Former Vikings Star Reveals Thoughts On Team’s QB Situation

Kirk Cousins, Vikings
NFL Analysis Network

The Minnesota Vikings have a lot of decisions to make this upcoming offseason with their roster. Arguably the biggest one is at the quarterback spot. Will they bring back veteran Kirk Cousins, who is currently rehabbing from an Achilles injury suffered in Week 8 vs. the Green Bay Packers?

One former Vikings star doesn’t believe that it will be feasible to bring back Cousins. Because of a clause in his contract, Minnesota cannot use the franchise tag on him. With a projected contract of $35-40 million annually, it will be tough to keep him in town. The Vikings are projected to have only $39 million in cap space, pending some cuts and trades being made.

That is partly why former star pass rusher, Jared Allen, believes the two sides will part ways this offseason. This isn’t the first time Allen has suggested the team move on from Cousins, as it is nothing against him personally; he just believes the asses could be better allocated.

NFL News & Rumors: Jared Allen, Kirk Cousins, Jake Browning, Minnesota Vikings Updates

“You already heard what I said. Again, it was nothing personal,” Allen said on the “Chasin’ It” podcast on January 9. “We have so many moving parts. … I don’t know how you can pay a veteran quarterback, pay [Justin] Jefferson – you got [Danielle] Hunter. You have a laundry list of guys that’re going to have to get taken care of.”

Justin Jefferson is eligible for an extension this offseason and there is a good chance he will reset the wide receiver market. He has been dominant since entering the NFL as a first-round pick in 2020 and is arguably the best player in the league at his position.

Danielle Hunter is set to hit free agency in the coming weeks. His name was brought up in trade rumors leading up to the deadline, but the Vikings opted to hold onto him. It would not be surprising if he moved on as the two sides have never gotten close on a long-term extension.

If you are the Vikings and move on from Cousins, who will you bring in to replace him? Allen believes that Jake Browning of the Cincinnati Bengals would be an ideal target.

NFL News & Rumors: Jared Allen, Kirk Cousins, Jake Browning, Minnesota Vikings Updates

“I think there’s some options out there to where I don’t think you have to give up the farm for a 35-year-old,” Allen said. “You look at the kid in Cincinnati, who played his ass off this year. You could probably go get him at a relatively cheap price and go get a stud running back and run the ball 25-30 times a game.”

Browning did an excellent job of keeping the Bengals afloat once Joe Burrow went down with a season-ending wrist injury. He went 4-3 as a starter, completing 70.4 percent of his passes for 1,936 yards with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He added 127 yards and three more scores on the ground.

With big contracts on the horizon for multiple players, the Vikings may be better off aiming for a less expensive quarterback than Cousins is projected to be. Someone such as Browning or a veteran stopgap could be the way to go if they are committed to developing Jaren Hall or selecting another quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.

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