Report: It’s All or Nothing for Kirk Cousins’ Next Contract

Should Kirk
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins is under contract with the franchise for one more season, and teams rarely let men with his talent galavant onto the final year of their deals.

But such is the case for now with Cousins and the Vikings. A contract extension could be announced any minute, or the general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah could merely let the deal ride. Cousins would then become a free agent in 2024.

Report: It’s All or Nothing for Kirk Cousins’ Next Contract

And according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the contractual decision between Cousins and the Vikings has a new twist. It might just be all or nothing.

All or Nothing for Kirk
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

In a video posted to the Vikings team website, Pelissero explained, “I would not anticipate that there’s another one-year extension [for Cousins]. Either the Vikings and Kirk Cousins do a long-term extension that locks him up as their franchise quarterback, or potentially they keep their options open and let Cousins play out this existing deal.”

What does this mean? Well, Cousins will either play one more year with the Vikings, likely followed by an evaluation period in January and February of 2024 — or Adofo-Mensah will extend Cousins by an extra three years or so, committing the QB1 (and vice versa) to the Vikings through the end of 2025 or 2026.

ESPN Was Not Impressed -- At All -- With Kirk Cousins vs. Colts
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s not at all strange for a quarterback to seek a long-ish term deal. This happens all the time. However, it is odd that Cousins suddenly might want a longer commitment. Since seizing the job as the Washington Commanders QB1 in 2015, Cousins has been the undisputed king of short-term contracts — expensive ones. Of course, Washington’s and Minnesota’s front offices may have played a part in mandating shorter team deals — Washington’s did, for sure — but when the dust settled, Cousins always looked up and saw himself playing on a deal for one to three years.

Before the Vikings lost at home to the New York Giants in the Wildcard Round of the playoffs, Cousins told the media about his future, “I think every time you go out there and play and learn and get better, you build as a player. I do think the continuous improvement has happened. The day that I don’t think that’s happening anymore is when I’ll probably walk away.”

Would a Kirk Cousins
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Last offseason, after Cousins was extended by an extra year, he told the Star Tribune, “My mindset was really to be a Viking. I would like to retire as a Viking, and so I would like to play my way into that if you will. I know I’ve got to earn the right to do that.

The idea of Cousins sticking around for four more years is fascinating because Justin Jefferson’s mammoth contract will kick in at the start of the 2025 season. That would leave the Vikings paying a QB1 between $35 and $40 million and his favorite wide receiver around $30 to $35 million. Most teams cannot afford that.

Unless Pelissero’s wires were crossed, that could happen to the Vikings — either that or 2023 is Cousins’ swan song in Minnesota.

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).

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