That possibility will be quickly dismissed because the Vikings have quarterback Kirk Cousins under contract for two more years, at fully-guaranteed compensation packages of $28 million in 2019 and $30 million in 2020.
But let’s not dismiss it immediately. If the Vikings could find a trade partner for the balance of Cousins’ deal, they’d take a cap hit of only $2 million (Cousins received a $3 million signing bonus). The question is whether someone would trade for Cousins’ remaining agreement, at $58 million over two years.
There are three teams to possibly watch in this regard. First, the Bengals. New coach Zac Taylor has worked for the past two years with Rams coach Sean McVay, who has worked with and who has a high opinion of Cousins. Taylor told PFT Live that he’ll be using McVay’s playbook as a starting point for the Bengals, which would make for a seamless transition, if Cousins were to land in Cincinnati.
Second, the Jaguars. Former Vikings offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is now the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville. With DeFilippo also tied to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, the Jaguars could explore either — and they could leverage the Eagles against the Vikings in order to get the best possible deal.
Third, the Giants. Per a league source, Giants coach Pat Shurmur had lobbied for the Vikings to sign Kirk Cousins before Shurmur became the coach of the Giants. While that may not bode well for Keenum to become a candidate to be signed by New York, it could prompt the Giants to bring Cousins back to the NFC East.
Apart from Cousins’ contract is the compensation necessary to effect a trade. If the Vikings’ organization has come to the same conclusion that many Minnesota fans have — that Cousins may not be the guy — maybe the Vikings would take not very much at all in order to wipe Cousins’ contract off the books. Especially if new offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski (who has been with the Vikings since 2006) believes in the guy who took the Vikings to the final four in 2017.