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This week the NFL will converge in Indianapolis for the 2022 NFL Scouring Combine. While most of the attention will be focused on the prospects on the field, the main event may be outside of Lucas Oil Stadium where executives will lay the framework for potential offseason deals.

It's been reported that the Vikings will sit down and try to reach an extension with Kirk Cousins, but if an earlier report that he not will accept a team-friendly extension is true, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah might have to dip his toes into the trade market.

The good news is that several teams should be looking to upgrade at the position. The bad news is that there are only a few teams that have the assets and the salary cap space to pull a deal off.

So what are some potential deals for Cousins? These are 100% speculation, so take it all as entertainment value. 

Kirk Cousins to the Panthers for Sam Darnold and a 2023 1st round pick

The first two seasons of the Matt Rhule era haven't gone well in Carolina. With his job possibly on the line, Rhule needs to find a quarterback or risk being sent back to college football.

The problem is that the Panthers don't have many assets to make a deal. Carolina burned their second- and fourth-round picks in the deal to acquire Darnold from the New York Jets. After dealing a third-rounder to Jacksonville for C.J. Henderson, Rhule has become the NFL's version of the "I have $3" meme.

That being said, Rhule is desperate to save his job and probably isn't afraid to throw next year's draft capital around. That would work great for the Vikings, who probably wouldn't mind being in position to draft Alabama's Bryce Young or Ohio State's C.J. Stroud as their quarterback of the future next year. 

They would have to take on Darnold's $18.8 million cap number this season but would be able to move forward at quarterback in 2023. That combination would benefit the Vikings and eventually move them into the rookie quarterback contract window.

Kirk Cousins and a 2022 3rd round pick to the Broncos for the ninth overall pick and Jonathan Cooper

It's pretty clear the Broncos have their eyes set on Aaron Rodgers this offseason. But if Rodgers' panchakarma cleanse and the return of Tom Clements are enough to have him return to Green Bay, George Paton may have to look for a familiar face.

Paton was the assistant general manager for the Vikings from 2012 to 2020 and should have an idea of what Cousins could bring to Denver. With $39.1 million in cap space, the Broncos can absorb Cousins' $35 million cap hit and help them compete in a division with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Derek Carr.

This deal would also make sense from the Vikings' standpoint. In addition to having another top-12 draft pick this year, Minnesota could also acquire an edge rusher that could mesh with the shift to a 3-4 defense.

Kevin O'Connell's staff is filled with Broncos holdovers including defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. While Cooper (who had 2.5 sacks in 14 games for Denver last season) isn't a household name, he could be a developmental project that Donatell saw potential in. He could also benefit under new outside linebackers coach Mike Smith, who oversaw the development of Za'Darius Smith and Rashan Gary in Green Bay.

The Vikings could aim higher to try and poach Malik Reed or even Bradley Chubb in this scenario but this could be a chance to acquire hidden value.

Kirk Cousins to the Steelers for a 2022 first-round pick (20th overall)

Sometimes these deals don't have to be complicated. With several holes on the roster, the Vikings would be wise just to take a first-round pick if they can get it. The added draft capital could not only help upgrade their areas of weakness but used as ammunition to trade up for a quarterback they like.

The Steelers could be the team to give them that deal. Pittsburgh somehow went 9-8 and got into the playoffs with a fast fading Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. With a strong defense, deep cast of weapons and an adequate offensive line, Pittsburgh may be the best plug-and-play scenario for Cousins to land.

A lot of this depends on what the Vikings think of the quarterback class. If they fall in love with Malik Willis or Kenny Pickett, making this deal makes sense. If they want to sign a stop-gap and build the rest of the roster to make a move in 2023, this also makes sense.

Teams like Indianapolis and Cleveland could also be calling with a similar deal but it's up to the Vikings to decide if it's more beneficial than signing Cousins to a lucrative extension.

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