9 Looming Predictions on Kirk Cousins’ 2023 Fate
VikingsTerritory writers were asked to provide one prediction apiece regarding Kirk Cousins‘ 2023 fate with the Minnesota Vikings.
Cousins is under contract through the end of 2023 and can be a) Traded b) Extended by one or more years c) Left as-is per the existing contract.
9 Looming Predictions on Kirk Cousins’ 2023 Fate
Nine VikingsTerritory writers weighed in their prognostications.
1. Contract Extended by 1 Year
Prediction Maker = Adam New
Kirk Cousins isn’t going to get cut, but all other possibilities are firmly on the table. Trade offers should be considered if the price is right. The Vikings could let him play out the season and finish his contract. There are other options for the team to provide themselves with salary cap relief.
However, I still think the most likely option is another extension. Minnesota adds one more year to Cousins’ contract while keeping the two void years. They save a bit of money this year and give themselves two years to come up with a plan for life after Cousins.
2. Contract Extended by 2 Years
Prediction Maker = Will Goodwin
Coming off a 13-win season that saw the Vikings overcome the league’s 2nd-worst defense, Minnesota will continue with the new regime’s competitive rebuild. Remaining competitive in a wide-open NFC will be vital in extending Justin Jefferson and not wasting his prime years.
Selling out for a top QB this draft would be too expensive for a team with a four-time Pro-Bowl QB, gaping holes defensively, and owning only five draft picks. Thus, Minnesota will extend Cousins by an additional two years, guaranteeing that he will quarterback the Vikings through at least 2025.
3. Contract Extended by 2 Years
Prediction Maker = Kyle Joudry
I’ve been consistent on this one since the start of the offseason: the Vikings will extend Kirk Cousins.
Given the need for cap space in the immediate, they’ll add on two years (and maybe even another void year or two), so they can stretch out the finances a little more.
Cousins will thus have the chance to settle into Minnesota for at least a while longer, an eventuality that will be certain to cause no shortage of debate, hand-wringing, and squabbling among Vikings fans and writers alike.
4. Contract Left As-Is
Prediction Maker = Ali Siddiqui
The deal will be left as is, and they’ll perhaps move on after next year. They need to draft a future starter soon, whether this year or the next.
5. Contract Left As-Is
Prediction Maker = Josh Frey
It makes the most sense for the Vikings to remain non-committal to a QB going into 2024, so I expect the Vikings to let Cousins play out his contract before he hits free agency again.
The no-trade clause in his contract significantly limits the Vikings options, if not eliminates them, in terms of trade. Combine that with Cousins’ age, and this looks like it could be the final year of his career in a purple uniform.
6. Contract Left As-Is
Prediction Maker = Dustin Baker
A brand new item has entered the “Kirk Cousins debate” that percolates in the Vikings atmosphere every offseason — age.
Before 2023, we always chatted about Cousins-themed items without the scope of possible regression. Well, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers didn’t do it, but some quarterbacks — see: Ben Roethlisberger — begin to slow down at this age.
Vikings management must be cognizant of this possibility and prepare for the future. If Cousins shows up on the final year of his contract in 2023 and dimes 50 touchdowns — great. Fantastic. Extend him at this time next year. They simply don’t need to re-marry themselves to him beyond 2023. It is not required.
Cousins’ contract will stay as-is, with all QB options on the table after 2023. At some point, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah will love a full piggybank for free agency. Tying themselves to Cousins at age 36 or 37 nullifies that until 2025 or 2026.
7. Contract Left As-Is
Prediction Maker = Janik Eckardt
The Vikings will not extend Kirk Cousins’ deal in the 2023 offseason and will look for his successor instead, as Cousins will turn 35 in August, and a decline could happen at any time.
However, he’ll be the starter in 2023 during his contract year.
8. Contract Left As-Is
Prediction Maker = Ted Schwerzler
Cousins to San Francisco actually made some sense until Brock Purdy tore his UCL. I don’t see them moving Trey Lance now, but I would also think Adofo-Mensah isn’t keen on extending him again. Let him be a lame duck for a year and go from there.
9. Contract Left As-Is
Prediction Maker = Cole Smith
I believe Kirk Cousins will be back in purple for 2023. I do think that the team will begin eyeing his successor, though. Because of this, Kirk’s deal will be left as-is while the Vikings try to find a quarterback in this year’s draft.
The defense is a mess and isn’t getting fixed in one season, so the Vikings trade up and find their QB of the future. Vikings Twitter riots. Absolutely riots.
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,’ and The Doors (the band).
All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.
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