Vikings Positioned to Pounce With $160 Million QB on ‘Clear Path’ to Free Agency

The Minnesota Vikings have seen this movie play out before.

Savage attack on Cowboys over Dak Prescott contract: They are gonna get  spanked at the table | Marca

They were in a similar situation last season with Kirk Cousins, disagreeing on terms of a new contract. So as the Dallas Cowboys continue to navigate Dak Prescott’s contract situation, Vikings brass should be keeping a watchful eye.

Prescott is on track to play out the final year of his four-year, $160 million contract without an extension.

“The #Cowboys and QB Dak Prescott have a mutual understanding of his contract situation, sources say, with no offers from Dallas despite him being in a contract year,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on X on March 26. “No indication a deal is coming.

“This appears to clears [sic] the path for Dak Prescott to test free agency in 2025.”

That could be wonderful news for the Vikings. They are not in a position to land one of the top rookie passers in the 2024 draft barring a significant trade.

Their interest in the next tier of passers in the class is unclear. Meanwhile, 2024 free-agency acquisition Sam Darnold is a stopgap option, though Head Coach Kevin O’Connell expressed confidence in him.

Prescott, 30, led the NFL in touchdown passes (36) and completions (410) last season, completing a career-high 69.5% of his throws for 4,516 yards. The NFL’s third-leading passer last season, he also completed the longest pass of the campaign for a 92-yard touchdown.

Spotrac projects the Vikings to have the fifth-most cap space in the NFL at $104.6 million.

The New England Patriots – who lead the way with $411.5 million in cap space next offseason – Detroit Lions, Washington Commanders, and Los Angeles Chargers all project to have more.

New England and Washington can land their respective future quarterbacks in this year’s draft. The Chargers have Justin Herbert in place and the Lions can argue Jared Goff’s postseason success makes him a better option.

That could still leave the Vikings in a potential position of strength.

Dak Prescott on Contract Extension: ‘This is a Process’

Dak Prescott, Minnesota Vikings

That would require Prescott to hit free agency, of course. The Cowboys cannot franchise tag him – a stipulation the Vikings are familiar with – or trade him without his approval. He previously said he was “definitely confident” in eventually landing an extension.

“It helps the team. It’s important for the numbers,” Prescott said, per ESPN’s Todd Archer on March 4. “That is a process. Both sides understand that. Everything’s great. It’ll happen.”

Some still don’t expect Prescott to hit the market.

“Regarding the #Cowboys and Dak Prescott, I’m told the team does intend to work out a contract for their 3x-Pro Bowl quarterback and also has not closed off potential to consummate a deal for him this year, per source,” CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson reported on X on March 27.

“While there’s currently no offer or imminent talks, the team is not presently charting a path to let Prescott go to free agency, despite some chatter to the contrary, I’m told.”

Vikings Poised for Run at Dak Prescott in 2025 Free Agency

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Minnesota Vikings

Prescott’s current contract has multiple void years, similar to Cousins’ last Vikings deal. The first year is the roughest, with a $40.5 million dead cap hit. There is another $12 million on the books in 2026 and $1 million apiece in 2027 and 2028.

An extension is the only way for the Cowboys to avoid those dead cap hits.

Minnesota is shouldering a $28.5 million charge in 2024. Cousins signed a four-year contract worth up to $180 million with the Atlanta Falcons in free agency.

Anderson points to the two sides’ history as “macro-indicators” of their intentions. However, this offseason has seen several teams change their minds as situations linger and play out. None stands out in Minnesota more than Cousins.

This is another possible solution to the Vikings’ quarterback situation, even if it remains unlikely.

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