Questions Answered: Kirk’s Last Stand, OBJ Sweepstakes, 2023 Thielen Replacement

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The following questions are about current Minnesota Vikings topics, answered by PurplePTSD. Today is the March 12th edition, addressed in a from-the-hip fashion. If you have questions, please email them to [email protected].

Questions Answered: Kirk’s Last Stand, OBJ Sweepstakes, 2023 Thielen Replacement

Also, please note: These are opinion-based responses. Some answers will be incorrect from time to time. But we’ll try to keep that to a minimum.

Q: Is it correct that 2023 is Kirk Cousins’ final season in purple?

Dec 5, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) yells out before the snap during the first quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports.

A: It seems that way. The Vikings can still extend Cousins’ contract at any time, but it probably would’ve happened by now, freeing up cap space in 2023 for new free agents.

That hasn’t happened yet.

Cousins may be heading toward a lame-duck season as Minnesota explores the 2023 or 2024 NFL Draft for the quarterback of the future. This might’ve been Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s vision all along.

Cousins has been the Vikings quarterback for five years and will turn 35 this August, so it makes sense that he might be winding down this chapter of his career.

Q: Do you realistically expect Odell Beckham to play for the Vikings this September?

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Dallas Mavericks
Dec 5, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; NFL wide receiver free agent Odell Beckham Jr. (black jacket) after the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Phoenix Suns at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports.

A: No, the Vikings were at his workout last week, but his pricetag is likely too high.

Beckham reportedly wants $20 million per season — which is absurd for a 30-year-old who just missed an entire season — and that’s too rich for the Vikings blood. In fact, it should be too rich for every team’s blood.

If he lowers his per-year ask, of course, Justin Jefferson pairing with Beckham would be fun. Minnesota just doesn’t have funds to pay anybody $20 million per season on the open free-agent market.

Q: Who will replace Adam Thielen?

2023 Thielen
Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen (19) makes a touchdown reception against the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

A: A sad question to answer indeed, we believe it will be a rookie from the 2023 NFL Draft.

One of Quentin Johnston, Jordan Addison, Zay Flowers, or Jaxon Smith-Njigba should be available to the Vikings with their 23rd overall pick, and we expect Adofo-Mensah to use one of his first two picks on a wide receiver. It’s necessary.

If the Vikings use free agency for a new WR2, the prospect of overpaying looms. There are decent free-agent WRs available, but their pricetags — like Beckham mentioned above — will be astronomical.

Pencil us in for a rookie, while K.J. Osborn mans the early-2023 WR2 duties, as the unnamed rookie gains his footing.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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