Ex-Vikings QB Kirk Cousins Could Join NFC Rival by Next Season

Kirk Cousins left the Minnesota Vikings in search of a team that would prioritize him in the long term, but following the Atlanta Falcons‘ selection of Michael Penix, Cousins could be on the move again — this time: to the Dallas Cowboys.

USA Today’s Cowboys Wire writer K.D. Drummond addressed the Cowboys sending three-time Pro Bowler Dak Prescott into a contract year and suggested that Cousins could be his replacement by next season considering the Falcons could be itching to kickstart the Penix era.

“Atlanta spent the No. 8 pick on Washington QB Michael Penix, Jr., despite guaranteeing Kirk Cousins $100 million as the biggest free-agency splash in the league. While they’ll co-exist in 2024, Cousins all of a sudden is a trade candidate next year, before he’s even taken a snap in the Peach State,” Drummond wrote. “Cousins’ contract is huge, they guaranteed $100 million, but that doesn’t make him untradeable. In fact, the [Falcons] could carve out around $2.5 million in space in 2025 were they to deal him next offseason, and then be free of all future obligations.”

Cousins has a full no-trade clause in his contract that could interfere with any plans for a trade. However, Cousins did feel blindsided by the Falcons and could look for a fresh start.

The Cowboys are too close to contention to be in the range of a blue-chip quarterback by next year’s draft, offering Cousins the opportunity to hitch his wagon to Dallas for a season.

“He’d probably be relatively cheap, compensation wise, and the Cowboys wouldn’t be committing to anything beyond the 2025 season, as that’s the only remaining guaranteed base salary, and it’s a pretty affordable $27.5 million with no roster bonus,” Drummond added.

Kirk Cousins, Mike Zimmer Reunion With Cowboys Would Be Much of the Same

Vikings graphics

Cousins landing with the Cowboys would be one of the strangest landing spots for the veteran quarterback considering Dallas just hired former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer.

Once the final piece to an NFC Championship roster, Cousins was vilified for the atrophy of the late 2010-era Vikings roster due to his contract — a deal that Zimmer was not fond of when the team was looking to address the quarterback position in the 2018 offseason.

While Zimmer may not be a central decision-maker as the Cowboys defensive coordinator, he could soon find himself back in the position as head coach.

Much like Prescott, head coach Mike McCarthy enters a contract year this season. The Cowboys are weighing their options for the future after falling short of the NFC Championship three years in a row.

It’s hard to see Cousins as the cureall for the Cowboys postseason woes, however, he could serve as a bridge quarterback — so long as Zimmer isn’t making the final call.

Cousins Left Vikings After Learning Team Would Draft Rookie QB: Report

Kirk Cousins, Atlanta Falcons, Michael Penix Jr.

While there were several reasons Cousins left the Vikings after six seasons, one primary motivator was that the Vikings told Cousins it was likely they would draft his successor no matter if he stayed or signed elsewhere.

“I would 100% understand if Kirk Cousins is still stinging a bit from the whole ordeal,” Breer wrote of the Penix pick. “Here’s why—a reason he decided to leave Minnesota is because the Vikings were very up front with the 35-year-old about the possibility that, even in the case he stayed, they’d take a quarterback of the future high in the draft.”

Cousins faced the cruel irony of his departure on draft day when the Falcons selected Penix eighth overall. His agent revealed some bitter feelings about the situation in Atlanta after the first-round shakeup, saying the Falcons did not give any signs that they were considering a quarterback in the draft.

Cousins has opted for security throughout his career, but his ground in Atlanta is looking shakier by the day.

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