ESPN Has Two QB Predictions for the 2024 Vikings

Sep 26, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

So far this offseason, the Vikings quarterback position has been one of the most highly discussed topics.

Minnesota has big decisions to make both with veteran Kirk Cousins and also whether they should pursue a quarterback early in the 2024 NFL Draft. ESPN’s staff of NFL analysts recently put their minds together to decide on landing spots for each veteran QB free agents as well as the top QB prospects in the draft. The media monster has two QB predictions for the Vikings this offseason.

ESPN Has Two QB Predictions for the Vikings

Two QB Predictions
Oct 1, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to pass as Carolina Panthers linebacker Brian Burns (0) pressures in the first quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Firstly, Kevin Seifert predicts that the Vikings are going to offer Cousins a new extension. He wrote, “Cousins’ deal doesn’t void until after the deadline for franchise tags, so this would be an extension. He has repeatedly said he wants to end his career in Minnesota, and as he departed the locker room for the offseason, Cousins left the clear impression that he hoped the Vikings’ offer would reflect a similar wish. ‘It’s not about the dollars,’ he said, ‘but it is about what the dollars represent.'”

Seifert concluded, “In other words, Cousins — who threw 18 touchdown passes in eight games this season — isn’t likely to be seeking a record-breaking deal in terms of average annual salary, but he does want the Vikings to back up whatever commitment they make with guaranteed money. Drafting at No. 11, Minnesota isn’t likely to select one of the top-tier quarterbacks in the class, so it makes sense to bring back Cousins. So in this case, let’s re-sign him to a two-year, $85 million fully guaranteed extension. That gives the Vikings two years — until Cousins is 38 years old — to draft and develop his successor. “

Offering Cousins a two-year deal with $85 million would certainly throw a large chunk of money towards the veteran QB, especially if it is a fully guaranteed contract, which Seifert alludes to. Putting this money on top of Cousins’ dead cash in 2023 of $28.5 million means the Vikings will have essentially committed around $113 million to the quarterback over the next few years.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

However, the quarterback saga doesn’t end there in Minnesota. Along with committing to Cousins through the 2025 season, ESPN has also suggested that the Vikings will look to draft a quarterback. Instead of giving up a boatload of capital to move up for one of the top QBs, Seifert suggests that Minnesota will wait until the second round and select Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy with the 42nd overall pick.

“The Vikings would be thrilled with this outcome, whether they get McCarthy via a trade up into the first round or by having him fall to them on Day 2. Oregon’s Bo Nix was also available here, and he might have been the choice if Cousins hadn’t been re-signed. But with the veteran under contract for the next couple of years in this scenario, the Vikings have a longer runway to develop McCarthy, who is 21 years old,” Seifert wrote.

The age is important with this move. McCarthy just turned 21 years old at the end of January, and he is about as young of a QB prospect as you’ll find in any NFL Draft. As a result, he will still only be 23 years old when the Vikings presumably turn to him as the full-time starter after Cousins’ contract comes to an end while giving the former Wolverine some time to learn Kevin O’Connell’s scheme.

Jan 1, 2024; Pasadena, CA, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) throws a pass against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the first half in the 2024 Rose Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

McCarthy has been a proven winner throughout his time at Michigan, and while his numbers won’t blow anyone away, he has done a great job of making winning plays to help that program over his two years as a starter.

Overall, the dollar amount will certainly play a huge role in whether or not Cousins is going to stay in Minnesota. If the Vikings are going to bring him back, it makes sense to bring in McCarthy as a young option to develop and, hopefully, take over that starting role in a 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.