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Despite absence of “no tag” clause, Vikings can’t tag Kirk Cousins next year

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dissect the shot Saints DE Cam Jordan fired at Vikings QB Kirk Cousins during Von Miller’s Pass Rush Summit.

With quarterback Kirk Cousins saying he doesn’t intend to resume contract talks with the Vikings until March 2024, a thought came to mind.

What about the franchise tag?

Cousins’s current contract doesn’t include a clause preventing the Vikings from tagging him. It doesn’t have to. Per a source with knowledge of the deal, the contract voids after the deadline for applying the franchise tag.

In other words, Cousins won’t be on track to be a free agent when the Vikings have the ability to tag him. Only after the window for using the tag closes will Cousins’s contract expire.

Even without that clause, it would still be different for the Vikings to tag him. Although his current cap number is $20.25 million, it’s believed that the 44-percent increase for his third career tag would be based on his pre-restructuring cap number of $36.25 million. That would result in a franchise tender of $52.2 million.

Again, it doesn’t matter. They can’t tag him. So either they’ll re-sign him before the start of free agency, or Cousins will become a free agent -- six years after he became a free agent in Washington and signed with the Vikings.