Maybe Kirk Cousins Was a Fallback Plan for Minnesota?

Kirk Cousins Out
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

When the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason started, all of the focus turned toward Kirk Cousins. How much it would take for him to remain in purple was a mystery; ultimately, he took his talents to Atlanta. With the structure of their offer, though, Cousins may have been a backup plan for the Vikings.

Maybe Kirk Cousins Was a Fallback Plan for Minnesota?

As has almost always been the case for Kirk Cousins throughout his career, he was looking for a payday. As a free agent, despite being 35 years old and coming off an Achilles injury, this was probably one of his last chances to nail a big payday. Of course, he wanted stability for his family, but combining big dollars with the yearly commitment was a must.

kirk cousins
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For Minnesota, it seems that wasn’t a path they were interested in going down yet again.

Cousins was well-liked by the Vikings, but with Justin Jefferson and Christian Darrisaw both in line for big paydays, backing up a Brinks truck for the quarterback again simply couldn’t happen. The current deal coincided with his teammates’ timeline, and it also afforded an opportunity to start over with a signal caller on a rookie deal.

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As ESPN’s Kevin Siefert reported, the first two years of Minnesota’s offer weren’t fully guaranteed. Cousins talked of wanting to avoid year-to-year pacts during his initial press conference with Atlanta, and it seems that this directly reflects what he was referencing. Wanting to have certainty that he would be under center for multiple years with the Vikings was a goal for Cousins, but clearly, Minnesota didn’t feel that was a guarantee they could make.

In putting an offer in front of Cousins while also coming up short on one of the most important keys for the player, Minnesota’s attempt was only half-hearted. There’s nothing wrong with that stance; it reflects a desire to have the player meet the organization in the middle. Cousins had been paid handsomely thus far by the Vikings, and even had he stayed, the transition to a younger player would commence. If he wanted to be a part of that, then jumping at the deal is something he could have done.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

At the end of the day, everyone seems to win and get what they are looking for. Cousins gets a guarantee that his new employer will be going with him for quite a while, and they have a huge amount of dollars invested in his performance. Minnesota gets to take a swing at a new quarterback, and they don’t have to have a significant amount of cap space tied up in the position.

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.