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The Vikings will NOT franchise tag Case Keenum; he'll hit free agency

He'll hit free agency, according to sources in the team.
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The Minnesota Vikings will NOT franchise tag Case Keenum, potentially putting them in the market for a new QB.

NFL reporter Ian Rapoport cites sources inside the Vikings who tell him the Vikings will allow the QB who got them to the NFC Championship game to hit free agency.

The Vikings still have Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford on their books, but the rumors are that the Vikes are interested in Washington free agent Kirk Cousins.

Which brings us to...

Top NFL in-the-know bets on Cousins to Vikings

On Monday, 84-year-old Gil Brandt tweeted that if he were a betting man he would put money on the Vikings signing free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins. 

Brandt is far more than an analyst for NFL Network. He was the Dallas Cowboys chief talent scout for nearly 30 years, so he knows a thing or two about the game and he knows all the right people. 

I met Brandt multiple times during the NFL Combine in Indianapolis – he's one of the few people in the media who are allowed beyond radio row during the Combine.

He's a true industry in-the-know, which is why his view on Cousins is particularly intriguing.

That said, there are other reporters who believe Cousins, the top free agent quarterback available, will go to the Broncos if they offer him $25 million a year with $80 million guaranteed. 

According to SpoTrac, Vikings have approximately $57 million in salary cap space, so they can definitely afford to give Cousins a giant contract. 

Doing so could impact their ability to extend future contracts to core players like Stefon Diggs, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Danielle Hunter, all of whom are set to become unrestricted free agents in 2019. 

Regardless, the Cousins to Minnesota rumor mill just got really hot with Brandt putting his opinion on Twitter. 

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The deadline to apply the franchise tag to players in the NFL passed on Monday, and the Minnesota Vikings declined to use the tag. A couple of big name players who otherwise could have been free-agents, were tagged. Among them: Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe and Titans safety Michael Griffin.