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The Vikings were hoping to land QB Justin Fields at pick 14 and even considered trading up for him, according to ESPN's Courtney Cronin. The Bears ended up making the move for Fields, while the Vikings added QB Kellen Mond with pick 66. Minnesota is clearly looking at their long-term QB situation, with Kirk Cousins turning 33 in August and, more importantly, set to count $45 million against the cap in 2022, the final year of his deal. Mond won't threaten Cousins' job this season. But if he shows well throughout the year, Minnesota might opt to roll with Mond the following year.

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"I think he's gonna finally thrive, really thrive, in a system and a coach that actually respects him." Those were the recent words from ex-Vikings LB Ben Leber, who now works the sideline for team radio broadcasts. Leber added: "Mike Zimmer did not like Kirk Cousins. And I think that showed in the way that Kirk behaved and the way that he carried himself. The team was never given to him." It's quite possible that this is entirely true ... and that the change doesn't impact Cousins' fantasy production. He ranked 5th among QBs in passing-TD rate and yards per attempt over the past 3 years, under Zimmer. (We talked further about Cousins and our expectations for the 2022 Vikings offense in Tuesday's podcast.) If it's true that Zimmer negatively impacted Cousins' day-to-day, then the switch certainly can't hurt his effectiveness.

QB Kirk Cousins is signing a 1-year extension with the Vikings. NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that it's worth a fully guaranteed $35 million, locking him in through 2023. The deal also adds a no-trade clause. This move confirms that Cousins will at least remain Minnesota's starter through the 2022 season -- and likely through 2023 as well.

There have been some rumors of potential for QB Kirk Cousins to be traded this offseason. It doesn't sound like new Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell is on board with that notion, though. "Kirk is our quarterback," O'Connell said Wednesday in Indianapolis at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I'm excited about that. I'm excited about building an offense for him." We wouldn't echo excitement for Cousins as a fantasy QB, but his production has outperformed his ADP for several years now. So we have no problem with Cousins as an early best-ball pick -- especially when stacked with WR Justin Jefferson or WR Adam Thielen.

The Vikings have fired HC Mike Zimmer and GM Rick Spielman, NFL Network reports. It ends an 8-year run for Zimmer and a 16-year run for Spielman in Minnesota. Zimmer's tenure brought just 3 seasons of double-digit wins and 2 playoff victories. We'll see who the Vikings hire to run the show going forward.

Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has been activated from the COVID list. He's expected to start Sunday's finale vs. the Bears, despite Minnesota having nothing to play for. Cousins isn't an exciting fantasy option, but his return is excellent news for WR Justin Jefferson and the rest of the Vikings' skill-position players.

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