Quarterback: Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings
The last option that I like the most but I’m not sure if it will actually happen, would be Kevin Stefanski and Kirk Cousins reuniting in Cleveland. The duo had a few great years together in Minnesota, and it appears that the Vikings are ready to rebuild.
The big question with Cousins is, will he waive his no-trade clause? He has publicly said he won’t, but if he got a shot to come to a winner, he was familiar with (like Stefanski) would that change?
Cousins is out of contract after the 2023 season, and I think even he knows that he won’t be back in Minnesota next season. The big issue is, the Browns likely wouldn’t have any interest in bringing him back either with Watson under a massive contract.
Cousins is an elite game manager who can put a team on his back if needed. He thrives in the play-action passing game and would allow Stefanski to tailor his offense back to what it was before adjusting to Watson under center.
This move wouldn’t cost a lot of draft equity most likely, but the Browns would have to eat a portion of his $20 million-plus cap hit. The team has the money, but does Andrew Berry want to eat into that rollover money for new contracts in 2024?
My biggest question about making a trade for Cousins is does it create long-term issues? What if Cousins plays out of his mind and then everyone is ready to move on from Watson? I know that's a good problem to have, but it could create a salary cap nightmare for Berry based on the Watson structure.