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Packers, Falcons name-dropped as potential Kirk Cousins suitors

Kirk Cousins can only watch and see what unfolds as he recovers from his Achilles injury.
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Imagine Kirk Cousins in a Green Bay Packers uniform. Depending on how the dominos fall, it's a reality that could play out in 2024. It would require the Vikings sticking with Josh Dobbs or going another route at quarterback, and would also require the Packers punting on Jordan Love. 

The idea was raised by ESPN's Dan Graziano, who along with Jeremy Fowler were discussing potential landing spots for Cousins in 2024. Neither mentioned the Vikings despite a report from NFL insider Jordan Schultz on Wednesday saying the Vikings and Cousins are "much more receptive" to the idea of reuniting in 2024. 

Everything seems to depend on how Cousins recovers from surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon. Cousins suffered the injury Oct. 29 against the Packers and is now getting around with the help of crutches. If the recovery period is 9-12 months, that puts Cousins' return somewhere in the June-October window next year. 

It's also now very obvious that Dobbs has a chance to win the starting job with Minnesota in 2024 and beyond. He, like Cousins, will be a free agent in March, so how he plays the rest of the season for the Vikings could determine his future. Would he consider signing a long-term deal with Minnesota or would he prefer to maximize his money and test free agency in March?

Again, there are a lot of moving parts, but the Cousins-Packers idea has been raised. 

"My sleeper is Green Bay," Graziano wrote. "Jordan Love doesn't look like the answer, and while the Packers are as patient as any team in the league, they're also used to winning. Cousins knows the Packers' offense because it's a derivative of Kyle Shanahan's scheme from their time together in Washington, and Cousins and Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur could work well together."

Meanwhile, Fowler says "multiple people I've talked to around the league consider Atlanta a sensible spot for Cousins."

"I've started asking teams about this, and Atlanta comes up fairly often," wrote Fowler. "The Falcons have improved their roster and need a quarterback to bring it all together. What coach Arthur Smith does on offense meshes with Cousins' ability to utilize play-action. Cousins would find comfort in Atlanta's talented roster of playmakers, similar to what he had in Minnesota. The chance to win is there. And though Cousins will be expensive, he is going on his fifth NFL contract (excluding franchise tags from the Washington days) and will turn 36 in August. A team set to have $36 million in cap space in 2024 should be able to handle his potential deal."

That's last bit from Fowler is key because in another story for he wrote that an annual salary of $37.5 million, which is what Derek Carr is earning with the Saints, could be the type of deal Cousins signs next year. 

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins can only watch and see what unfolds as he recovers from his Achilles injury. 

If the Vikings are going to agree to extensions with wide receiver Justin Jefferson and left tackle Christian Darrisaw, will they have the money to afford a QB contract for Cousins or Dobbs? They also have to figure out what to do with edge rusher Danielle Hunter, who is set to become a free agent in March and could earn $25 million or more annually. 

According to OverTheCap, the Vikings are projected to have about $51 million cap space (14th most in the NFL) in 2024. But if Jefferson is making $30+ million and Darrisaw earns a deal that puts him among the highest-paid left tackles ($20-$25 million annually), that cap space gets wiped out pretty fast. Of course, the Vikings can push money down the road to relieve the issue in 2024 but it'll come back to bite them eventually. So, there's a lot to consider...