Report: Panthers called Vikings about potential Kirk Cousins trade

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

The Carolina Panthers have called the Minnesota Vikings regarding a potential trade for quarterback Kirk Cousins, according to a report.

It’s no secret that the Carolina Panthers are looking for another potential upgrade at the quarterback position after Sam Darnold failed to make the most out of a big starting opportunity. Giving up three draft picks to the New York Jets was a huge gamble that didn’t pay off and picking up his fifth-year option with a guaranteed $18.85 million will go down as another grave error in judgment before he got in the building.

The Panthers are now back to square one. Although they will probably be stuck with Darnold next season unless those in power can somehow find another organization to take on his salary.

However, this is unlikely to prevent Carolina from making another bold quarterback bid if the right veteran becomes available. Especially if owner David Tepper has any say in the matter.

Just who that is going to be is the big mystery. But all avenues will be explored ahead of what’s going to be a make-or-break season for head coach Matt Rhule in 2022.

Carolina Panthers reportedly called the Vikings about a potential Kirk Cousins trade

According to Judd Zulgad from SKOR North, the Panthers have called the Minnesota Vikings regarding a potential trade for Kirk Cousins this offseason, which was not well received initially. However, revelations regarding the signal-caller refusing to take a pay cut to ease their salary-cap concerns could make the new regime re-think their initial decision about the Michigan State product’s availability.

"“From what I’ve heard Minnesota has gotten a call that I’ve been told has gone nowhere so far, but it’s interesting the phone did ring and the Carolina Panthers were the ones calling. They are quarterback desperate, panicked I’m sure, and if the Panthers have a bad season in 2022 then Matt Rhule will probably be fired. They cast their lot with Sam Darnold, which didn’t work out. And although the Vikings put a pin in that conversation, this was before Kirk’s refusal to take a pay cut came out and if something doesn’t change, there is a possibility of picking that phone back up.”"

There are plenty of hurdles to overcome regarding such a trade. Giving up the No. 6 overall selection to land the veteran doesn’t seem smart at all on Carolina’s behalf and there is also the small matter of Cousins’ fully guaranteed cap number next season that currently stands at a whopping $45 million.

Cousins has been statistically decent over the last three seasons and does have playoff-winning experience. He would be a legitimate upgrade on Darnold, but that is only half the story and it would be yet another substantial gamble from the organization if a decision like this came to fruition.

Adding another veteran that would take up a significant financial outlay would also prevent the Panthers from strengthening other key areas such as the offensive line. And as we’ve seen with Darnold, Cousins is another that finds like difficult unless the protection in front of him is not up to the required standard.

This appears to be a non-starter. But if the reports are true, then the Panthers have already begun putting the foundations in place regarding another bold move to finally find the right quarterback.

Whether it’s Cousins or someone else, Rhule has to get his next move right after striking out on both Teddy Bridgewater and Darnold.

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Otherwise, it’s going to come with some hefty ramifications.