Jared Allen’s Harsh Words Aren’t Too Surprising for Vikings

Another HOF Snub
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Future Hall of Famer Jared Allen has thoughts about the impending offseason decision for the Minnesota Vikings at quarterback.

Some considered the musings harsh, as Allen claimed this week that Kirk Cousins isn’t the team’s future at quarterback.

Jared Allen’s Harsh Words Aren’t Too Surprising for Vikings

“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,” Allen told The Up & Adams Show.

The Vikings Gigantic
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Cousins was lost for the season one month ago and won’t return in 2023. Then, in a few short months, Cousins is scheduled to hit free agency, although the Vikings’ brass has indicated for months that they would like him to return in 2024 and beyond.

Host Kay Adams clarified that Cousins is in the final year of his contract, and Allen continued, “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.”

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The goofy part about Allen’s hypothesis is his money theory and not in the way one might think. Allen speculated $25 or $30 million per season, and if that were Cousins’ ask, Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah might pounce and call it a steal of a deal.

In reality, Cousins will likely request his usual guaranteed cash satchel — and probably in the neighborhood of $40 million annually. Cousins doesn’t take discounts, and as lovable as his persona is portrayed in Netflix documentaries, for example, the man and his representation always get paid top-dollar.

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When New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones secured $40 million per year last offseason, that set a new bar for quarterback contracts. Cousins can now ask the Vikings’ front office — or suitor free-agent clubs — for $40 million and not be classified as all that greedy.

On the whole, Allen is correct. Adofo-Mensah and his head coach hire, Kevin O’Connell, took over the Vikings about 22 months ago. Before too long, they must draft a rookie quarterback to balance the budget. Soon, Justin Jefferson will earn the most money by a non-quarterback in NFL history. Danielle Hunter needs a contract extension. So does Christian Darrisaw. And Minnesota already unsheathed the largest TE contract in history for T.J. Hockenson.

Harsh Words
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the 2023 NFL Combine the Week of February 27th. The Vikings have the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Cousins’ $40-$45 million isn’t congruent with Adofo-Mensah’s team-building direction. When the duo took over the team’s leadership, Cousins always likely had a year or two to mesh with the offense and deliver a Super Bowl. Regrettably for his sake, he tore his Achilles, which isn’t a minor injury.

Of course, Cousins could return for a year, especially if he did take a discount, but his expiration with the Vikings always seemed to align with the commencement of Jefferson’s mammoth extension.

Allen’s comments weren’t controversial. He just said them out loud.

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.