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5 best Kirk Cousins free agency landing spots if Minnesota Vikings jump ship

Kirk Cousins
Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

A torn Achilles ended what was shaping up to be one of the best seasons of Kirk Cousins’s career. Now, the four-time Pro Bowl quarterback is set to enter free agency, where he’ll turn 36 before the 2024 season kicks off.

Related: See where Kirk Cousins lands in Sportsnaut’s NFL QB rankings

As you can imagine, pricing Cousins’ free agency market out is a tricky procedure due to injury, age, and other playing factors such as a lack of mobility. Yet, the proof is in the pudding. When Cousins is healthy, he’s one of the best pure passers in the NFL today.

Needless to say, if the Minnesota Vikings are unable to reach a contract extension with Cousins, he’ll be one of the most popular quarterbacks in free agency.

Aside from re-signing with the Vikings, here are the five best 2024 Kirk Cousins free agency landing spots this offseason.

Signing Kirk Cousins could spark New England Patriots

new england patriots
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After scoring just 13.9 points per game last season, it’s become clear that the New England Patriots don’t have nearly enough talent on offense, and it all starts at the quarterback position. As a former first-round pick who doesn’t turn 26 until September, the Patriots don’t really have a need to remove Mac Jones from the roster, so it may make the most sense to see if he can take his game to the next level.

However, that doesn’t mean the Patriots can afford to stand pat at QB this offseason, as Bailey Zappe likely isn’t the future in New England either. The most logical move would appear to be selecting LSU’s Jayden Daniels No. 3 overall, but what if the Patriots get a trade offer they can’t refuse?

Right now, this is a roster that needs more star talent and depth on both sides of the ball, and as a first-year head coach, Jerod Mayo will have a big challenge ahead. Yet, the Patriots may get more value by trading down, rebuilding the roster, and throwing their cash at a proven QB like Kirk Cousins instead.

As to how or why Cousins would choose the Patriots over other options? Aside from aggressively offering the most money, selling Cousins on the team’s pass-catching corps may be difficult unless a blockbuster addition is made.

Related: Insider reveals New England Patriots franchise tag candidate

Pittsburgh Steelers

pittsburgh steelers
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If the Pittsburgh Steelers are serious about contending in 2024, they’ll need to make significant changes on offense. While that includes reinforcing the trenches and getting more consistency out of their receivers, it also means bringing in a better QB than Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph.

Options such as Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill could be enticing for a Steelers team that already knows it has the makeup to reach the postseason, but Kirk Cousins is an even better solution. He’s shown he can still produce at a high level, even without great protection. George Pickens and Pat Freiermuth are great starting points, and Cousins can help take their games to the next level.

If Cousins wants to compete, teaming up with the always-competitive Mike Tomlin-led Steelers wouldn’t be a bad way to go.

Las Vegas Raiders

las vegas raiders
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A year ago, the Las Vegas Raiders moved on from Derek Carr, only to pivot to Jimmy Garoppolo. That was never going to be a step forward, and many saw it as a step back from the moment the move was made. Now, the Raiders are trying to ensure the same situation doesn’t take place this offseason.

Releasing Garoppolo opens up the competition to Aidan O’Connell and -insert name here- to start the 2024 season. In a perfect world, Las Vegas can either pick who they want at No. 13 or trade up to secure their top quarterback on the Raiders draft board. But there are several other QB-needy teams looking to do the same thing.

The Raiders can still execute the plan above, but what if they come up short and miss out on all the top quarterbacks in the draft? That’s not a situation the 2024 Raiders can afford to be in, with O’Connell and Brian Hoyer being the only QBs on the roster.

Signing Kirk Cousins gives the Raiders their best chance to win now, showing Davante Adams, Hunter Renfrow, and Jakobi Meyers that this team is serious about getting their passing offense back on track.

Denver Broncos

denver broncos
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If the Denver Broncos are deadset on moving on from Russell Wilson, and all signs seem to point to a breakup, then they’ll need to find a way to get a better QB under center. Selecting 12th in the 2024 NFL Draft, the Broncos aren’t in a prime position to take a top quarterback, not without a trade anyway.

While other free agency options could include players like Jimmy Garoppolo, Jameis Winston, or Ryan Tannehill, there isn’t a better solution available than Kirk Cousins. Not to mention, Broncos GM George Paton was involved in bringing Cousins to Minnesota back in 2018. Who’s to say he doesn’t have something crazy up his sleeves again?

Related: Multiple NFL teams still view Russell Wilson as a starting QB

Atlanta Falcons are the best fit for Kirk Cousins

atlanta falcons
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There’s already been plenty of smoke suggesting the Atlanta Falcons could emerge as a top candidate to sign Kirk Cousins in free agency, and the fit does make a lot of sense. The Falcons already tried to go the budget route at QB with Desmond Ridder, and so far, he hasn’t shown signs of being the future solution.

Yet, the Falcons are in a unique place in that they already have a strong foundation of weapons led by Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson. They just need the right quarterback to spread the ball around.

Kirk Cousins has shown that if you’re open, he’ll find you. In Atlanta, not only would he have the advantage of playing indoors at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, he’d also be playing in Zac Robinson’s system, who comes from Sean McVay’s system with the Los Angeles Rams. This means Cousins would likely have a lot of the same terminology he’s gotten used to playing under Kevin O’Connell in Minnesota.

If Cousins does depart Minnesota this offseason, there may not be a better fit than in Atlanta, where he and his wife, a Georgia native, got married in 2014.

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