Vikings Should Make Kirk Cousins a Best and Final Offer Right Now

Kirk Cousins Becomes 6th Viking to Win NFL Award in 2022 
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No position is more important in sports than that of an NFL quarterback. The Minnesota Vikings have no bigger offseason question than the one surrounding franchise signal caller Kirk Cousins. Coming back from injury, the negotiating power isn’t all in his court, and it’s time Kwesi Adofo-Mensah makes his best and final offer.

Vikings Should Make Kirk Cousins a Best and Final Offer Right Now

This past season, the Vikings brought Kirk Cousins back on a one-year extension worth $35 million. That made him the 15th highest-paid quarterback across the NFL, which suggests he is underpaid relative to ability. There are not 14 better quarterbacks in the NFL, and the absence of Cousins showed just how much a team can struggle without their starter.

Kirk Cousins a Best
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Fortunately or unfortunately for Minnesota, Cousins will return to the field next year as a 36-year-old fresh off a torn Achilles. It certainly won’t impact the non-existent mobility he already possessed, but for the first time in his career, the pillar of health has been challenged. 

Throughout his rehab process and around the team as the season went on, Cousins said all the right things. He has talked about how his family loves the state and that he wants to remain here. His teammates love him, too. Retirement isn’t far off, and hanging up his cleats, having worn just two uniforms, is something he covets, but to what extent?

Two years and $60 million; That’s what the Vikings should do.

Yes, it would be a lesser average value than the deal he signed this season, but it would also provide job security and show a significant commitment to a player that the franchise values enough even after an injury. From there, Cousins must put his money where his mouth is.

a Pivotal Vikings
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There are going to be bigger paydays available for the veteran quarterback. 2023 proved how much of a deficiency the quarterback position has across the league. If Cousins wants to go to the highest bidder, let him play for a bad team on a big payday. Maybe he can uproot his family consistently in his waning years to chase the dollars, or perhaps he’ll opt for weapons that give him a chance at the elusive ring.

It is beyond clear that Justin Jefferson has developed a strong rapport with his quarterback, and Jordan Addison flashed plenty to entice Cousins. T.J. Hockenson will soon be the league’s best tight end, and the Vikings can add another playmaker or two. 

How much the team can build a roster hinges on how much Cousins wants to secure for himself. In 12 seasons, Cousins has earned more than $230 million. There is no reason to tell anyone they can’t capitalize on their value, but the quality of a team in the NFL comes down to what fits underneath the salary cap. Jefferson needs to be paid, and Christian Darrisaw needs to be paid. Fifty-two other players besides Cousins contribute to wins on a weekly basis, and the more he allows the bar to be raised for those, the better off he will be.

ESPN Hints at Kirk
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Tom Brady rarely earned more than $20 million in a single season with the New England Patriots, and he finagled the dollars with Tampa Bay to build around him. Cousins doesn’t have that same ability, and the help he needs will cost even more dollars. If he wants that to be present, there should be some give and take.

The Vikings finding their next franchise quarterback can start to take shape this season. They can use an early pick on the position, and that player can follow in Jordan Love’s footsteps, watching Cousins until he is ready to move on. If the Vikings are going to be the best version of themselves next year and into the immediate future, it requires them to pay Cousins and him to back up all the desires he has thrown out there.

Make the offer, let it settle, find some clarity.

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.