Predicting the Green Bay Packers' starting quarterback in 2024 isn't a straightforward task.
Jordan Love is the current starter and remains in pole position, but his long-term future is anything but guaranteed. Love's contract only runs through the end of next season.
The Packers have made several surprising moves under general manager Brian Gutekunst. Trading up for Love in the 2020 NFL Draft was among them. Signing Kirk Cousins in free agency would top the Love pick.
Could Cousins really swap the Minnesota Vikings for the rival Packers in the offseason? One NFL insider believes so.
ESPN believes Packers could replace Jordan Love with Kirk Cousins in 2024
Cousins faces an uncertain future with the Vikings. His contract expires at the start of the new league year in March, and his recovery from a torn Achilles only further complicates things.
If Minnesota moves in a different direction, Cousins will become available for any quarterback-needy team in the offseason. That could include the Packers if they decide to move on from Love.
ESPN's Dan Graziano called the Packers a "sleeper" team to sign Cousins.
"Jordan Love doesn't look like the answer, and while the Packers are as patient as any team in the league, they're also used to winning," said Graziano. "Cousins knows the Packers' offense because it's a derivative of Kyle Shanahan's scheme from their time together in Washington, and Cousins and Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur could work well together."
Graziano understands that his opinion is "out of left field" and not a move the Packers would typically make. But he does make fair points.
Cousins would give the Packers a short-term upgrade at quarterback, and he could help the team remain competitive while they figure out their long-term solution at the position.
However, there is one significant reason why a move for Cousins is unlikely: Money.
The Packers are on a long journey toward a healthier salary cap. They are paying over $40 million in dead cap for Aaron Rodgers' contract this season. In 2024, rising cap hits for David Bakhtiari, Aaron Jones, and Preston Smith become a problem. Green Bay can work towards more cap flexibility in 2025.
Signing Cousins would change things. The Packers would have to make room for his deal, which would likely be expensive, as other teams would be interested in signing him. You sign Cousins to compete. This Packers team is rebuilding and wouldn't necessarily be ready to challenge, even with Cousins in 2024.
If Green Bay moves on from Love, an ideal world would see the team sign Cousins for one or two years, develop a star quarterback behind him, and remain competitive the entire time. But it's just not realistic.
Anything is possible, but the Packers signing Cousins seems highly unlikely.