Russell Wilson as Next Vikings Quarterback…?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Denver Broncos
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos benched their $49 million per season quarterback Russell Wilson this week, in favor of backup Jarrett Stidham, making the former Wisconsin Badger QB’s fall from grace one of the fastest and most incredible downfalls in NFL history.

Come March, according to Dianna Russini (The Athletic) the Broncos are expected to waive Wilson, choosing $85 million in cap penalties over having him on their roster.

Related: TJ Hockenson Questionable to Return for Start of 2024 Vikings Season

So, media outlets across the internet are trying to figure out what is next for Wilson. It appears, he is still viewed as a starting quarterback in the league, even if he’s closer to the bottom of that list, than the middle or top.

Russell Wilson to the… Minnesota Vikings?

On Thursday morning, The Athletic made a list of four potential landing spots for a once-great quarterback who is on the RAPID decline… and guess who made the list? That’s right, your favorite football team, the Minnesota Vikings.

Why Wilson might be a fit: This feels like a Hail Mary of sorts, which, considering Wilson is the subject, seems fitting. The Vikings’ quarterback plans for 2024 are uncertain, as Kirk Cousins’ contract voids at the conclusion of the season and he is likely to have many suitors. If Cousins signs elsewhere, the Vikings could go after a high-end talent in the draft. In that situation, they’d likely sign a bridge quarterback to allow that youngster to develop. If he’s released, Wilson fits in that category alongside other mid- to lower-tier options.

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

If the Minnesota Vikings lose on Sunday night vs the Green Bay Packers, their chances of making the playoffs will quite literally be ‘slim to none’, depending on how the rest of the NFC games play out around them.

That means, while there still might be another week on the schedule, GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and much of the fanbase will transition their football brains into offseason mode, should the Vikings fall vs the Packers.

Once that happens, whether this week, next week or after a miracle playoff run, the Vikings will finally be forced to address the contract monkey that’s been living at TCO Performance Center for at least a year.

Related: How Much Will Kirk Cousins Cost; Could Vikings Get Discount?

Will Kwesi & Co sign on for more Kirk Cousins or will they choose to shift franchise focus to the future by letting him walk in free agency? And if they do move on from Kirk, the Russell Wilsons of the NFL QB world are going to be the ‘bridge quarterbacks’ associated with Minnesota all offseason. That’s just reality.

Why Russell Wilson makes no sense for the Vikings

Russell Wilson Minnesota Vikings Denver Broncos
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

As Alec Lewis mentions in the ‘Why Wilson might not fit’ portion of his article, though, there are a lot of reasons Russell wouldn’t interest head coach Kevin O’Connell or most other decision makers in the organization.

It’s likely ‘Mr. Unlimited’ lands a contract next season near $20 million per year. Somebody will value him as an average NFL starting QB and that’s just the rate of doing business, these days. If the Vikings do, in fact, decide to move on from Kirk, they’ll be charged with a dead cap penalty of $28 million.

Why he might not: Cousins returning would immediately end this discussion. But even if he departs, it’s fair to wonder whether Wilson’s asking price would make sense. Garoppolo, for example, signed a three-year, $72.5 million contract with the Raiders in March. Wilson is older, but he’s also more accomplished. Say he wanted a two-year, $40 million deal. The Vikings, who would likely draft a QB in Cousins’ absence, would not be likely to pay that kind of money to a short-term answer.

Alec Lewis – The Athletic

Remember, if the Vikings bring Kirk Cousins back, they (essentially) do not have to pay the $28 million dead cap penalty. Thus, common sense says the Vikings would be much better off re-signing Cousins for, let’s just say, $35 million per season, than pay $48 million total ($20M for Wilson + $28M for Cousins cap penalty) and end up with Mr. Unlimited.

That’s why, between Justin Jefferson’s public calls for the Vikings to bring Kirk Cousins back on Wednesday, and the cap penalties they’d have to pay by letting Cousins go this offseason, I just can’t see a reality where Kirk is playing elsewhere in 2024 and Russell Wilson (or any other mediocre QB1 for that matter) is wearing purple and gold.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: