Noted Kirk Cousins Critic Does 180

Have the Vikings Paid Kirk
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

It appeared to happen after one game.

When the Minnesota Vikings toppled the San Francisco 49ers in Week 7, Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio evidently became a believer in Kirk Cousins. The Vikings quarterback was wonderful in that Monday Night Football game, and that was what Florio needed to fundamentally change his opinion on Cousins.

Noted Kirk Cousins Critic Does 180

Florio praised Cousins following that MNF triumph, commentary that turned heads because he was among Cousins’ chief critics in the last few years. Now, Florio is all-in on Cousins back in Minnesota next season.

Cousins Critic Does
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports.

From the Pro Football Talk X account, formerly known as Twitter, Florio tweeted, “Vikings should give this guy whatever he wants, tomorrow.”

That tweet hit the digital stratosphere as Nick Mullens, Cousins’ replacement, was tossing four interceptions in a loss to the Detroit Lions. Mullens’ futility apparently tipped Florio over the edge for a full-throated, pro-Cousins endorsement.

Here’s the full tweet:

Right after the Vikings beat the 49ers in October, Florio told show co-host Chris Simms, “The Vikings need to at least consider the possibility of getting Cousins signed in lieu of starting over again with a rookie quarterback who may or may not pan out.”

Since Cousins’ departure — he tore his Achilles one week after helping Minnesota defeat San Francisco — the Vikings have embarked on a total rollercoaster. The club is 7-8 with two games remaining, owning a 19% probability of reaching the postseason, according to ESPN.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

“And I can’t believe I’m saying that because I thought that’s what they should do, but Cousins showed me something last night that made me change my mind,” Florio said in October.

Before that, however, Florio emphatically wasn’t a Cousins fan. Before Vikings-49ers, Florio questioned Cousins’ commitment to greatness because the quarterback attended a Minnesota Twins playoff game on a Tuesday, claiming that Cousins should’ve skipped the family outing so he could practice.

“Do you want to be great? Do you? If so, what are you willing to do to be great? What are you willing to sacrifice to be great? Are you willing to work every single day to be great? Because others who aspire to be great are doing exactly that,” Florio said.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Most NFLers have Tuesday off, but quarterbacks usually hit team headquarters anyway, so Florio wanted Cousins to eliminate the baseball family time and focus on the Vikings’ next opponent, the Kansas City Chiefs.

“More specifically, are you willing to pass on going to a baseball game five days before facing Patrick Mahomes in a game that will result in your team being either 1-4 or 2-3? Cousins has every right to take the day off. Do you think Mahomes did? Do you think any of the great ones do?” he added.

Vikings Battle DVOA Demons
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Eleven months ago, Florio joined KFAN’s Paul Allen after the Vikings lost to the New York Giants in the playoffs and voiced displeasure about Cousins’ overall performance, “Joe Burrow is the anti-Kirk Cousins. Joe Burrow is the guy who, like Kirk, will have a great season. But when the lights get bright, you’ve got one game, and your whole season is riding on it — do you crumble, or do you rise? Joe Burrow rises, Kirk crumbles.”

“Kirk doesn’t have it. You can take your rose-colored glasses and shove them up your butt. Kirk doesn’t have it,” Florio concluded in January about Cousins and the Vikings postseason loss.

So, mark it down. Florio’s Cousins-themed evolution has landed on more Cousins for the Vikings in 2024 and beyond.


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

Share: