Vikings’ O’Connell Makes Telling Comments on Kirk Cousins, Tampering at Combine - Sport News

Vikings’ O’Connell Makes Telling Comments on Kirk Cousins, Tampering at Combine

The Minnesota Vikings are trying to bring QB Kirk Cousins back into the fold on a team-friendly deal this offseason, but that gets more complicated the closer the NFL gets to the start of free agency.

Tyler Forness of USA Today’s Vikings Wire posted comments from head coach Kevin O’Connell to X on Saturday, March 2. Forness said that what jumped out to him was O’Connell “alluding to tampering” during his conversation with NFL Network.

Kirk Cousins, Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota Vikings

“The combine gave everybody else an opportunity, whether they’re supposed to be or not, to maybe have some conversations,” O’Connell said.

Despite that disadvantage, however, O’Connell remained confident that the two sides can find common ground and come to an agreement before the free agency period officially opens on March 13.

“I know Kirk is going to go through a full process. He’s a process guy,” O’Connell said. “And hopefully we continue to be a strong part in that process and we figure out a way to keep him a Minnesota Viking.”

Atlanta Falcons Remain Vikings’ Top Competition for QB Kirk Cousins
Kirk Cousins, Denver Broncos

 

NFL analysts and insiders have long considered the Atlanta Falcons the Vikings’ primary competition for Cousins this offseason. Atlanta picks No. 8 in the upcoming draft and went through a coaching change this offseason.

On February 27, Seth Walder of ESPN Analytics predicted that Cousins will open the 2024 campaign as the Falcons’ starter.

Atlanta makes sense for Cousins, assuming he’s fully recovered from the torn Achilles he suffered in Week 8. He’d be going from one former Sean McVay assistant (Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell) to another (Falcons offensive coordinator Zac Robinson),” Walder wrote. “And the Falcons are closer to contending than most think. The roster is fairly strong and was held back by the play of quarterbacks Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke. With a new coaching staff and a proven veteran quarterback in Cousins, the Falcons wouldn’t only be NFC South favorites — they could win a playoff game or two.”

In that scenario, Walder predicted that Russell Wilson will open the year at QB for Minnesota, and that the Vikings will draft a rookie QB with the No. 11 pick.

“Let’s call this Wilson plus Oregon’s Bo Nix,” Walder wrote. “Cousins might end up back in Minnesota, but I could see the Vikings balking at giving him a multiyear guaranteed contract. If he’s out of the picture, Wilson is probably the next-best short-term solution.”

Kirk Cousins Projected to Land $100-Plus Million Contract Despite Age, Injury

Kevin O'Connell, Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings

Cousins will turn 36 years old ahead of next season and is coming off the worst injury of his career. Still, the Vikings want the veteran back, but perhaps not at the price that Spotrac projects he will command.

The website predicts Cousins’ market value at approximately $118 million over a new three-year deal. However, the Vikings are hesitant to offer any guaranteed money in the third season (2026) of a new deal.

Minnesota is the only team the NFL allows to officially negotiate with Cousins until March 11, two days before free agency begins. However, based on O’Connell’s comments, the QB is already getting information from competitors about what they might be willing to pay him on a new contract.

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