When Kirk Cousins went down with what proved to be a season-ending Achilles tear last week, the prevailing thought was that the veteran quarterback may have played his final snap for the Minnesota Vikings. The 35-year-old Cousins is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason after the two sides were unable to agree to an extension leading into 2023. With that contractual situation in mind along with Cousins holding a no-trade clause and the Vikings being unable to franchise tag him, all that led to the likelihood of him departing in some fashion this spring. However, that may not be as definitive as once thought.
While the Vikings could end up drafting a quarterback at the 2024 NFL Draft, that move could be coupled with Cousins' return, according to NFL Media. This report comes after Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah told reporters this week that "every option is still available with Kirk," so it does seem like the organization is open to the possibility of bringing him back.
Cousins will still be rehabbing by the time free agency rolls around this spring, but Minnesota will have more medical information about his recovery than other teams by that point. That could prove to be a key factor in instilling confidence around the front office to push for a deal during the exclusive negotiating window. Of course, QB-needy teams will still be interested in Cousins despite coming off of this major injury, so it will be curious to see how much of a pull there will be from teams trying to pry him out of Minnesota.
The Vikings enter Week 9 set to start quarterback Jaren Hall and, outside of the rookie bursting onto the scene down the stretch, are assumed to again look at drafting a quarterback in 2024. After Week 8, they were slated with the No. 20 overall pick, which would likely put them out the outside looking in of the elite quarterback prospects in the first round. If they decided to address that position on Day 2, however, that could be an avenue for the team to bring in a young QB to develop behind a returning Cousins.