After several offseasons of Washington failing to lock quarterback Kirk Cousins into a long-term contract, the 29-year-old quarterback is likely to hit the free agent market following this season unless the team wants to use the franchise tag on him for the third time. That would cost around $35 million.
As Cousins puts up solid numbers again this year and continues to prove himself as a top-half-of-the-league starting QB, ESPN took a look a teams that could be interested in signing him. On the list: The Minnesota Vikings.
ESPN’s Mike Sando wrote:
“With Sam Bradford’s health a major concern and Teddy Bridgewater’s career in question, the Vikings have become a version of the Bradford-era St. Louis Rams: a team that might contend if only its quarterback could play. The Vikings have zero dollars committed to quarterbacks beyond this season, and they have a history under general manager Rick Spielman of adding veteran quarterbacks such as Brett Favre, Donovan McNabb and Bradford.”
Whether the Vikings would be interested in Cousins now seems to rest on Bridgewater’s health. Sam Bradford’s knee issue – stemming from multiple ACL surgeries – could be a chronic issue for the remainder of his career. That would deter the Vikings from locking him into a long-term deal.
If Bridgewater comes back and shows that he can play, either his contract will toll to 2018 or the Vikings will work to re-sign him. It’s possible that Bridgewater could want to go somewhere else, but he’d have a team that follows him as their leader and plenty of weapons a la Dalvin Cook, Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen.
It would seem that the Vikings would be attractive to Cousins, who has a 107.2 quarterback rating this season, for the same reasons.
Until we see Bridgewater play, we won’t know how he’s going to look post-surgery. There’s still a possibility that he’ll never be the 2015 version again.
In that case, the Vikings would either have to turn toward Cousins or re-sign Bradford to a short-term deal or franchise tag him.
The other teams listed in the ESPN piece were Washington, Buffalo, New York Jets, Miami, San Francisco, Cleveland, Denver and Arizona.