April 21, 2024

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is expected to remain in Minnesota this season and will not look to waive the no-trade clause in his contract, league sources told ESPN.

No quarterback has been mentioned in speculative trades this season more than Cousins, who was linked to the Jets almost from the moment that Aaron Rodgers suffered a season-ending torn Achilles.

But short of a contending team with a familiar offense losing its starting quarterback before the NFL’s Oct. 31 trade deadline, Cousins is expected to finish the season with the Vikings.

The no-trade clause became a topic of conversation last week when Cousins was asked for the first time this season whether he would be willing to waive the clause before the deadline.

“I’m just very focused on the Bears and going 1-0 this week,” Cousins told reporters. “Anything else is just not worth my time or energy or attention.”

Although Cousins’ response to the question was open-ended, it would take a perfect storm to conjure a scenario that would result in the Vikings cashing out on their season and trading Cousins.

Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell does not want to move on from the quarterback that led his team to an NFC North title last season. Cousins is comfortable in Minnesota, with his family settled there, and is not looking to move on. Cousins also is known to prefer to have a firm grasp on his offense and a longstanding comfort level with his wide receivers, and he would not have that with most NFL teams looking for a midseason trade.

Cousins’ contract is set to void next March, after the deadline for declaring franchise tags, meaning he has a guaranteed path to the free agent market if he wants it.

The Vikings (1-4) visit the Bears (1-4) on Sunday and will be without Justin Jefferson (hamstring) for at least four games after the superstar receiver was officially placed on injured reserve Wednesday.

The Vikings, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, have twice the chance of picking in the top 10 of the 2024 draft (41.5%) as compared with making the playoffs (20.3%), prompting questions among media and fans about whether they would look to unload players at the trade deadline.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert contributed to this report.

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