Good for Kirk, Good for Kwesi.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings had an offseason move that would cause more ripple effects than any other. What they decided at the quarterback position, specifically with Kirk Cousins, would shape the rest of their decisions. In the end, it was a good for Kirk, good for Kwesi type of outcome.

Good for Kirk, Good for Kwesi.

Kirk Cousins had spent six seasons in Minnesota, and while there was regular season success, there was little else to show for it. That wasn’t entirely his fault, given the incomplete nature of the rosters he played on. Mike Zimmer’s defenses tailed off, and the offense was tasked with putting up points to mask the issues.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Cousins benefited from the emergence of star wideout Justin Jefferson and was helped by talented rusher Dalvin Cook. A significant portion of the Vikings’ inability to construct a complete roster came directly from the money tied up in cap space to a quarterback who was largely a sum of his parts. Even with a substantially expanding salary cap, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah held the line from making that decision yet again. On the flip side, Cousins held his stance and went to where the bag was biggest.

Credit to Cousins is due. Despite playing next season at 36 years old and coming off a torn Achilles, he could finagle a four-year deal worth $180 million, and $100 million of that guaranteed in the next 24 months. Any player in the league would dream of that level of security, and being able to accomplish that with over $228 million in career earnings, he’s certainly got enough to keep him warm even if the wins don’t come.

Rumors Hit Boiling
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Minnesota now gets a chance to reset the roster construction situation they have been trying to work through in recent seasons. While that does mean getting the next quarterback decision right, they enter into an offense flush with options. The dollars can be allocated to the defense and other areas of the roster, while the hope would be that a foundational fixture can be employed under center rather than needing to re-up at a constant premium.

Unfortunately, Cousins paraded the idea of staying in Minnesota and wanting to keep his family in Minnesota, all while knowing the caveat was that the price would be the determining factor.

from Vikings End
Kwesi Adofo-Mensah & Kevin O’Connell Talk Free Agent Moves, Future at Quarterback & 2023 NFL Draft in Eagan, Minnesota, on April 13th, 2023. Adofo-Mensah and O’Connell joined the organization in January and February 2022, respectively.

Adofo-Mensah clearly was aware of that understanding, and once the legal tampering period of free agency opened, the horse had already left the stable. Rather than getting into an unwise bidding war, the Vikings general manager let someone else pay the freight this time. Both sides win for sticking to their guns, and now how much Minnesota wins will directly rely upon those involved with evaluation decisions getting everything right.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.