This sounds like a wild theory, but could a player that was formerly targeted by the Denver Broncos in free agency end up on the club in 2024? That player would be none other than Kirk Cousins, who the Denver Broncos were interested in in the 2018 NFL offseason.
He obviously did not sign with the Broncos, but instead chose the Minnesota Vikings and is set to enter his sixth season as their starter. The Vikings had made a miraculous playoff run in 2017 with Case Keenum under center, and the idea with signing Cousins was that his being an upgrade over Keenum would have put the Vikings over the edge.
Well, even though the Vikings have had a few good seasons under Cousins, and Cousins has played well statistically, they haven't done much in the playoffs. Cousins is set to enter his age-35 season and is clearly still an effective passer.
His style of play with him being a pocket passer and of good stature is something that is sustainable as he ages through his 30s, and I would not be surprised if he finished with another solid year in 2023. Well, could the Denver Broncos end up signing him next year, when he's a free agent?
Talk has started recently about the Vikings potentially trying to upgrade their QB situation to try and find someone who could take over for the long term. It's understandable as I think Cousins has run his course in Minnesota and it's clear that the Vikings likely aren't winning a Super Bowl with him under center.
He's an above-average, top-12 quarterback who does need a lot around him to go right to succeed. Well, could the Broncos offer that type of situation in 2024? My thinking here is that if Russell Wilson stinks it up again in 2023, the team will not hesitate to move off of him. They'd have to endure quite the cap hit, but with Sean Payton having final roster authority and no connection to Wilson, he may not think it's a hard decision to make.
The Broncos would then be without a quarterback, and if the Vikings let Cousins hit free agency, he could be a player that the Broncos could target. Payton's career as a head coach in the NFL came while playing with Drew Brees, a pure and efficient pocket passer who also found a bunch of success well into his 30s.
Isn't Kirk Cousins a pure and efficient pocket passer well into his 30s? Do you see where I'm going with this? Could the Broncos sign Cousins for a year or two while Sean Payton tries to find the long-term QB answer? If Cousins has another solid season, perhaps that'll convince Payton enough that he has some good football left in him.
During his tenure with the Vikings, he's thrown for 153 touchdowns and a 100.9 passer rating.
Perhaps even more impressive, his 17-game average comes out to 4,446 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He's objectively a productive QB and has been scary consistent.
He's thrown for at least 25 touchdown passes in every season since 2015. He's also never thrown more than 14 interceptions in a season during his career. He had three straight seasons of a 100+ passer rating from 2019-2021 and throws for an average of 261.5 yards per game.
There really is so much to like about Kirk Cousins in Denver, even if it's for a year or two. He could provide some short-term stability, and given that the New Orleans Saints were very competitive with a geriatric Drew Brees, I'd like the Broncos' chances with Kirk Cousins.
I could genuinely see this as a possibility in 2024.