Skip to main content

Putting on GM cap, ESPN's Seifert predicts Vikings develop McCarthy behind Cousins

"The Vikings would be thrilled with this outcome"

If the calendar flips to March 13 and Kirk Cousins hasn't signed an extension to stay with the Minnesota Vikings, he'll immediately become the most sought-after quarterback in free agency.

It could happen, but ESPN's Kevin Seifert doesn't think it will. Well, he at least wrote as much when ESPN's NFL Nation asked him to make predictions as if he was running the team

Seifert predicts the Vikings to bring back Cousins on a two-year, $85 million deal and then draft their future franchise quarterback in April: Michigan's J.J. McCarthy. 

He wrote that the Vikings "would be thrilled with this outcome."

It's unclear if Seifert has any inside information, but he made sure to note that Oregon quarterback Bo Nix "might have been the choice if Cousins hadn't been re-signed" in his hypothetical. He has the Vikings going with McCarthy because he's only 21 years old compared to Nix, who turns 24 in late February.

Seifert doesn't believe the Vikings will be in a position to draft one of the top three quarterbacks, who most believe to be USC's Caleb Williams, North Carolina's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels. 

In 2023, McCarthy threw for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and just nine interceptions as he led Michigan to an undefeated record and the national championshiop. He had the 11th-highest passing grade in the nation, according to Pro Football Focus. 

McCarthy was also one of the most effective play-action passers in the country, completing 75.3% of his play-action passes.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins on the sideline at Lambeau Field before he suffered a ruptured Achilles on Oct. 29, 2023.