The Minnesota Vikings are prioritizing the re-signing of Kirk Cousins ahead of the 2024 free-agency period. However, if the quarterback opts for another team, they have their sights set on acquiring a more cost-effective veteran, as reported by NFL Media. This includes a specific player who participated in Super Bowl LVIII.
According to Tom Pelissero, one potential target for the Vikings is the current San Francisco 49ers backup, Sam Darnold. Pelissero states that Minnesota is exploring all possible options for their quarterback position in the event Cousins moves on.
The aspiration, as Pelissero highlighted, is for Darnold or another free agent to replicate the success story of Baker Mayfield from the previous season while also providing an opportunity for the development of a rookie quarterback.
Despite Darnold’s limited playing time as Brock Purdy’s backup with the 49ers, he brings significant experience, having started 55 games for the New York Jets and Carolina Panthers between 2018 and 2022.
Cousins, on the other hand, has expressed his desire to continue as the Vikings’ starting quarterback for a seventh season, especially after his strong performance at the beginning of the 2023 season.
However, his plans were disrupted by a season-ending Achilles tear in October. While he remains open to returning, Cousins has also hinted at exploring his options in free agency. His contract is set to expire in March after unsuccessful negotiations for an extension with the Vikings the previous year.
The Vikings possess the No. 11 overall pick in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, which presents another opportunity for them to address their quarterback needs.