Vikings Legend Isn’t a Fan of Kirk Cousins

kirk cousins
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The Minnesota Vikings were 4-4 with Kirk Cousins under center, slowly transforming into an elite offense as he lit up the 49ers and Packers in back-to-back games. But his ruptured Achilles tendon put a brutal end to perhaps the best season of his career. Minnesota’s season is about to become a big What if? without the starting quarterback.

Vikings Legend Isn’t a Fan of Kirk Cousins

Joshua Dobbs made some magic happen for a couple of games before the Passtronaut came back to earth, fumbling two games and the comfortable position in the wildcard race away. Another change at the QB position could come during the bye week.

Vikings Legend Isn't a Fan of Kirk Cousins
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Regardless of how the season ends, the franchise must make a huge decision in the next few months as Cousins is set to enter free agency. Spending six years in Minnesota, the four-time Pro Bowler has consistently been a solid player while the expected and desired team success just never happened.

The decision-makers Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell have praised their leader ad nauseam before and after the injury. Fans of the organization have been arguing over the veteran ever since he arrived. Some think the team around him has failed him, while others believe he has failed the franchise.

The Vikings Gigantic
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While the truth is likely somewhere in between, the only significant opinions are that of the ownership group, the head coach, and the general manager. The regime hasn’t been shying away from parting ways with franchise cornerstones. Jared Allen, a Hall of Fame semi-finalist and Vikings Ring of Honor member, would not extend Cousins’ contract for another year, as he reasoned on the Up & Adams Show:

I mean, you blew your Achilles out at this point in your career. It’s a young man’s game, it’s going that way. I don’t know if you can invest that much more money it would take to keep him. I don’t think it has any bearing on his ability but you’re gonna come off an injury. I don’t know what his contract situation is…(Kay Adams: “Last year of his deal”)…Oh, you can’t pay him. It’s a no-brainer, you can’t pay him. Sorry Kirk, nothing personal, but I mean, as a fan, if I’m the GM, what are you gonna have to pay him? 25, 30 million a year? Sorry, the ride’s done.

Jared Allen

Although Allen claimed it was not personal, he sure made it sound like it was, mentioning that Cousins is currently on gold crutches. The former star defender has played six seasons in Minnesota, just like the quarterback, with all kinds of struggles at the most critical position in the sport outside of a season with Brett Favre in 2009.

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The other seasons were a lot like the post-Cousins Vikings in 2023, with one backup-caliber player possibly getting benched for other backup-quality players. That is Cousins’ best selling point. The franchise couldn’t find a solution at the position before his arrival, and they haven’t looked good without him. His usual 30 touchdowns per season and 4,000 passing yards certainly have a lot of value.

However, there is the counter-argument, the point Allen made, that a franchise can save a bunch of money by employing a quarterback on a rookie deal. Finding the next big thing, perhaps striking gold by drafting Patrick Mahomes or Joe Burrow, can set up a franchise for success for a decade, although the surroundings still play a role, something Justin Herbert and the Chargers prove every year.

Vikings Face Need for Kirk
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Cousins’ injury changed everything as it likely lowers his asking price but also increases the chances that the 35-year-old declines in the next season like most quarterbacks in their mid or end-30s do.

At this point, keeping Cousins but also going the Jared Allen route is a real possibility. Cousins turns 36 in August and still ranks in the top ten for touchdown passes despite not playing for a month.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt