If Minnesota Loses To The Bears Should They Clean House?
Sunday's matchup between the two divisional foes will serve as an early tie breaker to show who is the worst team in the division... at least for now.
While the Vikings have lost 4 of their first 5 games this season, all five games have been on score games. It may just be a bit of a karmic retribution from all of the one score games last season that went into the win column.
Looking ahead, Minnesota will have to go without MVP candidate Justin Jefferson, who has been sidelined for at least 4 weeks. While head coach Kevin O'Connell said Wednesday that he doesn't believe Jefferson's hamstring injury to be a season-ending one, Alec Lewis of The Athletic reports, that will take huge bite out of the top 10 passing offense, and force the teams bottom 5 rushing attack to step up.
Trade winds have already swirled around quarterback Kirk Cousins being possibly dealt to the Jets or the Patriots, who have significant QB questions themselves. However, to his credit, Cousins has not bought in to the roomer mill, or at least is not showing any signs of frustration with the conversation coming to the forefront.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Vikings?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Vikings</a> QB Kirk Cousins when asked if he would waive his no-trade clause before the trade deadline 😳 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/skol?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#skol</a> <a href="https://t.co/rSaAHxYOm5">pic.twitter.com/rSaAHxYOm5</a></p>— Vikings Nation (@vikingsnationmn) <a href="https://twitter.com/vikingsnationmn/status/1712234928333885578?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">October 11, 2023</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
In 2023, Cousins will earn a base salary of $10,000,000 while carrying a cap hit of $20,250,000 and a dead cap value of $48,750,000. Removing that dead cap hit , while getting some draft capital back would clear up space for free agent signings, and building through the draft.
Jefferson is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2024 season, and the team is currently slated to have a top 4 pick (the bears have a chance, thanks to the D.J. Moore trade with the Panthers, to have the top two picks) in next years draft. Building around arguably the best offensive player in the league sounds like a no brainer.
Current standing put the team in contention to pick up one of the three top quarterbacks: Caleb Williams from USC, Drake Maye from USC, or Shadeur Sanders from Colorado.
Should the Vikings decide to keep re-sign Cousins and build with him, they may be hamstrung in how many free agents they bring on board with the franchise currently over a half a million dollars over the salary cap.
Moving on from the aforementioned Cousins and Danielle Hunter would free up over 18 percent of their total salary, pay JJ, and make the headscratcher of a contract to TJ Hockinson a little easier of a pill to swallow.
This all could be fodder for Old Takes Exposed if the Vikings figure things out, do well against divisional opponents, and sneak in to the playoffs as a Wildcard.
What moves would you make? Let us know in the comments.
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