As the Minnesota Vikings consider trading Kirk Cousins, the Detroit Lions have landed on a list of dark horse teams to make a deal for him.
Absent another ill-advised contract extension he will obviously do them no favors on financially, the Minnesota Vikings’ new regime is surely considering the idea of trading quarterback Kirk Cousins. As some other quarterback dominoes fall (or don’t, as in staying where they are), the possible options will become clearer.
The top current potential suitors for Cousins are pretty easy to name–the Denver Broncos and Cleveland Browns are joined by the Carolina Panthers, who reportedly have already made a call to the Vikings. Beyond that, without knowing the bigger picture, it becomes harder to tab potential suitors.
The Detroit Lions are looking for their next franchise quarterback. Two years of Jared Goff, 2021 and 2022, look to be the max number of “gap years” between Matthew Stafford and whoever that next (hopefully) future stalwart is.
Lions land as a dark horse candidate to trade for Kirk Cousins
Adam Patrick over at The Viking Age, FanSided’s Vikings’ site, has a list of three dark horse teams who could trade for Cousins.
Between the Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles, there’s the Lions.
Inter-division trades don’t happen very often, especially when quarterbacks are involved. But would the Vikings turn down a deal for Kirk Cousins if the Lions were willing to send over one of their two first-round picks in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft?
Even if Detroit does offer Minnesota a first-round pick, it might come with the stipulation that the Vikings have to take Jared Goff in the deal. However, this is something that Minnesota might actually be fine with since acquiring Goff in exchange for Cousins would create almost $25 million in cap space for the Vikings.
Plus, Goff has a history with new Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell. In 2020 when O’Connell was in his first season as the Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator, Goff was his starting quarterback.
The Vikings would have to take back Jared Goff in a deal for Cousins, as would be the case if the Lions traded Goff anywhere else for nearly any other quarterback. If Goff is gone in a separate deal that doesn’t bring back a replacement, then the door for Cousins to land with the Lions would theoretically be open.
There is the home state angle that may make Cousins open to being dealt to Detroit. But from the Lions’ perspective, they’d be trading a non-elite quarterback with a big 2022 cap hit for one who’s got an even bigger 2022 salary and is only slightly above Goff on the “non-elite” spectrum. And Cousins will want a back-breaking extension (from a cap perspective for the next few years) from whatever team he goes to, which would derail the building process in Detroit.
The NFL is a “never say never” league. But on the idea of the Lions trading for Kirk Cousins, let’s confidently declare it’ll never happen for a number of reasons.