The start of free agency in the National Football League is a little less than two months away, and there are going to be a lot of folks talking about what teams should do when the signing period begins. One prominent website has a recommendation for our Minnesota Vikings, and there’s a decent chance that about half of the fan base isn’t going to like it.
Pro Football Focus has an article up for one player that each team should pursue in free agency. Their recommendation for the Vikings? None other than quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Here’s their logic:
Maybe the Vikings will decide it’s time to rebuild, but they only just missed out on the playoffs in 2023 — and that was with Kirk Cousins missing the second half of the season. He has earned a 79.0-plus PFF grade in every season in Minnesota, and while he is unlikely to break into the elite ranks in 2024, he is good enough to get the Vikings back to the playoffs, perhaps even winning the NFC North again. Getting into the postseason with Cousins and hoping for some luck to fall their way feels like the Vikings’ best option, considering who else is available at the position and where they pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
It’s difficult to argue the logic from a competitive standpoint. Yes, people will point out that the Vikings were 4-4 when Cousins got hurt and missed the second half of the season. It’s also worth pointing out that, when he got injured, Cousins was leading the NFL in touchdown passes and was second in passing yardage and was coming off of his back-to-back best games of the season against the 49ers and the Packers. The defense was also starting to come into its own around that time.
It’s not a reach to say that the Vikings would have made the postseason with Cousins behind center. Unless you think he was going to have turnover issues on the level that Josh Dobbs and Nick Mullens were having them in games at the end of the season, which seems to be a reach given the track records of all three of those guys.
In theory, if this were to happen, it wouldn’t actually be in free agency itself. . .it would have to occur before the start of free agency in the form of an extension in order to mitigate the impact of the void years the team added to the end of Cousins’ contract.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times in this space, bringing back Cousins would not, and should not, prevent the Vikings from taking a swing at their quarterback of the future in the 2024 NFL Draft. While a move into the top three seems unlikely. . .after all, you could argue that the top three teams all need quarterbacks themselves. . .they could take someone like J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan, Oregon’s Bo Nix, or Michael Penix of Washington at some point and let them sit behind Cousins for a year or two.
So, there’s at least one source that thinks that the Vikings bringing Kirk Cousins back is the optimal course of action for them this offseason. Feel free to let us know whether or not you agree!