The competition for the Denver Broncos in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes just got a little thicker.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning that the Minnesota Vikings would not be franchise tagging quarterback Case Keenum, meaning the signal-caller will become a free agent once the NFL league year starts on March 14.
The #Vikings are not expected to franchise tag QB Case Keenum and he’s slated to hit free agency, per sources with knowledge of the team’s thinking. Barring a change of heart, Minnesota joins the fray for a starting QB… and will make these next few weeks fascinating.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2018
And with that news, “Pritchard and Cecil” hosts Mike Pritchard and Cecil Lammey both said on Monday that not only are the Vikings in the running for Cousins’ services but they’re in the driver’s seat.
“The Broncos were driving. The Broncos are riding shotgun now because Minnesota’s got the wheel,” Lammey said.
Lammey said he expects the Broncos to make an offer to Cousins, even bring him to Denver, but that the club’s not going to be able to “woo him over Minnesota.”
I don’t think that’s a possibility. This is Case Keenum mode now,” Lammey said. “You’re in Case Keenum mode if you’re the Broncos … and a rookie.”
Pritchard called it “game over,” saying that the Vikings were going to “win the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes” because of what the franchise can offer the soon-to-be former Washington Redskins quarterback.
“They have the team. They’ve got the roster. They’ve got the area. They’ve got the money. They’ve got the building. They just got the coordinator situated.,” Pritchard said.
Last season, Keenum started 14 games for the Vikings, leading the team to a 13-3 record and an NFC North division title.
The former St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams and Houston Texans gunslinger set career highs in completions (235), attempts (481), completion percentage (67.6), touchdowns (22), and quarterback rating (71.3).
Cousins became the first quarterback in league history to be franchise tagged in consecutive years in 2017, though he’s not expected to return to Washington next year after the team traded for Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith.
In three seasons as the Redskins starter, Cousins never missed a game and threw for an average of 377 completions for 4,392 yards, 27 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.
Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @johnnyhart7.