The last week of Vikings discussion on social media has been dominated by Kirk Cousins trade rumors. Ever since Matthew Stafford was traded to the Rams last weekend, Cousins has been one of the biggest names at the center of quarterback carousel speculation. Depending on how you feel about Derek Carr, Cousins is probably the best non-Deshaun Watson QB who could theoretically be available this offseason (Aaron Rodgers isn't going anywhere).
Here's my breakdown from earlier this week on why I don't think a Cousins trade is all that realistic. But it's worth keeping in mind that most people didn't think Stefon Diggs was going to be traded, either. Anything is possible in the NFL. If the Vikings were to be wowed by an offer for Cousins, perhaps from the 49ers, who are the team most frequently connected to him in rumors, it could be difficult for Rick Spielman to turn that down.
Let's go over some of the latest updates on the Cousins front.
Wolfson: There are credible NFL people that truly believe Cousins will end up in San Francisco
When Darren Wolfson of KSTP-TV and SKOR North says something, it's always worth listening and taking it seriously. He's arguably the most plugged-in sports reporter in the Twin Cities market, with a wide array of sources across all of the major professional sports leagues. So when he said Thursday that he's talked to NFL people who legitimately believe Cousins is going to end up with the 49ers, my attention was immediately piqued.
"There are credible NFL people that I know –– I texted with one 24 hours ago –– that truly believe Kirk Cousins is going to end up with the San Francisco 49ers. Now me, personally, I think Kirk Cousins is going to be the Vikings' quarterback here in 2021. But I'm just telling you, this isn't made-up fodder. There are legitimate league people talking about this possibility."
Wolfson also said that Deshaun Watson wouldn't approve a trade to the Vikings, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Watson's not coming to Minnesota.
But this is the first time I've heard a trustworthy report that Cousins to SF is at least a possibility worth taking seriously. The tweet that sparked all of the conversation earlier this week came from someone named Evan Massey, who has zero credibility. There was also a very vague tweet from Ross Tucker. This report from Wolfson is different. But again, he says he doesn't think it's likely, just that it's a possibility.
Mike Zimmer: "Kirk's our guy"
Zimmer and Dalvin Cook went on NFL Network's 'Good Morning Football' show on Friday, and of course, Zimmer was asked about the QB rumors.
"As far as the quarterback position, Kirk's our guy," Zimmer said. "He had a terrific year this year, we were fourth in the league (in total offense). We've gotta get better on defense, we had a lot of injuries and young guys, but that's my job to get that fixed."
Does Zimmer saying that mean there's no chance of a Cousins trade? Of course not. But it reinforces what we've already thought, which is that Zimmer values the continuity the Vikings have on offense and has been impressed with what Cousins has done in the Gary Kubiak system over the past two seasons. The No. 1 reason why I don't think a trade will happen is that Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman want to win in 2021, and no available quarterback outside of Watson gives them a better chance to do that than Cousins does.
You can make the argument that the Vikings should be looking to the future and should take a risk on a younger quarterback, but Zimmer, whose seat will get very hot if the Vikings miss the playoffs again, might not have the luxury of patience.
Cousins himself addresses rumors
This is the time of year where players and coaches are doing all kinds of interviews with various media outlets, and Cousins has been among them. He's done several recent appearances on behalf of Sleep Number, including one with SI's Kaitlin O'Toole (embedded at the top of this page).
Here's what he had to say about the never-ending rumors.
"It's always nice to be wanted, but the word 'rumors' is probably the key word. I don't try to pay too much attention until it's more than just a rumor. This time of the year, especially in a dead week leading up to the Super Bowl, with no Pro Bowl being played, sometimes rumors can pop up a little more than they should. Again, I try not to waste too much time and energy on it until it has a little more traction. I'm sure it's fun for fans to talk about and discuss theoretical scenarios, but I don't try to go there if it's not got a lot of fact behind it."
Thanks for reading. Make sure to bookmark this site and check back daily for the latest Vikings news and analysis all offseason long. Also, follow me on Twitter and feel free to ask me any questions on there.