Reports: Cousins Won’t Cost $30 Million/Year

Vikings may speak to unrestricted free agents starting Monday, March 12th.

Recent league-wide reports suggest there is mutual interest between the Minnesota Vikings and free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins. The general consensus is that there’s a reasonable likelihood the quarterback ends up in Minnesota.

A rumor surfaced yesterday on Twitter that claimed the Vikings had already offered Cousins a fully guaranteed, 3-year, $91 million contract. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. On Tuesday, multiple sources confirmed those numbers are inaccurate. Both sources agreed that Cousins’ new contract is unlikely to exceed $30 million per season.

Tom Pellissero of the NFL Network reported that he has spoken to multiple, trusted sources who are familiar with the situation and say the numbers are “absolutely false.” Pelissero said the Vikings have not offered Cousins a contract, which would be a clear violation of the league’s tampering laws.

Earlier today, Mike Florio of NBC’s ProFootballTalk appeared on KFAN radio with the voice of Vikings Paul Allen. Florio also addressed the rumor of the fully guaranteed, $91 million contract, stating:

“If it’s 3-year deal [for Kirk Cousins] I don’t think it’s going to be $30 million a year,” said Florio, who added, “He’ll be hard-pressed to get north of $27 million.”

Guaranteeing a quarterback over $30 million per season could put the team at risk of being unable to extend the contracts of key players, particularly after the 2019 season. Assuming Pelissero and Florio are accurate, Minnesota could conceivably afford to pay Cousins and keep its core intact for the foreseeable future.

A 3-year deal using Florio’s number ($27 million) would cost the Vikings roughly $81 million. A 4-year deal would cost $108 million and five years would run the cost up to $135 million. According to OverTheCap.com the Vikings currently have $47.6 million in cap room.

A possible plan B?

Peliserro suggested that if the price for Cousins approached $30 million a year, the team might be willing to bring back Case Keenum, assuming he hasn’t signed with a new team at that point.

Based on the words of head coach Mike Zimmer at last weekend’s NFL Scouting Combine, the team appears to be willing to pay a quarterback as long as it “doesn’t take away from the rest of the things that have gotten us to this point.”

The Vikings, as expected, did not place the franchise tag on Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater or Sam Bradford before the league deadline. General manager Rick Spielman said he planned to meet with the representatives of all three players at the Combine last weekend.

There’s still time for the team to get a deal done with any or all three quarterbacks. At this point, however, it appears Cousins is Minnesota’s main target. Free agency opens March 14th. The front office is allowed to speak to unrestricted free agents starting Monday, March 12th.

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Sean Borman

Sean Borman is a writer with Minnesota roots that's still somehow an optimist. He was an intern with the Vikings during college and previously wrote for Rant Sports. You can find Sean on the golf course and on Twitter @SeanBoarMan.

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  1. If they go after and acquire the services of Cousins, they should make a hard play for a QB in the draft. Lamar would be ideal.

      1. That’s really the only issue I would have with the Cousins, Sloter, Jackson depth chart. It depends on the wild card Sloter and how strongly the team feels about his readiness to start if Cousins goes down. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

        1. JMHO here ~ The way they are paying Sloter they must like him a lot add in that he got time with the second unit offense while Teddy was on the PUP list I think speaks for itself ~ They would have had to play Sloter if Case had got hurt because Sam couldn’t go ~ I don’t see them taking a QB in the first two rounds if they resign Case or they sign Kirk ~ If they land Case I could see them bring back Sam or someone like him if the price is right to be a backup\players coach to Sloter ~ You don’t keep a 4th QB active in a playoff run unless you really like something about thim ~
          This could play out so many ways ~ I’ll back what ever Spielman and the coaches think is best ~ After all they are the once that get paid to do this ~

    1. Why would you spend a high draft pick on a QB when you’ve just signed a young’ish free agent QB? We’ve already got a developmental QB the team seems to like in Sloter, so they just need a good veteran back-up. The best would be Kaepernick, of course, but McCown would do if some other team hasn’t signed him as their bridge or transitional, starter. Hoyer, Moore and Glennon, if they were available, would be acceptable #2’s, but what I think would actually happen is that they’d bring in a couple of young guys that DeFilippo and/or Downing have worked with before, Johnny Manziel and E.J. Manuel, to compete for the QB2 job.

      1. JMHO here ~ McCown is by far the best of the team QB’s by a long shot ~ Well based off what I have seen and what most everyone seems to think ~ Kaepernick needs a trick offense to make use of his talents ~ That means ((( if correct ))) that the offense would have to make some major changes if Case or Kirk got injured ~ JMHO

    2. Something like this?

      1. Kirk Cousins (Age 29)
      2. Kyle Sloter (Age 24)
      3. Lamar Jackson (Age 21)

      1. I could live with that, IF Cousins costs less than $25 M per… We need to keep that defense together as best we can. Not to mention we need a DT next to Joseph, and more depth along the OL.

        1. Nothing against Lamar Jackson, but if I’ve just signed Kirk Cousins, I don’t want to spend a first round draft pick on another QB when we can get a long-time starting guard or DT with the 30th pick in the draft. Hell, if Colt McCoy is willing to back Cousins up again, Spielman can go out and trade a couple of low draft picks to Washington for him, although I still don’t see what’s wrong with the Manziel vs. Manuel idea, or the Kaepernick idea, or even Mark Sanchez (alright, maybe that’s going too far).

          1. I can agree with the first part about not drafting Jackson while somehow adding Colt McCoy or some other vet who can play in the offense scheme as is ~ Manziel is a big question mark for me because off the field issues ~ Doesn’t mean I’m right ~ Just a gut feeling ~ Kaepernick\Manuel or any QB like them would require a shift in the whole offense scheme to make things work for them just based off what I have seen or read about them ~

            Now if the young man who has been the QB the Bill’s ((( I forget his first name T. Hill ))) could somehow be had in a trade or if he is cut like more than a few are saying he will be ~ Getting him signed I believe he would make a great backup who might be able to pull of something like Case did in 2018 if ((( whoever it is ))) the starter gets hurt ~ Got to keep and add talent around whoever the QB is ~

            Finishing the OL off is almost as huge as who the 3 Tech DT will be ~ I would be happy if a good 3 Tech was there for the taking at 30 followed but two OG\Center in rounds 2 and 3 ~ And this is coming from someone who has been a Easton fan since he started for Berger in the last 6 games of the 2016 season ~ But I’m always a Team fan first and looking for improvement at the lowest cost possible ((( draft picks ))) and then a players fan last ~ I would still love to see them somehow keep Easton who like most Center can also play OG be it left or right side ~ Well I went on a rant didn’t I sorry about that ~

            1. I don’t know much about Manuel, but he is apparently very much NOT a running QB, so I’m not sure why he’d require a scheme change. Kaepernick and Tyrod Taylor, the current Bills starter who’s name you couldn’t remember, are running QB’s, although I’m not sure how many of Taylor’s runs were designed that way.

              Still, your overall point is a fair one, and one I’ve ignored up to now, at least as regard the Vikings: Could Kaepernick or Manziel be the kind of back-up QB’s who you could just plug and play into your offensive system if Bradford or Bridgewater, both fundamentally pocket passers, is your starter? My guess is that the coaches could make it work, but that Manuel or some other pure pocket passer might be the kind of back-up who would fit the scheme more easily and not require changes in plays to keep the offense running smoothly.

          2. You’re right IMO. I think addressing DT and the o-line should be the first priority after inking Cousins

  2. Skip Cousins. Go get McCarron. He and Sloter can duke it out in OTAs and Training Camp. Draft your future at #30 or 64, picking up an OL with the other pick. If DeFlippo can turn Nick “bleeping” Foles into a SBMVP, then he should be drooling over a McCarron/Sloter/draft pick combination- especially if he gets a guy he likes in the draft. Yes, you’re rolling the dice on a mountain of “inexperience”, but I wouldn’t discount McCarron’s college pedigree.

    Also, we have Kevin as the QB coach, and ultimately, I believe he’s the reason Case “bleeping” Keenum had the season that he had. I’d like to see what these guys can do with dudes who actually look like NFL QBs.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to bringing back Bradford for a 3rd of his 2017 salary.

    –pipe dreams vs. reality, I know; but it plays out pretty ok on Madden.

    1. Good point about Stefanski, the team really likes him. Looking like it’s going to be Cousins/Siemian/Sloter. I still wouldn’t be surprised to see the Vikings draft a QB if one falls into their lap

  3. why would you want to throw a smoke bomb like kaepernick in what seems to be one of the most cohesive locker rooms in the nfl??

    1. A cohesive locker room is probably the best place for him. The initial concerns that his actions would tear apart the 49ers locker room were not borne out; if anything, the opposite seemed to happen. Also, as time has gone on, it’s become a lot easier to find comments from players supporting Kaepernick than criticizing him, and a whole hell of a lot easier finding quotes – sometimes anonymous, as people want to keep their jobs – from players who think he IS being blackballed by the the teams, and that it IS probably collusion, as hard as that may (or may not) be to prove.

      If the Vikings signed him, some fans – the “snowflakes,” as I like to call them – would go nuts, but I don’t think the coaches or players would bat an eye. Hell, if the Vikes bring back Bradford, Bridgewater or Keenum without securing a high-quality back-up, the locker room would probably be happy to have CK on the team. I know I’d take him in a New York minute over Johnny Manziel or E.J.Manuel, and I’ve been completely comfortable with the possibility that their connections on the Vikings coaching staff could lead them to compete for the QB2 job. Kaepernick proved in 2016 that he still has a lot of football left in him, and there is no objective reason why he shouldn’t have a chance to ply his trade now.

      1. ck with what the vikes have going right now it just does not make any sense to bring a guy in who is squawking about “oppression” and wears castro and guevara shirts to the podium. proudly demonstrating his ignorance.
        then he wears socks……ON an NFL field, while warming up, that depict policemen as PIGS.
        no time for it.
        no place for it.
        not on this team.

        1. I am not a particular fan of Castro or Guevara, but we can debate the level of oppression in Cuba before the revolution and after, and comparing Cuba to the rest of Latin America. Nor have I ever been a fan of the juvenile characterization of cops as pigs. But I am still less a fan of the fact that cops routinely get away with killing people, especially black people, scott f***in’ free, which was the original basis of Kaepernick’s protest.

          Mark Bavaro joined Operation Rescue at one of their abortion clinic blockades 30 years ago this spring. Matt Birk refused to visit the Obama White House because of Obama’s support for abortion rights. If you’re comfortable with that level of political involvement by players – and I am, even though I am on the other side of that issue from Messrs. Bavaro and Birk – than you should be able to put up with Kaepernick’s taking a knee.

          So far, the ONLY legitimate reason I’ve seen for not signing CK as a back-up QB is that he may not fit the Vikings’ offensive scheme. Thank you, Gordon Guffey.

          1. in your first two sentences you agree with me and that is exactly why the vikes should not sign him.
            you say that “cops routinely get away with killing people, especially black people…”
            please point me in the direction of the literature that backs this up Specifically.
            i would like to see that names of the police officers that are still walking around that have murdered innocent people.
            there must be thousands of them since you said “routinely”.
            kap stands and speaks on the platform that police killings are racially motivated in a racist country that oppresses people of color.
            police kill more whites in interactions then blacks. fact.
            (Dylan Noble) received Zero attention because it does not fit the narrative………he was white. however this was an egregious case of Bad police work. every single case of white cops shooting black suspects is so incredibly overhyped that it takes from the credibility of kaps argument.
            which is why we never hear about the white suspects that are shot. maybe that is a media integrity problem.

            just look at the coverage in the michael brown case.
            you would think he was patron saint of the neighborhood. he was simply walking while black down the street, returning from his physics lab and on his way to volunteer at a homeless shelter………………..when actually
            he had a criminal record(that the public was not allowed to see), had just robbed a store, had just assaulted the store owner, was high, did not listen to off wilson, then assaulted off wilson, struck off wilson, got his thumb shot off reaching for off wilson’s gun and then ultimately killed because he would not stand down.
            this is hard for black people to hear or believe because of the false narrative that has been put out there by a dishonest media and race hustlers.
            but Fortunately we Know the Truth.
            the black people who Witnessed the crime and were NOT afraid to testify, Corroborated exactly the testimony given by off wilson.
            yet we started a movement “hands up don’t shoot”…….on a LIE. igniting a rage in people, filling their heads with false stories and accounts until finally the people take action.

            imagine that for a minute, cops murdered in their cars, a mother of three does not go home because a person is so mad at police he shoots her in her face while she sits in her security stand. Miosotis familia’s daughters and son do not have a mom because of a movement based on False numbers and false reporting. and kap plays into and has become the spokesman for this False Narrative.

            i would postulate in almost All cases of people being shot erroneously, it was Bad police work…..Not racism. there is NO way to prove any of them were racially motivated.

            ck, do you really think these guys go through all the training, have no record whatsoever, are getting promoted, receiving pay increases, starting families, having bbq’s and then one day they wake up and say, ” you know what, i am going to throw all this away because i really want to shoot a black person.” ??
            are there cases of police brutality…YES
            should this ever happen…….NO
            can we stop all bad shootings…..NO
            should cops be punished…..YES
            should they be trained more….YES

            and i do not know who gordon guffey is.

            1. “in your first two sentences you agree with me and that is exactly why the vikes should not sign him.”

              No, I said we could debate the level of oppression in Cuba, not that it was ignorant to protest oppression in the United States while still holding up Castro and Guevara as, in some way, heroes. I am a critical supporter of the Cuban Revolution, and am perfectly capable of criticizing oppression in both the U.S. and Cuba. If the shoe were on the other foot, and I owned the Minnesota Vikings, I wouldn’t blackball someone, i.e., keep him being employed in his profession, who speaks of legitimate threats to freedom (civil liberties, gun rights, voting rights) in the U.S. while wearing a T-shirt honoring the union-busting, death squad-sponsoring, dictator-supporting, imperialist warmonger Ronald Reagan. I might speak to the player about why I have a problem with that t-shirt, but I am not going to keep him from pursuing his profession, especially if he may be an asset for my team.

              “please point me in the direction of the literature that backs this up Specifically.”


              “i would like to see that names of the police officers that are still walking around that have murdered innocent ”

              The four officers who were not convicted for killing Amadou Diallo did not get what they deserved, and conservative news columnist Carl Strock agrees with me on that. The officer who shot and killed Tamir Rice wasn’t even indicted.

              “i would postulate in almost All cases of people being shot erroneously, it was Bad police work…..Not racism. there is NO way to prove any of them were racially motivated.”

              Yes, bad police work is sometimes the cause of police killings (see Tamir Rice) but I would postulate that there is research out there showing that black folk and other people of color are more likely to be shot and killed than white people in the same or similar set of circumstances. That doesn’t mean that white folk are never killed unnecessarily by cops, especially working class and poor white folk, but I’d love to see the numbers on whites convicted for killing blacks vs. blacks convicted for killing whites.

              “the false narrative”

              False narratives abound, and the Michael Brown story may have been one, although it built on years of real grievances. The false narrative that I particularly hate is “Why is the black community so focused on white cops killing black people when there’s so much black-on-black crime?” Clearly, these people are ignorant of all of the efforts within the black community to combat crime and violence within the black community, from gang prevention efforts – often in conjunction with the local police – to gun buyback schemes, from youth mentorship to community watch efforts to after school programs and others by religious, professional and civil rights groups.

              “ck…have no record whatsoever…and then one day they wake up and say, ”you know what, i am going to throw all this away because i really want to shoot a black person.” ??”

              First, the officers involved often do have previous disciplinary records, sometimes of racial prejudice, but also rudeness, excessive force, mental instability (again, see Tamir Rice) or incompetence. Second, there is a LONG history of right-wing and racist organizations infiltrating the police, or just plain being over-represented in the ranks of the police, from the Jim Crow days in the South in my lifetime to the current day, according to recent studies. But sometimes it is just ignorant or stupid or fearful assumptions, and yes, sometimes based on race, that can cause a tragedy.

              “should cops be punished…..YES”

              But, generally speaking, this is not happening, or at least not nearly enough. By the way, I find it…frustrating that folks will criticize the government for many things but then turn around and say that armed government employees have usually been justified in killing unarmed people, or in reacting with maximum force to people who they thought might be armed rather than trying to deescalate the situation and determine the truth (see Tamir Rice and Amadou Diallo).

              Gordon Guffey is a gentleman who is one of our fellow commentators here at VT.

              1. ck.
                i applaud your honesty concerning michael brown. “may have been one” is not Exactly correct. it WAS absolutely a false narrative/lie/misrepresentation. officer wilson and eye witnesses from community had the Exact same account. we do not justify bad action with past bad actions. you say it was “built on years of real grievances.”
                really? cops murdered on the street, ambushed and shot as they sit in their cars almost directly because of the outrage this case caused?? really?
                no, you say it was flat out false, made up and should not have been allowed to be portrayed that way and then people would have some credibility.
                you cited the huff post in response to me. in that article they cite the guardian and wash post. again ZERO credibility. they have been shown to be so absolutely biased as to have no real world cred. you have to dig a little deeper than that.
                there are NO statistics to back up your statement that cops “Routinely” get away with shooting black people.

                it is something that has been Atomically blown out of proportion and then appropriate by different segment of the political and social apparatus.

                ck. just one study by johns hopkins estimates that 250,000 people DIE each year for hospital error.
                where is the outrage. where is the 24/7 drum beat from cnn, msnbc, times, wash post, abc, vox, slate??

                these are humans dying from Errors? so where is the screaming and kicking and protesting?

                i am certain some of these people are black. and brown.

                just tell me definitively how many Innocent black persons and killed by police and get away with it.

                1. Hey guys – this is a Vikings website. No more discussing of political matters/topics not pertaining to the team please. I’ll delete any of these comments going forward.

  4. Keapernick is a mediocre QB at best, which, mixed with his locker room lunacy, is why he’s out of a job. His numbers land him squarely in between McCown and Sanchez in terms of career accuracy. And if that’s not enough, he believes he’s a starting QB in the NFL. He’s not. He’s a backup at best, and at his age, he is what he is- there is no upside. So NO, NO, NO.

    1. “His numbers land him squarely in between McCown and Sanchez in terms of career accuracy.”

      Well, if you limit “accuracy” to only mean completing passes to his own teammates, then you’re right. But if you include interceptions in your conception of “accuracy,” than you are wildly off, as Kaepernick’s career interception rate is 1.8%, while McCown’s is 3.1% and Sanchez’s is 3.8%, more than double Kaepernick’s. I’d also point out that Kaepernick has a higher TD%, too – 4.3% to 3.9% yo 3.8% – higher yards/pass average – 7.3 to 6.8 to 6.7 – and a much higher career passer rating – 88.9 to 80.8 to 73.9 – with only one season below 80, and only one after his rookie season below 86.4.

      Kaepernick has also made it clear that he would be perfectly willing to return to the NFL as a back-up. The lunacy is not in the NFL’s locker rooms, nor was it in the 49ers’ locker room, contrary to early predictions that it would be. No, the lunacy is in the NFL’s ownership and executive suites, and around the internet, and in some of the fans’ seats and couches and tailgating parties.