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Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins tops CBS Sports' list of top 100 NFL free agents

Vikings 2024 offseason outlook: Biggest questions and storylines
Vikings 2024 offseason outlook: Biggest questions and storylines 01:17

MINNEAPOLIS — Kirk Cousins' agent is going to be very busy over the next few weeks.

Cousins, 35, is set to hit free agency on March 13. According to CBS Sports' Pete Prisco, Cousins will be the No. 1 free agent in the entire league. Prisco released his list of the top 100 free agents on Wednesday, and Cousins tops the list.

San Francisco 49ers v Minnesota Vikings
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - OCTOBER 23: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings runs out of the team huddle during pregame warmups before an NFL football game against the San Francisco 49ers at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 23, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ryan Kang / Getty Images

"Cousins is a good quarterback, the kind who can take a good team to the Super Bowl and win it," Prisco wrote. "He is coming off a torn Achilles tendon, but he should be ready for the open of the 2024 season, which makes him a starter of value in a league where teams crave that type of player under center."

READ MORE: What are the biggest questions facing the Vikings for the 2024 offseason?

Prisco predicts Cousins will sign a new deal with the Vikings, but if he does indeed hit the free agent market, he'll likely have plenty of suitors. Before his injury, Cousins was arguably having the best season of his career. He's definitely entering the latter stage of his career, but there's nothing to suggest he'll have a precipitous decline just yet.

The Vikings have another free agent in the top five — pass rusher Danielle Hunter, right at No. 5.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Minnesota Vikings
Baker Mayfield #6 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to throw a pass while being pressured by Danielle Hunter #99 of the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter of a game at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 10, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Getty Images

"He had 16.5 sacks last season and remains a top edge player," Prisco writes. "The Vikings will likely do what they can to keep him because it's hard to find good edge players."

Hunter signed a one-year deal with the Vikings last offseason, but has been seeking an improved contract for several years now. Pass rushers are in high demand, particularly ones as good as Hunter, so the Vikings could be outbid.

READ MORE: What positions do the Minnesota Vikings need to address heading into 2024 season?

Two other Vikings are on Prisco's list — pass rusher D.J. Wonnum at No. 63 and guard Dalton Risner at No. 91.

Minnesota Vikings linebacker D.J. Wonnum (98) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields (1) in the first quarter at Soldier Field on Oct. 15, 2023, in Chicago. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images) Chicago Tribune

Wonnum, Prisco said, would be a "nice third rusher or spot starter" for a rush-needy team. The 26-year-old actually spent much of last season as a starter for the Vikings with No. 2 pass rusher Marcus Davenport — also a free agent — sidelined due to injury. Wonnum finished the season on injured reserve with a torn quad.

Minnesota Vikings v Cincinnati Bengals
CINCINNATI, OHIO - DECEMBER 16: Dalton Risner #66 of the Minnesota Vikings gestures during a NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paycor Stadium on December 16, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jeff Dean / Getty Images

Risner started last season watching the NFL from home before the Vikings signed him in mid-September. The team was so confident in his play, it traded starting guard Ezra Cleveland to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Vikings don't have another great option at guard, so a deal with Risner would make sense.

Aside from their own free agents, the Vikings could be players on the market due to a roster with plenty of holes to fill. The team has some cap space to play with, and could free up more depending on what happens with Cousins, whether they extend Justin Jefferson and how they decide to move forward with veterans like safety Harrison Smith.

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