“Haters Gonna Hate.”
Kirk Cousins is probably too clean cut to ever actually get a tattoo, but if he were to ever take the dive and get a permanent tough guy sticker inked on his skin, it would almost certainly say “Haters Gonna Hate”.
All throughout his career Kirk Cousins has been shedding off haters. From the doubts he received in Washington and the “haters” that there were right there within the walls of front office in Washington to the doubts that the fans would give him, it’s been non-stop throughout his nine year professional career.
For as many good things that we’ve ever heard about Kirk and his skills on the football field, we’ve heard that he can’t win in primetime even more often. For as often as we’ve heard that he’s a natural born leader, we’ve been told that he struggles against teams with a winning record. And seemingly for every breath we take on a daily basis we’re reminded that many people think that he’s overpaid.
I’ll say it again, haters gonna hate.
No matter what this guy does, he’s got people coming down on him from all angles. Well, it’s time to come out and say this once and for all…you guys, Kirk IS NOT the problem!
Now before the haters blow up the comment section, let’s get this out of the way right up front. When someone says that Kirk is not the problem, that does not mean that they are saying that he is the franchise savior. When they say that he puts up good numbers, that doesn’t mean that they’re saying he’s on his way to Canton. It simply means that Kirk Cousins is not the reason this team is being held back.
For the fourth time in his career and for the second time with the Vikings, Kirk’s offensive output surpassed 4,000 yards passing this season. His 35 passing touchdowns set a new mark for his career high.
Even looking around the league you’ll see Cousins’ prowess at quarterback was not the Vikings biggest issue. Kirk finished the 2020 season 8th in yards passed with 4,265 yards, 6th in touchdowns passed with 35 and 8th with an overall passer rating of 105.
And the other number that everybody likes paying attention to, Kirk’s salary for 2020 of $33,000,000 came in as the 7th highest for QBs throughout the league.
He’s literally right where he should be and imagine what he could be doing if he had a little more time to survey the field from the pocket? Imagine what his numbers could look like if he was playing from a more favorable position on a regular basis? Imagine what his season could have looked like if he hadn’t gotten off to a terrible start with the rest of his teammates this season?
The Minnesota Vikings were faced with a bunch of injuries this season. There were season enders from the get go and COVID opt-outs all impacting a team that was already pretty tight on the old budget. For these reasons and a few others, they were forced to slot young players into starting roles of which they were not prepared for, this led to some bumps and bruises along the way because of that. And no one had more bruises to show for it than Kirk who was sacked 39 times on the season.
This team is going to look vastly different next season and after finishing 7-9, it certainly should.
But can we stop the conversations around drafting a quarterback with the 14th overall pick in the 2021 Draft? Regardless of who might be there when the Vikings are on the clock, the offensive line should be this team’s first, second and third priority. Then turn your attention to the defensive line and some linebacker depth.
Kirk is under contract for the next two seasons and any conversations surrounding finding a way to trade him away or buy him out are just ludacris. Dude’s putting up stellar numbers when the deck is stacked against him, what could he be if you protected him better?
Pump the breaks, let everybody get healthy and bolster this team with some rookies and free agents.