I am not sure but if I was Kwesi, I would be very concerned about another extension. First off, the dead money does not really matter because any extension will push most of that into future years. I am not sure Kwesi will bind his GM career together with the end of Cousins career.

There are very few Quarterbacks that signed a fairly massive extension at age 35 or older. Aaron Rodgers signed a 4 year 134M deal in 2018 at age 35. He went on to win back to back MVPs too. Drew Brees signed a few extensions at age 37 or older. Tom Brady obviously is another one. I cannot think of any other older QBs that signed large deal at age 35 or older.

There has been some debate about how Cousins would perform post surgery. It is hard to find another QB who had this surgery before. This article states ...

https://www.healio.com/news/orthopedics/20180323/most-football-players-returned-to-nfl-after-achilles-tendon-repair

“Our study of 95 NFL players showed that it was also a career-ending injury in nearly 28% of those analyzed. Although postoperative performance was worse in running backs and linebackers (vs. pre-injury), there was no difference in postoperative performance or number of games played for any position (with the exception of linebackers) compared to rigorously matched control players in the league.”

... Cousins was already fairly immobile by choice it seems. I am not sure he is going to be more mobile going forward. The familiar refrain of the offensive line needing to be top notch in order for Cousins to thrive will continue if he is re-signed. It might have to be much better. Either way, it is not going to end well as it does for all players.

...

If Kwesi decided to draft a Quarterback this year and sign a veteran bridge to a much cheaper deal (Minshew, Brissett, Winston, Tannehill?, or someone else) then he could buy himself a few more years from the Wilfs due to the fact he has a rookie QB.

I like the idea of trading for Kyler Murray. A lot. The Cardinals, who currently have the #2 pick, would eat 46.2M in dead money but save 5.6M in cap space. They have 55M in cap space before doing anything so it could be done. What would it take though? Probably two 1st round picks at least plus some other stuff. Is he worth it? He will only be 27 next year and would have the best weapons he ever had. Pipe dream.

Obviously, Kwesi will want the QB situation solid unless he has a rookie that really is like a box of chocolates. But there are many other holes on the team that need to be rebuilt in order to stay competitive.

...

Offensive guard could be a need if Risner goes out and gets 8 to 10M per year. Can he get as much as Isaac Seumalo (8M per year) or Cody Whitehair (10.25M per year) or will he come in lower?

A third wide receiver could be a need if KJ Osborn goes out and gets his value which spotrac has at 7.5M per year. I think he will try to get more than that considering Allen Lazard got 11M per year, Jakobi Meyers got 11M per year, and Marquez Valdes-Scantling got 10M per year.

Would signing Brandon Powell and hoping Jalen Nailor steps up be enough?

Will Hockenson be ready before November?

...

On defense, if he does not back up the brinks for Hunter, he is likely gone. He might be gone anyway but it is going to cost Maxx Crosby money or more IMHO. What about opposite him? Will Kwesi try to bring back Wonnum on a cheap one year prove it deal? Is Wonnum worth it? I think he is worth it.

What about defensive tackle? Will he re-sign Tonga who is a RFA? What tender would he use on Tonga if at all? Will he bring back Bullard and Sheldon Day? Will the draft provide any viable option? Is there a free agent worth trying to sign?

What about linebacker? Will he try to bring back Hicks or sign a younger player? Will Asamoah take a step up next year?

What about cornerback? Murphy, Evans, Blackmon, and Booth are all under contract. They might be good at corner considering they are all young. Booth really needs to step up next year.

What about safety? Obviously Smith will have to take a massive pay cut because his 19.25M cap hit is simply too much. He has a 14.45M salary so I could see them asking him to cut that in half at least. But why? When will Cine get a shot? It has to be next year right? Bynum needs a new deal as he will be in his last year.

IDK. Seems like this is leaning towards more of the rebuild side.

One thing I will say is that I do not think that Cousins takes less than two years and probably wants it all guaranteed especially after his injury. If this occurs then it would be a waste to draft a QB early that is going to sit for two years. The cap space benefits should not be thrown away when you have a rookie QB. It would defeat the purpose.


Since yore last open thread

2023 NFL Week 17: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

TJ Hockenson and DJ Wonnum Added to the Vikings IR list

Justin Jefferson sets new NFL record in Sunday’s loss

Vikings Still Have a Decent Shot at Making the Playoffs Despite All That’s Gone Wrong This Season

Minnesota Vikings Reacts Week 17: Back to the quarterback question

Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings: Initial injury reports for both teams


Other Vikings News

Justin Jefferson stumps for Kirk Cousins’ return in 2024 amid Vikings’ QB troubles

Since Cousins went down with a torn Achilles in Week 8 against Green Bay, the Vikes have cycled through QBs. Rookie Jaren Hall made the first start but lasted just 11 snaps. Then came the Josh Dobbs experience, which soared early before crashing and burning. Finally, it’s been Nick Mullens , who puts the high in high-variance-QB-play, making some big plays but also turning the pigskin over at an exorbitant rate (six INTs in two tilts).
“It’s definitely tough without him being there,” Jefferson said on Wednesday of Cousins, via the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “His leadership. His knowledge of the game. His awareness. There’s definitely something missing not having that main piece out there on the table.”
The Vikings’ QB roulette since Cousins went down shows how valuable he is.
“I think it goes to show the world the type of player Kirk is,” Jefferson said. “This is a tough league. Not everybody is meant for this job. It’s tough not having No. 8 out there.”
”I definitely will always give that extra word for Kirko,” Jefferson said before adding: “I feel like I really don’t have to voice my opinion that much. Just look at his play before he went down.”

2024 NFL mock draft: Vikings trade for Kyler Murray , Patriots land Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 4

Vikings get: QB Kyler Murray, 2025 sixth-round pick
Cardinals get: No. 46 overall (second-round pick), No. 159 overall (fifth-round pick), and a 2025 fourth-round pick that becomes a third-round pick if Murray throws for over 4,000 yards in 2024

Seems way too light for me.


Vikings Playoff Odds Have Plummeted, Top-10 Draft Pick Not Impossible

The Vikings’ playoff hopes are fully on the ropes.
A couple weeks ago, they were projected as high as 75-80 percent to make the postseason. Now, after gut-wrenching one-score losses against the Bengals and Lions, those odds are down to 31.5 percent (via DVOA) or 19.2 percent (ESPN’s FPI), depending on which site you prefer.
Here’s one other thing for Vikings fans to keep in mind: They’re not out of the running for a potential top-ten draft pick. If the free fall continues and they finish 7-10, they could end up with a pick somewhere in the 8-12 range. ESPN’s FPI projects them to have a 20 percent chance to pick in the top ten.

Nick Mullens, Jaren Hall split QB snaps during open portion of Vikings practice

Based on what reporters saw during the open portion of the team’s practice, it appears that the choice is down to two of those three options. Mullens and Hall split the work during the portion of practice that the media was able to attend.

NFL Rumors: Vikings Eye Kirk Cousins Return on New Contract Despite Achilles Injury

Dianna Russini of The Athletic reported the news on Saturday:
“Cousins is out for the season and will be a free agent in 2024,” Russini wrote.
“Though his future is unclear, conversations I have had with sources over the last few months always suggest Minnesota will try to bring him back and that there are many in the building and locker room who want that.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reiterated Russini’s report on Sunday morning: “The Vikings, who will start rookie Jaren Hall today against the Falcons, could still select a quarterback in the 2024 draft. But that move could be coupled with a Cousins return, sources say.”
“Yeah, you guys know how I feel about Kirk. Kirk knows how I feel about Kirk,” O’Connell told reporters Tuesday, per Kevin Seifert of ESPN.
“I think he was playing as well as anybody in the National Football League and one of the hardest parts about coping with this ... [is] the fact that he was experiencing his best season in the National Football League and where we could have gone as a team. Hopefully, we are still going to get to that place. But I know without Kirk Cousins and that high level quarterback play we were getting from him week in and week out, it’s going a challenge, but one that we’ve got to accept and try to thrive.”

Yore Mock

This is the latest from drafttek.
https://www.drafttek.com/2024-NFL-Mock-Draft/2024-NFL-Mock-Draft-Round-1.asp

R1 15 Laiatu Latu UCLA EDGE Height: 6’4” Weight: 265

R2 47 Sedrick Van Pran Georgia OC Height: 6’3” Weight: 310

R4 116 Payton Wilson NC State OLB Height: 6’3” Weight: 235

R4 129 Ruke Orhorhoro Clemson DL3T Height: 6’4” Weight: 295

R5 161 Jamari Thrash Louisville WR Height: 6’1” Weight: 185

R5 163 Sataoa Laumea Utah OT Height: 6’4” Weight: 311

R6 182 Lathan Ransom Ohio State S Height: 6’0” Weight: 207

R6 200 Sebastian Castro Iowa CBN Height: 5’11” Weight: 205

Five QBs went before pick 15. The only one left was Penix who I like but wanted to change it up.



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