Getting rid of Cousins will free up a ton of cap space
Arguably the biggest reason why the Vikings would move on from Kirk Cousins in 2022 would be the tremendous amount of salary cap space that would be created if he were to be traded to another team.
If Minnesota is able to find a trading partner for Cousins next year, the team would free up $35 million in cap space. With the Vikings currently projected to be more than $10 million over the salary cap in 2022, generating $35 million from a Cousins trade would help the team out tremendously.
This freed-up cap space would give Minnesota a much better chance to bring some top guys from the defensive side of the ball back next season like Danielle Hunter, Patrick Peterson, Sheldon Richardson, and Anthony Barr. Say what you will about Barr, but the Vikings’ defense is significantly better whenever he’s on the field.
The most success Minnesota experienced under Mike Zimmer was when the team’s defense was its biggest strength. By trading Cousins to give the team some extra spending money on defense, Zimmer can get back to what got him hired by the Vikings in the first place.