Kirk Cousins May Not Leave Vikings after 2023

Vikings QB Will Take Mighty Streak into Week 1
Nov 17, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports.

Because the Minnesota Vikings chose not to extend QB1 Kirk Cousins’ contract in March and pushed his 2023 money into the future, most assumed he was on borrowed time with the organization.

But that might’ve been a rush to judgment.

Kirk Cousins May Not Leave Vikings after 2023

The Vikings could indeed script 2023 as Cousins’ final year in purple and gold, but general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensha struck a markedly different tone after the 2023 NFL Draft.

Vikings Fans Have Majority
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Adofo-Mensah told reporters Saturday, “Kirk doesn’t need to do show anything to me. Kirk has played football at a high level before I got to the Minnesota Vikings. Last year, we won 13 games. I don’t know what he would need to prove to me or anybody else.”

Cousins ranks fourth leaguewide in touchdown passes and fifth in passing yards since joining the Vikings in free agency five years ago.

“Sometimes you come to a place [in contract talks] where you decide, ‘Hey, let’s talk later. This is a solution for now.’ That’s all that’s happened.”

Incomplete
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

As it stands now, if nothing else happened at all, Cousins would become a free agent next March, much like Derek Carr two months ago. He’d fire up a world tour with various NFL teams and sign the most attractive offer — a staple of the Cousins experience. The San Francisco 49ers would be the odds-on favorites to secure his services for 2024.

Adofo-Mensah concluded, “We like where we are at the quarterback position, but every option is open to us going forward. We’re just really excited about Kirk this year. The weapons we’ve added in free agency, the weapons we added in the draft, and we’ll see what happens after that.”

may not leave vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

A couple of Adofo-Mensah’s musings stand off the page. First, “let’s talk later” implies the Vikings are still open to extending the relationship with Cousins into 2024. The camps just need to meet in the middle.

On the other hand, “every option to us going forward” is generally a kiss of death to pick the other thing, or in this case, a quarterback not named Kirk Cousins after 2023. We shall see.

Cousins’ performance in the 2023 playoffs will be remembered for a now-infamous 4th and 8 transaction when he dumped the ball off to T.J. Hockenson, who was dropped short of a first down, thus ending the game. But his production per EPA+CPOE was the best of any quarterback in the NFL during the 2022 postseason. Folks simply disregard it, though, because Minnesota’s defense couldn’t stop a feather.

On the whole, Cousins seems to be eyeing a swan-song season in Minnesota this September, but nobody anywhere should be surprised if their phone buzzes within a couple of weeks detailing another Cousins extension.

Heading into 2023, Cousins will be around the 15th highest-paid quarterback in the league per average annual value.


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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