Justin Jefferson: 'I definitely wouldn't mind' Kirk Cousins remaining Vikings' QB

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According to a recent ESPN report, Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell, the soon-to-be-hired head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, has endorsed veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins for the 2022 season. During the interview process, O'Connell reportedly "conveyed a firm belief" in him, which suggests the team will try to keep Cousins for the foreseeable future.

Cousins, whose total cap hit was $31 million this past season, has struggled to lift the Vikings to new heights. But the 33-year-old still managed to throw for 4,221 yards with 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2021, which makes him a quarterback worth playing. Of course, the glaring issue is his 2022 cap hit ($45 million), which accounts for 21-percent of their total cap.

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The Zach Gelb Show
Justin Jefferson, Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl Wide Receiver
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"With the new head coach and new GM, nobody's expecting anything, at this moment. If he's there, great. I love Kirk," Vikings star receiver Justin Jefferson told The Zach Gelb Show on Tuesday. "I love Kirk as a person, I love Kirk as a quarterback. He's been doing a tremendous job with me, ever since I got into the league. So, I definitely wouldn't mind him staying. I love Kirk. But if the GM and head coach want to go a different route, then that's on them.

"At the end of the day, I don't make the decision. I'm just here to play football and I'm going to give it my all, no matter who the quarterback is. I honesty do [think we can win a Super Bowl with him]. Kirk is an outstanding quarterback... I feel like Kirk just needs to go out there and have fun with it -- just have that confidence, have that swagger. Trust in his playmakers to get the ball, and do what they have to do. So, I'm happy for this upcoming year."

O'Connell's evaluation of Cousins wasn't only developed during his interview process. Prior to joining the Rams' staff, O'Connell spent three seasons with the Washington Commanders, and during the 2017 campaign, he worked as Cousins' quarterback coach. That year, Cousins racked up 4,093 yards, and ultimately received a fully-guaranteed free-agent contract from Minnesota.

As for Jefferson, he produced an impressive sophomore season. In 17 games, the 22-year-old caught 108 passes (167 targets) for 1,616 yards with 10 scores, and also earned Pro Bowl honors for the second time. With offensive-minded O'Connell in charge, Jefferson could develop into a more dangerous threat in the open field. Just this year, Rams superstar receiver Cooper Kupp became just the fourth player in NFL history to accomplish the receiving triple crown.

The entire NFL conversation between Jefferson and Gelb can be accessed in the audio player above.

You can follow The Zach Gelb Show on Twitter @ZachGelb and Tom Hanslin @TomHanslin.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Stephen Maturen / Stringer / Getty Images