Analysis

This just in…(for the 30th time)…Kirk Cousins is not the problem…

“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.

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AJ Mansour

AJ Mansour is the digital content director for KFAN in the Twin Cities, the self-appointed king of initials as well as one of our Vikings Insiders.

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RobKong
RobKong
1 month ago

he’s a top QB in the league, until you need him to be. He isn’t the problem, but he isn’t the solution either. Unless your goal is to always contend for a wildcard berth.

Craig A Larson
Craig A Larson
1 month ago

He is in the top 4 or 5 in QB ratings. The problem is Management that could not field a team that could beat 5th graders. The complete coaching staff could not motivate a snail to move 6 inches. They all have to go including Spielman.

EBrown
EBrown
1 month ago

He’s absolutely the problem, he was paid to be the “savior” to get the team over the “hump” everybody said he was the missing piece three years ago right? He made the playoffs once in his three years here, sure there were other problems this year and there are problems every season but the fact is that he is an average QB who is reliable and not injury prone, in 2018 he couldn’t take a great team to the playoffs, 2019 he wasn’t even the focal point just managing the game, and 2020 he was horrid the first five games, there’s a reason offensive coordinators don’t stick with him, there’s a reason he’s only a .500 qb and there’s a reason the Vikings had to let so many vets go last year and it was his salary and cap hit that forced the Vikings into letting all those players go

Vinnie
Vinnie
1 month ago

Haters going to hate? I think that Kirk is a quarterback that is good enough to make the team better than average. Sadly, he is not good enough to make this team contenders and that was the whole reason you brought him in. So I cannot agree with defending a quarterback who is good, but not good enough. Sort of like this article.

David Moss
David Moss
1 month ago

The problem was that who ever is making the decisions over the last several years. Speilman? The coach? As a fan I’ve given up that this team isn’t looking to progress to the next level. Prior to Cousin coming to the Vikings. We had a couple good QBs that just needed time for plays to develop. Blocking. If the Vikings would spend money on players to block and defend we would have better results. Money should go into protecting the QB.
Now that we have Cousins, somehow they’ve run someone who has great talent out of town. Diggs! It surely makes me wonder how a coach can disagree with logic. The Man, just wanted the ball. Ask what the Man does when he gets the ball? Positive yards and Touchdowns. Oh the coach can’t be questioned? No one can win on a style of coaching or doing things all their way. What is the definition of a coach? Simply… To adjust to the situation. I’ve never ever seen a coach catch, kick or run for points. I’ve seen many claim they take responsibility for the loss. But where does that get you?
The Vikings could be a great team/ organization if they get their egos out of the way. The Vikings have gotten satisfied to selling tickets, jerseys and bring us beer and hotdogs. It would’ve really nice if and when they spend money they put it where a seasoned football fan sees what is necessary. I feel as they are so short sighted about spending money in the right way. Get a coach who wants to COACH, who can delegate to another coach who isn’t stuck in the same rut as you have to do it my way. Most, if not all theses players have been superstars for most of their lives a good coach coaches them to be more dangerous and provide ideas and plays to showcase their talents these player should not be shunned because they want to win.
I’ve seen over the years that when an organization puts their own ego aside and they continually advance into the playoff more money can be had via jersey sales and television rights.

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