The most optimistic Vikings fans — yes, there are still a few of them out there — were giddy in mid-March when reports emerged that the Falcons were being investigated for tampering during their free agent pursuit of quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Was it possible that Atlanta would be penalized severely for taking Cousins' off the Vikings hands? And might there even be the chance that the Vikings would receive some sort of draft compensation once the investigation wrapped?

While the latter seemed unlikely, the possibility was rich with fantasy. It was even more delicious because part of the investigation came from things Cousins openly admitted in his introductory news conference in Atlanta.

Alas, the investigation wrapped up this week and the Falcons essentially received a slap on the wrist, losing a fifth-round pick and getting a small fine. The Vikings, predictably, received jack squat.

Then again, Cousins being in the news again combined with Trevor Lawrence setting another record for a QB contract served as reminders that the Vikings still came out this offseason with the potential to be big winners — something I talked about on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast.

The Vikings are carrying a large dead cap hit for Cousins this season while rookie J.J. McCarthy presumably waits to debut behind Sam Darnold, who signed a one-year, $10 million deal in the offseason.

After this year, the Vikings will likely only be carrying McCarthy — on a four-year rookie deal worth a projected total of $21.8 million, or about $5.5 million per season — and a modestly priced backup on their cap.

The Falcons will be paying Cousins at least through 2025 even though they drafted Michael Penix Jr., and they will pay a hefty cap charge in 2026 if they move on by then.

At that point, who knows what the going rate for a competent veteran QB will be. Trevor Lawrence just reset the market (again) this week on a five-year, $275 million extension to his rookie contract. Lawrence has been thoroughly "mid" in his first three seasons but has the potential to be a top-10 quarterback.

The Vikings might need to make a decision like that on McCarthy in, say, the 2027 offseason. Until then, though, they can hope to reap the benefit of the best thing in the NFL: Quality, cheap quarterback play.

I think I'd rather be the Vikings than the Falcons or Jaguars.