April 19, 2024

The Minnesota Vikings are in a potentially pricey predicament.

In the early phases of their competitive rebuild, the Vikings have been in contention for a postseason place in back-to-back seasons. However, one position, the most essential position, is still in flux.

Bringing Kirk Cousins back or picking a quarterback in April have been the two most popular possibilities, both of which may be costly.

“I don’t think you want to bring Cousins back,” remarked Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune on the “Daily Delivery” podcast on January 2. “What are you going to accomplish if you bring Cousins back?” … You’re going to win nine or 10 games and then get knocked out in the first round of the playoffs, right? With this squad, he’s not taking you to the promised land.

“You’re not going to be 13-4 again by some miracle.” That is not going to happen.”
Cousins led the Vikings to a 4-4 record. However, following a 0-3 start, they won four of his subsequent five starts.

“The competitive rebuild… begins with rebuilding with a new quarterback, who will be relied on.” And it’s not going to be a fifth-round pick from BYU. You must find your future quarterback. Let’s get started.

 

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If Kirk Cousins is released, the Vikings will be in ‘Salary-Cap Hell.’ Re-Signed

“You have to pay him $40 million… “You’re in salary-cap hell like you’ve never been before,” Reusse added. “It’s time to start over at quarterback, and it’s not going to happen by paying [Kirk]…. This isn’t the same as bringing back Aaron Rodgers in his mid-30s. This is the return of a solid quarterback, not a superstar quarterback. So I believe the time has come.”

According to Spotrac, the Vikings will have $39 million in cap space this offseason assuming other transactions.

In addition to Cousins’ upcoming contract, Reusse mentions Justin Jefferson’s looming contract dilemma, as the top wide receiver is poised to become a free agency following the 2019 season. In addition, Danielle Hunter’s free agency this summer poses a more imminent threat.

Hunter, 29, has 15.5 sacks this season, while DJ Wonnum, the Vikings’ second-leading pass rusher, has 8.0. Wonnum’s season was cut short due to a ruptured quad.

If the Vikings decide to trade Cousins and pick a quarterback, Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. could be a viable alternative.

The Vikings are being urged to choose Washington’s Michael Penix Jr.

“You gotta try to go get one of the four – or so – quarterbacks there are [in the draft], and start building yourself a quarterback, and building yourself a team,” Reusse went on to say. “Find a way to get the left-handed pitcher from Washington.” I’ll take him, man alive. With that man, Jefferson could easily catch 1500 yards worth of passes.”

This season, Penix completed 66.7% of his throws for 4,648 yards, 35 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. The sixth-year quarterback spent four seasons at Indiana before moving to Washington for the 2022 season.

Penix was the Heisman Trophy runner-up this season and led the Huskies to a National Championship game appearance.

Penix will be 24 years old in May.

He also has a long history of shoulder and knee ailments, having had each of his four seasons at Indiana cut short due to injury. This includes injuring his ACL twice, once in 2018 and once in 2020.

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