Insider predicts Vikings to get Kirk Cousins’ replacement in 2023 NFL Draft

Is Kirk Cousins’ time in Minnesota coming to an end? That’s what a new mock draft by CBS Sports insider Will Brinson predicts, with Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker being a first-round pick by the Vikings in the 2023 NFL draft.

In Brinson’s mock draft, he has the top four quarterbacks of the 2023 class going before Hooker. Bryce Young is the first pick for the Carolina Panthers, the Tennessee Titans move up to the third pick to take C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richarson falls to the Houston Texans at No. 12 and the Seattle Seahawks take Will Levis with No. 17 in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Here’s what Brinson had to say about the Vikings moving in a different direction than Cousins by taking Hooker:

“Let’s get weird!!!! Kirk Cousins fits the scheme, knows the scheme, knows the coach, etc, etc. But he’s 34 years old and has one year left on his contract. Hooker’s coming off a torn ACL, so the timeline is pretty outstanding to grab a leader/scheme dependent type QB to run this KOC offense.

“It gives the Vikings some pretty good leverage if there’s mutual interest in running it back for 2024, and it should motivate Cousins this year. The only question is if they’ll let him know.”

What is Kirk Cousins’ contract with the Minnesota Vikings?

The veteran quarterback only has one year left on his contract, even though the Vikings will still pay him until 2027 due to the void years added to the deal.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins

There’s a huge gap between what he’ll receive in 2023 and what his cap hit is. This is due to the signing bonus he prorated in his previous deals with the team. The quarterback has a base salary of $10 million, but his cap hit is $20.25 million. It’s his cap hit that is surprising, with $48.75 million to count against Minnesota’s salary cap if they decide to cut him (they will not).

Next season, even with him out of the team (as of now), the Vikings will still have him counting $28.5 million against the cap due to the voided years on his deal. Having a quarterback on a rookie contract could offset the issue.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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