Round and round the carousel spins, where it stops could mean Kirk Cousins.
With one month until the start of the new league year, The Athletic’s Sheil Kapadia unleashed his “bold prediction” regarding the Denver Broncos’ annual quarterback quandary — that it will be filled in 2022 via trade for the Minnesota Vikings starter.
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This orange-tinted case for Cousins, aside from obvious need, is bolstered by the presence of former Vikings executive George Paton and ex-offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak, now Denver’s general manager and QBs coach/pass game coordinator, respectively.
“The Broncos — for better or worse — have more intel on Cousins than pretty much any team in the NFL,” Kapadia noted.
Kapadia conceded, however, “there’s no way” the Broncos will acquire Cousins on his current contract, which is set to pay him $35 million in base salary and count $45 million against the cap next season, his walk year. Minnesota would have to eat a majority of those sums for a deal to be facilitated. even then, †The Athletic’s Chad Graff puts the chances of a Cousins trade at 25%.”
if the Vikings agree to take a chunk off the top, Kapadia guesses Cousins ”probably” gets flipped for a second-round pick, which “wouldn’t preclude the Broncos from looking at a QB in the draft.”
“They could do both,” he argued. “If Cousins plays well in 2022, they could consider extending him. If not, they’d have another option with the player they drafted.”
Cousins, who turns 34 in August, completed 66.3% of his passes for 4,221 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions in 2021, earning his third career Pro Bowl selection. He finished as the league’s seventh-most effective signal-caller, according to Football Outsiders metrics.
The Broncos — armed with $48 million in projected cap room and 11 total draft choices, including five within the top-100 — are expected to aggressively pursue an upgrade at the position this offseason.
Many anticipate Paton making an emboldened push for Aaron Rodgers, potentially reuniting the reigning MVP with new head coach Nathaniel Hackett. This is “Plan A,” per Kapadia, who believes Rodgers will remain in Green Bay. Plan B would be Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who’s also unlikely to leave his longtime locale.
Thus, Plan C. Captain Kirk.
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