As we approach a resolution to the Minnesota Vikings’ quarterback conundrum, we may have a sense for the team’s order of operations if they do not land top free agent Kirk Cousins. Boston Globe NFL reporter Ben Volin reports that’s Teddy Bridgewater is the fallback plan.
“The Vikings told Teddy Bridgewater at the Combine last weekend that they intend to pursue Cousins, per a league source, but that Bridgewater remains a viable backup plan.”
At the Combine, head coach Mike Zimmer said that he hopes Bridgewater returns to being a starting quarterback after his nearly two-year recovery from a catastrophic knee injury.
Volin added another wrinkle to the Vikings paying out big dollars to Cousins:
“And the Vikings have a couple of issues in going after Cousins. One is that the Vikings want to do new contracts for Stefon Diggs, Anthony Barr, and Danielle Hunter, and giving a mega-deal to Cousins could complicate that. The NFL’s funding requirement could also be an issue — teams are required to put all guaranteed money into escrow, and Vikings ownership isn’t wealthy enough to simply cut a $90 million check and be done with it.”
While there have been reports that the Vikings are the runaway favorite for Cousins, they may not be the favorite to give him the highest offer.
“Cousins has narrowed his market to four teams — the Vikings, Broncos, Jets, and Cardinals. The Jets can offer him the most money. The Vikings and Broncos offer him the best chance to win now. The Cardinals are a bit of a wild card — they appear to be in rebuilding mode and don’t have a ton of cap space ($20.6 million or so), but it could be mighty tempting to throw passes to Larry Fitzgerald and hand off to David Johnson.”
Beyond Bridgewater, other possible Vikings backup plans could include trying to re-sign Sam Bradford or Case Keenum. They have also been connected to AJ McCarron and could even consider drafting a QB. The Vikings reportedly met with Baker Mayfield at the Combine.