Advertisement

What will Vikings do at quarterback? Two teams to watch for clues.

And now we wait.

The NFL Combine is over. Free agency doesn't start until next week, with teams allowed to negotiate starting Monday before signing players two days later.

In the interim, we are left to sift through the information on hand as we consider how the most important decision of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O'Connell's joint tenure — what to do at quarterback — will play out.

Everything the Star Tribune's Ben Goessling wrote in an excellent piece over the weekend still holds true. The Vikings and Cousins have placed their bets. The Vikings have talked earnestly about wanting Cousins back, but their terms and his terms might be different. If another team is poised to make Cousins a more attractive offer than the one the Vikings want to make, it will force Minnesota to make a decision.

But two things do seem to be picking up steam. There is an increasing sense that the Falcons would be the team to make Cousins a big offer and that he is their preferred target over trade for Justin Fields — a change from last week when it sounded like Fields-to-Atlanta was gaining momentum.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution writer D. Orlando Ledbetter, who has covered the Falcons for more than 20 years, joined the Daily Delivery podcast on Tuesday and told me, "If Kirk Cousins is available, he automatically goes to No. 1 on their board."

These things can change quickly, of course, but Ledbetter is not the first person in Atlanta to say that about Cousins. The Falcons are a good fit on a number of levels. After muddling through the post-Matt Ryan years, they crave the stability Cousins would bring to a team that seems to be a QB away from contending for a division title.

How much guaranteed money — and for how many years — they would be willing to commit to Cousins could drive some very interesting negotiations early next week.

The other development was the Broncos announcing they are releasing veteran QB Russell Wilson. While not a surprise, it officially puts another QB in play on the free agent market. Wilson is a veteran who will make a lot of money not to play for Denver in 2024 and could look to revamp his career on a relatively inexpensive one-year deal with a new team.

He is not Atlanta's preferred solution, Ledbetter said. Logic dictates the Vikings could be interested, if indeed Cousins leaves.

Minnesota is already showing up on short lists from national writers predicting Wilson's next team. Signing Wilson for a year while drafting the QB of the future in April has some short-term and long-term appeal.

Here are four more things to know today:

*What's particularly interesting is that the Broncos could be in the Vikings' QB orbit in two ways. Denver almost certainly will look to draft a quarterback. The Vikings very well could move in that direction. Minnesota has the No. 11 pick. Denver picks No. 12.

The Broncos would be picking ahead of the Vikings if Minnesota hadn't blown a late lead and lost 21-20 to Denver last year — a game in which Wilson led a trademark rally while Cousins recovered from his season-ending injury.

*The Wolves wrapped up a 4-3 home stand with a win over Portland on Monday. It was a game they needed to have, and Rudy Gobert made sure they had it. Still, it was an uneven stretch for the Wolves, who beat all the teams they were supposed to beat and lost to the contenders.

*The high school boys' hockey state tournament starts Wednesday. Here's a fun look at some of the younger players who might turn some heads.

*Star Tribune Wild beat writer Sarah McLellan will join Wednesday's podcast to talk about Friday's NHL trade deadline. Here is a taste of what we will talk about.