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Report: Vikings on Short List to Trade for Projected $283 Million QB

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Re-signing Kirk Cousins is Minnesota’s top priority, according to Dan Graziano, Fowler’s ESPN colleague. However, Graziano also noted that the Vikings and their six-year starter are still at odds over a contract.

According to Graziano, “It seems like Minnesota is still hoping for quarterback Kirk Cousins to come back, but Cousins has very clear expectations for a new deal, and the Vikings have not come up with an offer that meets those expectations.” “The ball might be in the team’s court at this point. Cousins and his family like Minnesota and would be happy to stay and finish his career there, but it doesn’t sound like he’s willing to offer the team a hometown discount.”

Spotrac projects Cousins’ market value at north of $118 million over the next three years, and he is likely to push for a full guarantee on much — if not all — of that money, which is a sticking point for the Vikings. Cousins has earned $185 million from Minnesota across three separate deals spanning the past six seasons and has never played on anything other than a fully-guaranteed contract since joining the organization.

Kirk Cousins is more expensive and a younger option than Justin Fields for the Vikings.

Trading for Justin Fields could present the Minnesota Vikings with a financially appealing option, especially in the short term. Fields is currently on his rookie contract, making him a more budget-friendly choice for the next two seasons compared to retaining Kirk Cousins.

Fields’ rookie deal is set to pay him just under $19 million in total, and if the Vikings acquire him, they can exercise a fifth-year team option, extending his contract through 2025 at a cost of $25.7 million. However, beyond that point, Minnesota would likely face a significant financial commitment to retain Fields, with projections suggesting a market value of over $283 million over a new six-year contract.

Nevertheless, the Vikings would have the flexibility to apply the franchise tag to Fields, allowing them to retain him for the 2026 season on a one-year deal valued at over $50 million, based on the average of the NFL’s top five salaries at the quarterback position at that time.

Aside from the financial considerations, Fields’ youth and potential make him an attractive option for the Vikings, particularly given the ages of their primary offensive playmakers. At 25 years old, Fields is considerably younger than Cousins, who will be 36 at the start of the 2024 season. Additionally, Fields’ skill set, including his arm talent, mobility, and ability to extend plays, offers a different dimension to the Vikings’ offense compared to Cousins, who may be past his prime and is coming off a serious injury. Overall, while Fields may require further development, his upside and compatibility with the Vikings’ offensive timeline make him an intriguing option for the franchise.

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