NFL offseason: Best-case, worst-case scenarios for quarterbacks in limbo

The Broncos exited the QB wilderness by acquiring Russell Wilson in a blockbuster trade for the ages. The Packers and Aaron Rodgers settled their differences with one of the biggest contracts in NFL history. 

The Colts, meanwhile, decided life would be better without Carson Wentz, while the Commanders welcomed the former No. 2 overall pick with open arms.

Wilson, Rodgers and Wentz know what their immediate futures look like. The same cannot be said for other prominent quarterbacks who enter a new league year in various states of limbo.

(Due to the troubling and uncertain nature of Deshaun Watson's legal situation, we're largely steering clear of speculating about his future here. Obviously

Watson continues to loom as a major figure in the quarterback market.)

Minnesota Vikings · Entering Year 11 · Age: 34 Best-case scenario: The new braintrust in Minnesota looks at Cousins' consistent production and ironman durability, 

surveys an open market with no obvious upgrades and decides to hand out an extension that makes the veteran one of the highest-paid players in the league (while lowering Cousins' eye-popping $45 million 2022 cap hit). Justin Jefferson and immense wealth. Good gig.

Worst-case scenario: New general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell have been playing poker this entire time. The tandem decides to flip Cousins to a team in QB purgatory (Carolina? Indianapolis?

Seattle?) and start anew at the game's most important position. Cousins, absent a no-trade clause in his contract, ends up in a place he does not want to be.

Most likely scenario: The Vikings swallow hard and do the deal. Throughout his career, Cousins has done a masterful job maximizing leverage.

To wit: Spotrac has Cousins' career earnings north of $160 million across 10 pro seasons -- not bad for a guy with a single playoff win on his ledger.