There Is Finally a Kirk Cousins Report

Kirk Cousins Riddle
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The Minnesota Vikings will make many different decisions in the next few months, some of them are franchise-altering moves. But nothing is more important than the necessary decision the Vikings will make about the future of their starting quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Cousins joined the Vikings in the 2018 off-season and was viewed as the missing piece. For his services, he has been paid handsomely and his performances have been at a good level. However, the desired team success hasn’t happened yet with only two playoff appearances in the five seasons, and one win in three postseason games.

There Is Finally a Kirk Cousins Report

There Is Finally a Kirk Cousins Report
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Cousins is the hot-button topic in every off-season in the Vikings’ orbit. Is he getting a new extension, will it be long-term or just an additional season tagged on, will it be another fully guaranteed deal, or should the Vikings just move on and find his successor?

Like always, those are the usual debates in the fanbase and in NFL circles. After many speculations, there is finally a report from meaningful sources — Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo.

The latter tweeted on Sunday afternoon:

“The Vikings and Kirk Cousins have had talks about a contract extension but nothing is imminent and Cousins playing out the last year of his contract and heading toward free agency once again feels quite possible right now.”

Rapoport chimed in on NFL Network:

If there’s one player we know that will bet on himself and make sure that the product on the field speaks for itself, it is Kirk Cousins. We’ve seen him do it on a couple of different franchise tags, then get the fully-guaranteed deal that so many quarterbacks want.

If Cousins did it again, it would not be surprising if the Vikings and Kirk Cousins’ agent Mike McCartney can not find the right deal but also for the Vikings, this does make it difficult financially, of course, they are in cap crunch now. They have been shedding salary, they have been shedding veterans. Getting a Kirk Cousins deal would certainly be something that would help them cap wise but as you mentioned, that may not be something that is in the cards right now.

Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

Of course, those are not definitive words. However, it said on the screen “Vikings not expected to offer Kirk Cousins an extension; will play out his final year on contract.”

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The Vikings have a few options available on how they want to deal with Cousins in the off-season. They certainly want the QB’s services for the upcoming season. He is under contract and is still performing at a high level, despite turning 35 years old in a few months but that number might be one reason why the Vikings are not willing to agree to another contract extension. While Cousins should have a few years left in his arm, he will eventually fall off a cliff, like every passer in NFL history not named Tom Brady, and no one knows when that will happen.

In addition to that, Cousins is not one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. There aren’t many of those, but having one is the easiest way to build a contending team. Neither a long-term nor a short-term extension should be ruled out at this point but the more probable scenario right now is that Cousins will play out the final year of his deal. The only unlikely thing at the moment is that Cousins won’t be the starting QB for the Vikings in 2023.

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Even if the Vikings don’t get a deal done prior to free agency, they could do it later in the year. Kevin O’Connell and Kwesi Adofo-Mensah might want to wait until they can see if they can land the future QB in the draft before they commit to Cousins.

The quarterback insisted on short-term contracts, all fully guaranteed, in his career. He always tried to maximize his value. There’s nothing wrong with that, as most people would do the same. However, it limited some flexibility from a team’s perspective. The current regime doesn’t have any ties to Cousins outside of the one season in 2022 and moving on would be easier because of that.

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In five seasons with the organization, Cousins passed for over 20,000 yards and 153 touchdowns. He finally brought stability to the Vikings’ QB position after years of changing passers every season. Other teams, his former Washington team comes to mind, are still in that QB carousel. The potential of landing in one of those carousels is the big fear of Cousins’ supporters because they saw it for years prior to his arrival. To limit that risk, the Vikings should try to find his successor before they move on.

If Cousins doesn’t get a new deal at some point in the off-season, he will be in a position to enter free agency in 2024.

Top QBs Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, Will Levis, and Anthony Richardson are intriguing but could be too expensive to get. The Vikings probably need to trade up to be in a position to draft one of the top prospects with many teams in the top ten needing a new franchise quarterback.

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