Lunchbreak: A Look at Vikings Needs Before Free Agency Opens

Annette Crawford
March 14, 2018

Cousins, 29, purportedly plans to sign a 3-year contract that fully guarantees $84 million at signing.

Bradford is also a free agent.

- Kirk Cousins will visit the Minnesota Vikings first in his search for a new team.

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) reacts to wide receiver Andre Roberts' touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Landover, Md., Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. Once Washington agreed to acquire Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, Cousins became one of the most valuable quarterbacks ever available on the open market - a starting QB in his prime. The Broncos will be the fifth team that Keenum has played for in the last five years.

However, the Vikings weren't entirely confident that Keenum would be able to sustain that level of production, which was likely why they did not make a more concerted effort to keep him. With an estimated $100 million in cap space this offseason, the Jets were willing to give Cousins a contract in which he would be given $60 million in his first year alone. With Denver no longer interested in signing him, the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals appear to be the three possible destinations for the former Washington Redskins' quarterback.

Last season, the Vikings - led by quarterback Case Keenum, lost to eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia in the NFC Championship. He was hit with the franchise tag the past two seasons, but the team has opted to move on from him this year. But if it eventually happens, the day Cousins signed with the Vikings could be remembered as the moment that changed it all.

Along with Bradford, Teddy Bridgewater is also a free agent after spending eight weeks as the Vikings' No. 2 quarterback. But he was able to succeed in Minnesota while playing behind an elite defense as well as having two unsafe receiving weapons. The importance of ball security can not be overstated after the Broncos' quarterbacks fired 22 picks last season.

After more than a year of recovery, Bridgewater took the field only once during the 2017-2018 season in a blowout win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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