Daniel Jones Sends Kirk Cousins’ Next Contract to the Moon

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports.

New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones entered the upper crust of quarterback pay on Tuesday, in large part because of two wonderful games against the Minnesota Vikings.

Jones and the Giants spent the last couple of weeks hashing out a contract extension, narrowly avoiding the NFL’s franchise tag deadline.

Daniel Jones Sends Kirk Cousins’ Next Contract to the Moon

And the result was glorious for Jones, who threw 15 touchdown passes in 2022, as New York caved and paid their man.

Daniel Jones Sends
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The 33rd Team‘s Ari Meirov tweeted Tuesday, “The full contract details will come out soon enough, but Daniel Jones and his representatives used every ounce of leverage they had to hammer out this deal. 4-years, $160M. $40M average. Full guarantee structure will be out sooner than later.”

Some NFL brains maintain that every player’s contract is really just a two-year deal, and Jones will earn $82 million in the first two seasons.

The Giants Have 1 Dirty Little
New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) answers questions after team practice at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford. © Danielle Parhizkaran / USA TODAY NETWORK.

To start the week, new New Orleans Saints quarterback Derek Carr finagled a deal with Mickey Loomis for $37.5 million per season, and you can bet Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins’ agent was keenly watching both deals.

Therefore, with the Vikings possibly examining a Cousins extension within the next week, two Cousins-esque passers, per reputation, are defining the 2023 pay structure. Jones snatched $40 million annually per average annual salary, with Carr not far behind at $37.5 million.

While it’s unclear if the Vikings wish to extend Cousins past 2023 — his deal runs out after next season — they should now know his pricetag beyond the shadow of a doubt if they want to continue the partnership.

Playoff Loss Still Stings
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Some Vikings fans and media outlets enjoy daydreaming about Cousins “taking a discount” around this time of year — and an outcome that never happens. In fact, Cousins and his agent are renowned for their stature as shrewd businessmen, not humanitarians welcoming pay reductions. Via small deals since 2015, Cousins grabs the biggest possible available dollars. It’s just the way it is.

Jones’ and Carr’s extensions suggest Cousins will fetch between $37 million and $42 million if extended by the Vikings. The “if” is mighty because Minnesota’s new-ish leadership twosome, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell, could plot the Cousins afterlife as early as now.

Vikings, Giants Share Naughty 2022 Stat
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones (8) talk after the game. The New York Giants lose to the Minnesota Vikings, 28-10, in NFL Week 5 on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in East Rutherford. Nyg Vs Min Week 5. © Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com, North Jersey Record via Imagn Content Services, LLC.

The Vikings own the No. 23 pick in April’s draft, a less-than-ideal spot to draft “the next guy” at QB1. However, if Adofo-Mensah really wanted it, he could get funky with trades, barter into the Top 10, and draft Will Levis or Anthony Richardson. It’s possible.

Monitoring Cousins’ extension or lack thereof in the next week will offer the biggest clue about Adofo-Mensah’s QB1 plans. If the Vikings don’t reach an extension agreement, a quarterback of some kind — even if it’s a mid-rounder — will probably join the Vikings in April.

On the whole, write this down — Cousins’ new market for an extension is between $37 million and $42 million per season.

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.