Potential Kirk Cousins to Jets Trade Continues to Gain Steam

NFL: New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

After yesterday’s disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, rumors about Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins being traded to the New York Jets is picking up steam and that’s because the logic behind such a deal is evident, especially after the Vikings dropped to 0-3 over the weekend.

Jets former 1st round pick, Zach Wilson, is still kind of terrible

Young quarterback Zach Wilson is struggling to find his footing, yet again. The 24-year-old’s performance Sunday — 18/36, 157 yards and 0 TDs — vs the New England Patriots left much to be desired. Wilson struggled to identify open receivers and failed to spark the offense.

The New York Jets are now 8-16 with Zach Wilson as their starting quarterback. He’s in his third year as an NFL QB and the former BYU star has thrown more interceptions (22) than he has touchdowns (17). Wilson’s dismal career quarterback rating of 69.2 is overshadowed only by his atrocious ~30 QBR.

Wilson’s play puts the Jets in a very precarious position because the roster around him is built to win now and the New York fanbase is starving for wins, after the signing of Aaron Rodgers brainwashed them into Super Bowl dreams. Thus, Jets decision makers are at a crossroads.

Related: Kevin O’Connell Threatens to Bench Vikings Players Who Can’t Hold onto the Football

A Kirk Cousins to New York Jets trade makes sense

The idea of acquiring Cousins first gained traction when Aaron Rodgers, suffered an Achilles injury during the New York Jets’ first drive of the season. The Jets’ offensive struggles under Wilson have been painfully evident and his most recent performance against the Patriots served as a stark reminder of the challenges they face without a proven signal caller under center.

So, why not trade Zach Wilson and a few draft picks to the Minnesota Vikings for Kirk Cousins, who is set to become a free agent at the end of the season? Cousins has been on fire in 2023, making him an attractive option for a team in desperate need of stability under center. His ability to adapt to a new playbook quickly and the presence of former teammate Dalvin Cook could make for a smooth transition in New York.

Cousins, a proven businessman on and off the field, could benefit from leaving the winless Vikings in favor of turning the Jets’ fortunes around, making a trade an enticing option for both him and New York. The Jets get a capable QB to right their ship until Rodgers returns next season and Kirk gets the perfect stage to showcase to potential suitors in the offseason that he’s still got it.

Minnesota Vikings benefit too

It’s not just the Jets and Kirk Cousins who, on paper, would benefit from this potential trade. The Minnesota Vikings season appears to be slipping away. After their remarkable 11-0 run in one-score games in 2022, the Vikings have lost all of their 2023 games by six points or fewer.

Their playoff hopes now stand at a meager 1%, leaving little reason to hold onto Cousins, especially after declining to extend his contract over the summer. Trading Cousins to the Jets could provide the Vikings with valuable draft capital, a possible future QB1 if KOC can coach some sense into Zach Wilson and their likelihood of landing a top-5 pick in next year’s draft heavily increases.

Related: Should Minnesota Vikings Focus on Future After Falling to 0-3 vs Chargers

They could use this sorry start as an opportunity to rebuild around a young, cheap quarterback, as they prepare to back up the proverbial Brinks truck for star wide receiver, Justin Jefferson. The Vikings’ willingness to part ways with other veteran contracts like Cook and Adam Thielen, over the offseason, does suggests a focus on the future.

For both franchises, the move could serve as a course correction towards a brighter future. The Jets, with a talented roster and a stingy defense, need a quarterback who can capitalize on their playmakers and end their playoff drought. Cousins, with his experience and recent run of stellar performances, could be the answer.

As for the Vikings, trading Cousins would be a strategic move to secure draft assets and potentially position themselves for a high draft pick in 2024. Whether Wilson thrives in his new environment or continues to struggle, the Vikings find themselves in a win-win situation.

Why Kirk Cousins will not be traded to the Jets

However, there are potential obstacles in the way of this proposed trade. Cousins holds all the cards thanks to his no-trade clause, and the Jets’ underwhelming 1-2 start may not be enticing enough for the veteran quarterback. Additionally, the uncertainty surrounding Rodgers’, who thinks he can still return for the playoffs, could influence Cousins’ decision on a move to the Big Apple.

Plus, it isn’t crazy to think the Vikings could still turn their season around, given the talent and veteran leadership that is on their roster. They are a few plays away from being 3-0 so punting on the season this early would no doubt cause major waves throughout TCO Performance Center

Related: Kevin O’Connell Unshaken by Vikings 0-3 Start; Kirk Cousins Living Week to Week

In the end, the Jets’ decision to trade for Kirk Cousins remains uncertain. Still, it’s a proposal that could reshape the trajectory of two franchises currently headed towards mediocrity. While the Jets may continue to dream of landing a seasoned quarterback, only time will tell if this trade will become a reality. Until then, or until the deadline passes, you can guarantee the hypothetical deal will be all over the national radar.

Dominique Clare | Minnesota Sports Fan

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