Vikings Poised to Land Massive Discount on $245 Million Pro Bowl QB

Heading toward a bitter divorce with the Denver Broncos, Russell Wilson will make his next team very happy off the rebound — and it could be the Minnesota Vikings.


According to Spotrac, Wilson, who is expected to be cut by the Broncos ahead of free agency on March 13, has offset language in his contract that would reduce the $39 million in guarantees he is owed when he is cut by however much he earns from a new team in 2024. Denver cutting its losses with Wilson means his next team (unlikely to sign him to a deal north of $39 million) is likely to get a massive discount for the veteran minimum of $1.21 million for next season.


That would benefit the Vikings’ favorably, who have a $28.50 million bill to pay to Cousins whether he is on the roster or not in 2024.



Vikings Poised for Massive Free Agency by Replacing Kirk Cousins With Russell Wilson



Cousins is owed prorated bonuses on void years on his current contract that expires on March 13, which is when those bonuses will accelerate onto the 2024 cap sheet if he is not extended.



Ripping off the Band-Aid — paying Cousins his final dues on departure — and still finding a replacement bridge quarterback generally wouldn’t be a recipe for success in 2024 for the Vikings, who would have to sink somewhere around $60 million in the quarterback position to find a replacement near his caliber.



Wilson may not be the same talent he once was, but he’s also just two years removed from his ninth Pro Bowl nod in 2021, throwing for 3,113 yards, 25 touchdowns and six interceptions in his final year with the Seattle Seahawks. It was a pivot to a game manager role that intrigued Denver enough to give up a massive trade haul and extend him to a five-year, $245 million deal.


Considering he could cost as low as the veteran minimum $1.21 million next season, he would be the best-case scenario bridge quarterback the Vikings could sign while also drafting their quarterback of the future, Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters argued.


“It’s not far-fetched that the Vikings would consider, for financial reasons, Russell Wilson as their bridge QB next season if they draft a QB with their No. 11 pick in April,” Walters wrote, adding that the “buzz” surrounding Cousins’ next contract is it may take a $45 million a year deal to secure him in free agency. “Bottom line: The Vikings can either pay Cousins $45 million next season or Wilson $1.2 million.”


It’s not quite as simple as Walter put it. It would cost the Vikings roughly $34 million to pay Cousins’ dead cap hit along with Wilson, Jaren Hall and a first-round rookie quarterback.


However, that’s a manageable cap hit at the position for 2024 that would keep Minnesota competitive with Wilson and free the Vikings financially to have a massive 2025 free agency to help fill whatever roster holes the new regime’s third draft class remained unfilled.

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