Kirk Cousins Trade Rumors: Panthers Called on Vikings QB, Talks Went 'Nowhere So Far'

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 21, 2022

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) on the field during pregame warmups prior to an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
AP Photo/Stacy Bengs

The Carolina Panthers have reportedly called the Minnesota Vikings about trading for quarterback Kirk Cousins, but conversations have gone "nowhere so far."

That's the word from Judd Zulgad of SKOR North on Purple Daily Monday (h/t Anthony Rizzuti of Panthers Wire), who said the following regarding the Panthers' reported interest in the 33-year-old:

“They have gotten a call. Now, from what I’ve heard, it went nowhere so far. But it’s interesting that the phone did ring at TCO [Stadium] in Eagen and on the other end of the line...the Carolina Panthers.
"Quarterback-desperate. Panicked, I’m sure. I think if Matt Rhule and the Panthers don’t have a successful 2022, he’s probably going to be fired 'cause that has not worked out. They cast their lot, in 2021, with Sam Darnold—didn’t work out. And so I’ve heard that the Panthers...now the Vikings supposedly said ‘Hey, let’s put a pin in that conversation. We don’t plan to move him now.'"

Cousins has one year and $45 million ($35 million base salary, $10 million prorated bonus) left on his contract.

The three-time Pro Bowler completed 66.3 percent of his passes for 33 touchdowns (seven interceptions) and 7.5 yards per attempt last season.

The Panthers have played quarterback roulette ever since Matt Rhule arrived in Charlotte to be the team's head coach in 2020.

Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker, Sam Darnold and Cam Newton have all started games, but the team doesn't appear to have found its long-term starter. The trio of Darnold, Newton and Walker notably threw 21 interceptions and 14 touchdowns last year.

Cousins would be an upgrade at quarterback, although he wouldn't come cheap.

Reporter Jordan Schultz already stated that Cousins has "zero intention" of taking a pay cut for the Vikings and that an extension could cost the Vikings around $40 million per season.

As for the Vikings, they have some big decisions to make as a new general manager (Kwesi Adofo-Mensah) and head coach (Kevin O'Connell) take over the reins in Minneapolis. Most importantly, there's the question of what to do with Cousins, who will be a free agent in 2023.

He's been the Vikings' quarterback since 2018 and finished top 10 in both Football Outsiders' DVOA (defense-adjusted over average) and DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) over the past three seasons.

At the very least, it appears he's sticking around in 2022. 

"We've already started thinking about how we're going to build those systems for him and our other quarterbacks and really the tremendous skill group that we have, our guys up front," O'Connell said at his introductory press conference.

"It takes all 11 to move the football on offense, to run it, to throw it, to score points in the red zone. But I'm anticipating Kirk being a part of what we do."

For now, Cousins remains a Viking, and the Panthers remain in quarterback limbo.