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Minnesota Vikings News and Links, 30 December 2023

It’s strange how drinking cups of water seems impossible, but 8 cups of coffee go down like a chubby kid on a see-saw.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson... Photo by Anthony Souffle/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Before we get to the QB position, in the last open thread I did, I mentioned the other positions where the team needs to either sign their own player or look to free agency. I will list them briefly and in no particular order of importance ...

LG, 3rd WR, Edge (2), LB, DT

I think these are the main spots but they could need a safety if they cannot get Smith to agree to a massive pay cut or if he retires. They may need a center or at least one who is developing (for a year) behind Bradbury. They may want a veteran corner to add to the group of youts or a free agent upgrade.

Obviously the QB spot is the big elephant in the room and it has to be settled first. These games without Kirk Cousins have been useful for Kwesi and KOC to see what the offense could look like without Kirk Cousins. Dobbs and Mullens have had their moments both good and bad. Hall has not had much chance but now gets it again.

Cousins brings infinitely more knowledge about what defenses are trying to do and knows where to go with the ball very very quickly every snap. You cannot get this knowledge without playing 10 plus years and being a dedicated student of the game. The mobility that Dobbs brought was encouraging and shone some light on what the offense could do with that mobility. But you need the other pocket passing part more. The ideal is to get a bit of both.

Cousins joined Adam Schefter on his podcast and said some encouraging things about his future. It starts at the 18 minute mark.

He talks about the recovery prospects of Achilles surgery and he looked at a lot of top athletes and even entertainers that returned from the surgery. He talked about the shorter recovery time due to improved surgical techniques. He mentioned that since he is a pocket passer then he should return back to playing the same way as he was this year which was really good. He has a body trainer and feels it is going to enable him to play longer. He mentioned that Jordan Hicks has torn both his Achilles (2013 at Texas and 2017 with the Eagles) and how well he has played after. A good listen.

If Kwesi believes Cousins will return and play at the same level he was playing at this year then he might be very wise to reach an extension agreement with Cousins. The QB class in this draft is interesting. Beyond Caleb and Drake the group will consist of Nix, Penix, and Daniels. It is unknown if McCarty is going to enter the draft and even Caleb has not made his announcement. I expect he will but you never know.

It really is a tough decision but I expect the two sides to come to an agreement that is fair. Ideally, most fans hope Cousins will accept less than market value to “help the team” but that is a tough ask of any person. You have to believe the team is going to make the necessary moves with the money saved to help you perform better.

25M per year would be flabbergasting. Even 30M per year is a HUGE discount. PFF’s Brad Spielberger thinks a two year 60M deal is appropriate. I am not sure about that but it is a decent guess.

Since yore last open thread

2023 NFL Week 17: Green Bay Packers at Minnesota Vikings

Hall to get start on Sunday against Green Bay

Jaren Hall Gets the Start Against the Packers

Vikings are the favorite to sign QB Russell Wilson

Norse Code Podcast Episode 502: Random and Cruel (with guest Justis Mosqueda)

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

Other Vikings News

Vikings Sign Anthony Barr to Active Roster; Nick Vigil to Practice Squad

NFL Expert Picks: Vikings Prepare for Border Battle on Unique Date with Packers

Week 17 Wish List for Vikings Positioning in NFC Playoff Scenarios

Vikings QB future: Sign a top free agent? Seek a trade? A look at five possible quarterback moves in Minnesota

Bring back Kirk Cousins

Let’s be realistic here: This one isn’t happening. If the Vikings had any intention of running it back with Cousins , they would have extended him last offseason instead of carrying his $20.5 million cap number with a $28.5 million dead money hit for next year that kicks in when his contract voids at the end of this season. And after he tore his Achilles earlier this season, it makes even less sense for them to buy into Cousins’ age-36-and-beyond seasons.

A super quick and dirty plan

2023: $37,296,185
2024: $139,489,530


Harrison Smith: saves $11,384,116
CJ Ham: saves $1,733,332
Dean Lowry: saves $2,200,000
Nick Mullens: saves $1,900,000


2023: $54,513,633
2024: $166,722,082


Extend Cousins - 2 yr 70M
5M signing bonus
Salaries of 30M, 35M
Cap hits of 41.5M, 46.5M, 5.25M, & 5.25M
Would save 24.5M if he was released or traded in 2025
*Doubtful Cousins would agree to only one year gtd


Extend Hunter - 3 yr 75M
Extend JJ - 4 yr 132M
Extend Risner - 3 yr 24M
Sign Javon Kinlaw - 2 yr 12M
Sign Isaiah Simmons - 2 yr 10M


CAP SPACE (38 players)
2023: $20,959,967
2024: $40,018,748


They would need to sign 17 more players which includes the rookies.
Minimum salaries are
0 yrs - 795,000
1 yrs - 870,000
2 yrs - 940,000
3 yrs - 1,010,000
4-6 yrs - 1,080,000
7-9 yrs - 1,165,000
Rookie pool cap space cost - 4,286,758
Let’s say 12.3M to sign these 17 players
Leaves 8.6M in cap space
Might go for a better linebacker or another position like corner

Yore Mock

Trade Partner: Kansas City Chiefs
Sent: Round 1 Pick 15
Received: Round 1 Pick 25, Round 2 Pick 25
Trade Partner: San Francisco 49ers
Sent: Round 2 Pick 25, Round 4 Pick 28
Received: Round 2 Pick 31, Round 3 Pick 36, Round 7 Pick 31
Trade Partner: Atlanta Falcons
Sent: Round 5 Pick 25, Round 6 Pick 13
Received: Round 5 Pick 10, Round 6 Pick 27

25: R1 P25 EDGE Bralen Trice - Washington 6’4” 273

47: R2 P15 DL T’Vondre Sweat - Texas 6’4” 362

63: R2 P31 C Sedrick Van Pran - Georgia 6’3” 310

100: R3 P36 S Cole Bishop - Utah 6’2” 207

115: R4 P15 RB Audric Estime - Notre Dame 5’11” 227

146: R5 P10 QB Michael Pratt - Tulane 6’3” 220

163: R5 P27 LB Marist Liufau - Notre Dame 6’2” 239

176: R6 P1 DL Darius Robinson - Missouri 6’5” 296

202: R6 P27 CB Jahdae Barron - Texas 5’11” 192

250: R7 P31 G Isaiah Adams - Illinois 6’5” 320

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