NFL insider reveals possible deadline for Vikings to re-sign Kirk Cousins

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Do the Minnesota Vikings need to get a deal done sooner rather than later if they want to re-sign quarterback Kirk Cousins this offseason?

On Tuesday, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell and general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah both expressed their desire to bring back quarterback Kirk Cousins for the 2024 season.

However, both O'Connell and Adofo-Mensah also admitted that if a new deal is going to get done between the Vikings and Cousins, it has to be one that benefits both sides.

Minnesota and the veteran still haven't agreed to a new contract, and one notable NFL insider believes that if a deal isn't reached before free agency unofficially begins on March 11, then the quarterback could end up playing for another team next season.

"Hard to imagine" Kirk Cousins re-signs with Minnesota Vikings after free agency begins

On Tuesday, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport had the following to say about what he believes needs to happen in order for Cousins to remain with the Vikings for the 2024 season.

"It feels like [Minnesota] will have to do a deal with Cousins before free agency. That's their window. Once he gets to free agency, hard to imagine he comes back."

It makes sense, as other teams will have the ability to negotiate a contract with the quarterback and potentially offer a better deal than what Minnesota has put on the table.

Teams can begin negotiating contract terms with pending 2024 free agents outside of their organization on March 11. However, no new contracts with these players can be officially signed until March 13.

So, Rapoport likely views March 10 as the final day in which the Vikings will be able to possibly get a deal done with Cousins. That gives Minnesota less than two weeks to present the Pro Bowl quarterback with a contract offer that he is willing to sign.

In addition to Rapoport's comments, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero also revealed on Tuesday that the Vikings and Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, have already met this week, so the discussions about a new contract are legitimately happening.

Currently, Minnesota has a little more than $35 million in cap space to use this offseason. That seems like more than enough to re-sign Cousins since the Vikings would likely stretch out his cap numbers to make 2024's cap hit fairly low.

However, Minnesota also has to put together a contract extension for star wide receiver Justin Jefferson and figure out if they want to re-sign Pro Bowl pass rusher Danielle Hunter this year or not.

One thing is for sure: we're certainly getting closer to finding out if Cousins is going to return to the Vikings or not.