Ex-NFL Scout: 'Look For' Broncos to Acquire Vikings QB Kirk Cousins This Offseason

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In the event that Aaron Rodgers and/or Russell Wilson are unacquirable this coming offseason, the Denver Broncos could punch down to the second tier of signal-caller.

Former NFL scout Daniel Kelly, who now writes for SI.com’s Draft Diamonds, anticipates the Broncos cutting a trade — sending their 2022 first-round draft choice “and perhaps another pick” — for Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Why Denver? Two reasons. First, Denver needs a QB. The second reason is the Broncos’ general manager, George Paton, came from the Vikings. … The Broncos have lost their way since QB Payton Manning was in town and Cousins would seem to be the answer, at least he appears to be the answer statistically speaking. … Minnesota’s management will be able to sell it to their buddy Paton and Paton will be able to sell it to the Broncos’ nation. … Look for Denver to deal their first-round pick to Minnesota (currently 14th) and perhaps another pick in exchange for Cousins.

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Statistically speaking, as Kelly alludes, Cousins aces the smell test. The 33-year-old ranks 10th in the NFL in passing (3,971) entering Week 18, primed to cross the 4,000-yard threshold for the sixth time in his career. He’s completed 66.4% of his attempts for 30 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, grading out as Pro Football Focus‘ QB5 among 39 entrants.

Cousins joined the Vikings in 2018 following his first six seasons with Washington. The two-time Pro Bowler, having since inked a short-term extension, is under contract through 2022. He’s due $35 million in base salary and set to count $45 million against the salary cap.

The Broncos wield the necessary capital — roughly $48 million in projected cap space and 11 total draft selections — to pull off a deal for Cousins if Paton indeed desires a reunion.

Though, as with any prospective trade, many dominoes would need to fall. Denver has to want the marriage and Minnesota the divorce, and both teams are likely to make significant coaching changes in the weeks ahead. If Paton fires Vic Fangio, the next head coach might double as the offensive coordinator, and it’s possible he prefers to get younger (and cheaper) at the position.

Which renders this prediction extremely premature.

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