Pro: It’s a good idea to keep the talent happy
As much as some NFL front offices don’t want to admit it, it’s a good idea to keep the talent happy or risk losing them. For Minnesota, how long will the likes of Justin Jefferson, T.J. Hockenson, or K.J. Osborn stick around if Cousins isn’t throwing them the ball?
The Vikings picked up Jefferson’s fifth-year option for 2024 already and the team inked Hockenson to a nice four-year extension in September. Of course, contracts in sports never seem to be binding as stars leave teams all the time for various reasons.
Jefferson has thrived with Cousins since the receiver was drafted in 2020. He went from 88 receptions as a rookie to 108 in 2021 to 128 last season. If Cousins isn’t around to get him the ball consistently, it’s no stretch to believe that Jefferson will eventually look elsewhere for a quarterback who can make him happy.
Without a doubt, Jefferson is one of the best receivers in the NFL and he will only get better. Hockenson is a great tight end who arrived in 2022 and caught 60 passes in seven games. Through 10 games this season, Hockenson already has 71 receptions and four touchdowns. Osborn has 32 catches and two scores. Even rookie Jordan Addison has 45 receptions and a ridiculous seven touchdowns.
Do the Vikings really believe that another quarterback can produce those types of numbers for his teammates? Who else can come in and have that type of connection and chemistry with these four pass catchers?
If the Vikings don’t re-sign Cousins, he’ll likely go to a team like San Francisco whose coach, Kyle Shanahan, worked previously with the quarterback in Washington. Shanahan has also gone on the record saying he still believes that Cousins is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
It’s hard to fathom how successful he would be in a 49ers offense that includes Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle. Instead of giving San Fran more weapons, and leaving Minnesota in possible re-build mode after the defection of their stars, it might be a good idea to keep Cousins in 2024 and beyond.