Get Ready to Hear the Words “Hometown Discount”

Predicts Unpleasant Vikings

Hometown Discount. Those are the snazzy new words for folks who want to blend a Kirk Cousins return to the Minnesota Vikings while hoping to avoid paying him market value, which is about $45-$50 million per season.

Get Ready to Hear the Words “Hometown Discount”

It’s the new talker circulating on Vikings-themed social media — Maybe Cousins will entertain a team-friendly deal.

Get Ready to Hear
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

In all likelihood, the masses’ definition of team-friendly or hometown discount differs wildly from reality. When folks hear hometown discount for an NFL quarterback, they think about 10 million bucks. In real life, a team-friendly deal for Cousins would probably end up around $35-$40 million each season.

But the interpretation variance won’t stop Vikings fans from requesting their version of a compromise. “Cousins back in 2024 at a hometown discount” is already out in the digital stratosphere so loudly that the 35-year-old addressed it Monday, the day after his team lost to the Detroit Lions and ended its season.

2024 Fate with Vikings
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

“That’s a great question and one I’ve thought about pretty much my whole 12 years. I do think it’s important to be aware of. I think that God has blessed me financially beyond my wildest dreams. So at this stage in my career, the dollars are really not what it’s about,” Cousins told reporters about returning to Minnesota at a reduced price.

Minnesota has around $37 million in cap space heading into the offseason, a vast improvement from recent years when the franchise was either in the red or sitting with a couple of million. Ironically, $37 million is almost exactly the price of a realistic team-friendly deal for Cousins.

Vikings Clearing Cap
Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah at the 2023 NFL Combine the Week of February 27th. The Vikings have the 23rd overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

He continued Monday, “I had a coach who I was with who was a younger coach at the time. This was back eight, nine years ago, before my first franchise tag, and we were talking about the situation, and he made a great comment. He said, ‘Kirk, it’s not about the dollars, but it is about what the dollars represent.’ I thought that was an interesting comment that he made. There will always be some of that.”

If the Vikings don’t re-sign Cousins — team-friendly or player-friendly — they’d be nearly certain to use a 1st-Round pick on a quarterback of the future.

Endorsement for Next
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins speaks before a joint practice with the Tennessee Titans in Eagan, Minn., Thursday, Aug. 17, 2023. © Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK.

“I’m not going to try to sell myself, if you will. I kind of like to let people make their own decisions, because I do think the league needs quarterbacks, and if you’re trying to talk yourself out of a quarterback, then I can’t help you much. The Achilles is going to heal. And it’s on track, and I’m a pocket passer, and there’s a lot of time before next season. For a lot of reasons, it doesn’t concern me, but if I can’t convince other people of that, then that’s OK,” Cousins concluded.

Until Cousins signs an extension or jaunts into the free-agent pool, all Vikings fans will hear and perhaps talk about regarding the team is Cousins’ status and pricetag.

Cousins will turn 36 in August.

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,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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