Vikings Owner Shares Thoughts on Kirk Cousins’ Future

The NFL’s “legal tampering” period of free agency began Monday, and as of 8:30 am CST, no decision has been announced on quarterback Kirk Cousins’ future.

Cousins is under contract through the end of 2023, meaning general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah can either let the contract play out leaving the deal as-is, extend him by extra years, or trade the man to a team of his choosing.

Vikings Owner Shares Thoughts on Kirk Cousins’ Future

And while the Cousins choice could be announced at any minute, Minnesota Vikings owner Mark Wilf stopped by NFL Network’s Good Morning Football Monday morning to share thoughts about his team and Cousins in particular.

Vikings Owner Shares
Feb 5, 2018; Bloomington, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings owner Mark Wilf (left) and Minnesota governor Mark Sayton attend Super Bowl LIII handoff press conference at Mall of America. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Good Morning Football host Kyle Brandt, an ardent Cousins fan, explained his affinity for the Vikings QB1 and asked Wilf about Cousins’ future with the club. Wilf replied, “Kirk’s an outstanding quarterback. He’s done a great job for us. This past season with Kevin O’Connell he took our offense to the next level. So, we’re looking for great things in 2023. Kirk’s going to be the leader on our offense.”

Cousins tied an NFL record for game-winning drives in a single season (8) in his first year with O’Connell. Minnesota finished 13-4 and won the NFC North for the first time in five years despite showcasing the league’s third-worst defense per points allowed.

Dec 17, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) and guard Austin Schlottmann (65) warm up before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

But like every offseason with Cousins, his detractors claimed the 13-4 mark wasn’t good enough for the Vikings standard and have pondered ways all offseason to trade the man elsewhere or simply let his deal play out. Cousins is currently the league’s 11th highest-paid quarterback per average annual salary, a mark that infuriates some because they want Cousins to play at a Top 5 level — when he isn’t quite that good.

Moreover, the Vikings entered the 2023 offseason with the league’s third-worst salary cap situation, and the franchise generally targets Cousins’ contract to free up cap space. Extending the 34-year-old alleviates the current year’s financial standing while guaranteeing money on the final years of his deal — also a strategy panned by a handful of Vikings fans because they want the club to draft Cousins’ replacement in order to wrap up the Cousins era.

Playoff Loss Still Stings
Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

On Sunday, the day before free agency began, NFL insider Mike Garafolo, also from NFL Networktweeted, “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.”

Therefore, if the Garafolo tweet is correct, Cousins is evidently on deck to play one more season for the Vikings before hitting free agency at exactly this time next year. Of course, Adofo-Mensah could extend Cousins at any time — or even next offseason — but his pricetag will likely escalate after this extension opportunity, especially if he performs wonderfully in 2023.

But per Wilf, who, you know, owns the team, it’s Cousins in 2023, squashing any would-be trade rumors.


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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