The Vikings shocked the NFL by trading their starting quarterback to Washington in exchange for three draft picks. Kirk Cousins was a controversial figure among Viking fans who have longed for his replacement all season, and now they may get their wish with former first round pick Teddy Bridgewater potentially ready to take over Minnesota’s offense next year.

The “is kirk cousins vaccinated” is a question that has been asked for years. The Vikings have cleaned house and Cousins may not be the answer in Minnesota.

The Vikings Cleaning House Spells Major Trouble for Kirk Cousins and His Minnesota Future

The Minnesota Vikings chose to clean house on Black Monday after a poor season that had them on the outside looking in when it came to the final playoff picture (despite an expanded format).

They let go of longstanding general manager Rick Spielman and longtime head coach Mike Zimmer, ushering in a new era of Vikings football.

While a lot will likely change for the Vikings in the future, one question weighs large over them all. What’s next for Kirk Cousins, the quarterback?

With Kirk Cousins as quarterback, the Vikings have been abysmal.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins. Stephen Maturen/Getty Images/Kirk Cousins

Following their remarkable NFC Championship run in 2017, the Vikings responded quickly in the offseason to strengthen their quarterback situation. They replaced Case Keenum with Kirk Cousins in the hopes of extending their postseason campaigns.

While Cousins did lead Minnesota to a playoff victory in 2020, his performance in purple hasn’t lived up to the lofty expectations that come with being one of the league’s highest-paid players. With Cousins as quarterback, the Vikings have missed the playoffs three times and are coming off back-to-back nine-loss seasons in 2020 and 2021.

Cousins’ performance has been mediocre at best.

In Minnesota, the former Washington Redskins quarterback has had his share of memorable experiences. Every season, his final stat numbers are usually spectacular. However, the harsh fact is that he hasn’t been good enough in Minnesota since his arrival. After last season’s loss, the squad felt obligated to clear house, and his lack of top performance was a major factor for it.

Kirk Cousins’ future with the Vikings will be decided by the team’s next general manager.

The next #Vikings regime now must figure out how to handle the QB situation, with Kirk Cousins entering the final year of his deal worth $35 million guaranteed.

— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 10, 2022

The Vikings’ first order of business after hiring their new general manager will be to devise a strategy for Cousins.

Is he worthy of the team’s starting quarterback position in 2022? Will the Vikings pursue a trade for their high-paid franchise quarterback?

The tough thing of all of this is, of course, Cousins’ existing contract. He’ll be paid $35 million in 2022 when Spielman extended his contract in 2020. On the open market, that’s a difficult and complicated contract to trade.

Whatever the case may be, Cousins’ present circumstance will likely be at the top of the to-do list for the next Vikings general manager. When taking over a new club, most general managers prefer to select and sign their own starting quarterback, and freeing up $35 million in salary space would surely aid the Vikings’ rebuilding efforts.

Minnesota is most certainly in the midst of a rebuilding process.

If you’re A) happy with Kirk Cousins or B) believe you can transfer him without sending a premium choice the other way, I think Vikings GM/HC positions are quite enticing.

— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) January 10, 2022

It’s difficult not to interpret the Vikings clearing house as a move toward a rebuilding attitude, regardless of whether Cousins is dealt or not. They’ve been attempting to rekindle their 2017 magic for a long time with little success. Accepting that it’s time to start again is an important first step.

The Vikings roster isn’t without flaws, apart from Kirk Cousins’ predicament. With Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, they have some very exceptional potential. For the team’s next general manager and head coach, that’s a fine place to start.

Pro Football Reference provided all stats.

RELATED: Is Matt Rhule, the Panthers’ new head coach, following in the footsteps of Urban Meyer?

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