Vikings Legend Thinks It’s Time to Move on from Kirk Cousins

Nov 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The topic of the Vikings quarterback position will be a heated discussion for many throughout the upcoming NFL offseason.

Kirk Cousins suffered a torn Achilles in Week 8, thus ending his season in the middle of a contract year. It is the first time that Cousins has missed time because of injury, and it comes in the midst of his age-35 season.

With a potentially franchise-altering decision awaiting, a Vikings legend weighed in on the topic. Jared Allen, who is hoping to finally get into the Hall of Fame in 2024, went on The Up & and Adams Show with Kay Adams to discuss the Vikings’ future at the quarterback position.

Vikings Legend Thinks It’s Time to Move on from Kirk Cousins

Vikings Legendary Pass Rusher Jared Allen Named HOF Finalist
Oct 30, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings Jared Allen (69) is inducted into the Ring of Honor against the Arizona Cardinals at half time at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

“I mean, you blew your Achilles out at this point in your career. It’s a young man’s game. It’s going that way. I don’t know if you can invest that much more money it would take to keep him. I don’t think it has any bearing on his ability, but you’re gonna come off an injury,” Allen said in regard to Cousins’ injury and his hopes of returning next season.

After Adams clarified that this was the final year of Cousins’ deal, Allen came back with “Oh, you can’t pay him. It’s a no-brainer. You can’t pay him. Sorry Kirk, nothing personal, but I mean, as a fan, if I’m the GM, what are you gonna have to pay him? 25, 30 million a year? Sorry, the ride’s done.”

The legendary pass-rusher has a point. Cousins will be 36 years old by the time he gets back onto an NFL field, and based on his production both this season and in years past, it could still take a hefty dollar amount to keep him around in 2024. We also have to consider that an Achilles injury is still one of the more devastating ailments that an athlete can suffer.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) signals his team against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

However, if one were going to poke holes in the theory, there are a couple rebuttals to throw out there. For instance, the Vikings are already on the books for $28.5 million with Cousins even if the QB doesn’t suit up in a Vikings uniform next year. That $25-30 million number suggested by Allen is happening regardless of where he plays.

This comes as a result of the massive restructure that Cousins agreed to in the offseason, lowering his 2023 cap number to just $20.25 million.

However, this should not prevent the Vikings from taking a look at other options, particularly in next spring’s draft. At some point, Minnesota will need to find a young, cheaper QB option considering they have contract extensions looming for both Christian Darrisaw and Justin Jefferson.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) and quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and tight end Tyler Conklin (83) react against the Chicago Bears during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson’s extension has been a topic of discussion since the start of the 2023 offseason, but the two sides were unable to agree to a deal this summer. Now, the Vikings have to give Jefferson a contract in 2024 in order to avoid him entering free agency during the 2025 offseason.

Meanwhile, Darrisaw is also eligible for an extension this offseason. A quality left tackle is one of the most valuable positions in football, and the Vikings arguably employ the best LT in the entire league in their 2021 first-round pick. Needless to say, he is set for a big payday in the next couple years.

While the Vikings could hypothetically still keep Cousins around in 2024, the clock is ticking before they need to start cutting money somewhere. The easiest way to do that would be finding a young QB prospect in the next couple years.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.