5 Vikings players who’ll benefit most from offseason changes in 2022

(Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Eric Kendricks
(Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports) Eric Kendricks /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

Kirk Cousins – QB

The connection between Kevin O’Connell and Kirk Cousins was an instrumental part of the offseason. One that made it extremely unlikely the quarterback was going to be traded despite some speculation to the contrary.

Cousins agreed to sign a one-year extension that keeps him under contract until 2024. This represents one final roll of the dice with the signal-caller as the Minnesota Vikings look to maximize the outstanding weapons they have right now.

The former Michigan State star enjoyed a good season in 2021 without doing quite enough to get Minnesota over the hump. There were other mitigating factors in play, obviously, but the quarterback shoulders the responsibility and takes the blame if things don’t go as anticipated.

Cousins has the talent around him, is consistent enough to do damage in O’Connell’s scheme, and also has a better offensive line to keep him upright. Factors that should all help his cause en route to a possible career year for the veteran.

Everything has to go right on a tough-looking schedule. But if Cousins and the Vikings hit the ground running, then O’Connell might just be able to surprise more than a few who’ve already written off their chances.

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