Editor’s Note: Turns out this was all for not, as Cousins has agreed to a two-year deal with the Vikings. Click here to read all about that.
Call this (further) proof we live in a simulation.
I posted an article regarding the pending contract extensions for the players that, outside of Garrett Bradbury and the 12-year-old version of Larry Fitzgerald, touch the ball the most yesterday and today on this site and it’s sister, purplePTSD.com. In those articles, like the ones before it, I discussed the need for the Vikings to hopefully extend Cousins before Wednesday’s NFL free agency period begins. Topic 1A (to Cook’s 1B) HAD to happen, I argued, so the Vikings will have some semblance of what they may be able to spend this off-season.
Then the guillotine fell on Linval Joseph, David Morgan and Xavier Rhodes. “Necessary Evils” as they were, especially the Joseph move, but they still didn’t really give the team anywhere near the complete picture that it needed before those moves but definitely needs now that they’ll be looking for interior and exterior defensive line help, and most likely a minimum of two starting level quality players in the secondary (assuming Trae Waynes, Anthony Harris and/or Mackenzie Alexander also leave next week).
The lack of news in that regard has actually and increasingly worried me. Then came the news from ESPN’s Courtney Cronin that the team had offered Cousins multiple extension … Offers!
But wait, there’s more! And because this is the Vikings we’re talking about you already probably know/feel deep, deep in that pit you put all Vikings related memories/feelings into.
Cronin reports that a deal, at least before Wednesday’s start of free agency, is “not likely to happen”. WHAT. WHY?
“Cousins, who has one season left on his contract, is planning to see how the star-studded quarterback market plays out in the offseason before signing a new deal, per Cronin.”
Because of course he is. Because why wouldn’t he?
I mean that seriously. We knew that when Cousins signed only a three-year deal back before the 2018 season that he was betting on his deal resetting the market for quarterbacks. So, hearing that Cousins wants to wait to see where that market goes (or how much higher it goes) isn’t much of a surprise. Then, if you throw in the rumors about the “mutual” love between Cousins and his former BFF in 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and the fact that, you know, about 50% of the fan base absolutely HATES him, and again, no real shockers here.
What that does mean, though, is that Cousins isn’t likely to take some sort of team friendly deal that’d lower his cap hit in 2020 (in exchange for a longer deal) from $31-million dollars. That’s awful news, if I’m correct, as the hope was that he would lower that number if he thought it’d help the Vikings make one last big run at a championship before the wheels completely fell off (at least the first window of opportunity this core has/had, or maybe second?).
I know what some of you are screaming at your phone whilst on the toilet, “HE’S JUST WAITING TO SEE WHAT DAK GETS THEN HE MIGHT SIGN THE DEAL, STOOPID!” Everything about this screams that Cousins wants more money, not less. So, the idea that he, again, and I’ll probably say this again in a minute because I’m also scream-to-texting this from my toilet, is going to take some “team friendly deal” after turning down multiple said deals after seeing how his 2018 deal benefited the crop of QB’s set to get paid before, in and after Wednesday, makes no sense.
Considering that this team is shedding core players like people dumping out their Corona Beer (feverishly, with little regard for logic, and to the benefit of those around them), it’s perhaps not hard to see why Cousins may not think lowering his cap hit a few million in 2020 will make much difference. Again, that part if pure speculation on my part, but it’s not hard to connect the dots between him waiting out to see where the market goes and him wanting MORE not less money. Told you I’d say that again.
He also, as Cronin points out, created “substantial” leverage in 2019 by playing like the damn league MVP while missing his best receiver and playing behind the 27th-ranked pass blocking line in the entire league. But apparently that’s “trash” to people who haven’t seen a quarterback play back-to-back 16-game seasons for their “favorite” squad since literally 1978. Why would that guy, who holds all the cards for a team that is clearly beyond it’s peak and that has a fan-base that seriously hates him with a passion, say, hey… I want more of THAT?
If he could make $31-million this season and then bolt to San Francisco? A team who by many estimations reached the Super Bowl a season ahead of schedule (as opposed to a team that was at it’s peak, on paper and in terms of cap space spend in 2019)?
It’s not like he owes at least half the fans anything. Especially, again, considering according to Cronin; “Another fully guaranteed deal that could put him in the $33 million to $35 million per year range is probably not going to come by agreeing to an extension now.” Sure, the Vikings could give him that deal, but he could also get a similar (or larger) offer from another squad with a better shot at what Cousins also wants, to win a Super Bowl.
So, going back to the article I plugged at the start of this piece where I argued that extending Cousins over Cook was the right move for this franchise unless Cousins wants out or wants money beyond what this team would pay him. Good news, those of you who just potentially helped internet scream the best chance this franchise has had at an actual sub-40 franchise QB straight to the Bay Area…
… It’s looking like the Cousins haters/Cook lovers could end up getting what they want, a future in which this team runs through Cook and whatever highly drafted QB-Spielman takes in the draft next season (although the chances that the Vikings will draft Cousins’ replacement just did the opposite of the actual stock market in terms of percentage growth today). Because we all know how great that’s worked out for the Purple and Gold since, again, 1978.
Considering his track record doing just that, or really drafting anyone on offense, it’s not hard to feel like the league potentially cancelling the 2020 season is the best possible move for this franchise.