Vikings Applauded for Primary Free Agent Decision

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Everything regarding the Minnesota Vikings’ offseason fundamentally started with the “Kirk Cousins decision.” Absolutely everything.

Vikings Applauded for Primary Free Agent Decision

Retaining the soon-to-be 36-year-old or letting him walk to free agency would set the tone for the Vikings’ pivotal next steps. Ultimately, Minnesota chose the latter, and Cousins bolted for the largest paycheck possible in Atlanta, on deck to lead the Falcons for the next four years. On the “four years” part, Minnesota wanted nothing to do with it, apparently preferring a year-to-year arrangement with Cousins, a man known for habitually grabbing the most money available — every step of the way.

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And according to Dan Patrick, who worked at ESPN for about two decades and now has a popular show for NBC Sports, the purple team got it right, letting Cousins depart after six seasons.

“I think the Vikings may have made the better decision. You’re getting Kirk Cousins, he is a B, B+ talent, A+ money and D- results when it comes to playing in big games and getting into the playoffs. He’s won one playoff game,” Patrick said this week after Cousins debuted in front of the Falcons organization on Wednesday.

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Minnesota won one playoff game in six years with Cousins and reached the postseason dance twice.

Patrick added, “Brilliant business guy or his agent is. But you’re getting a guy who is 35, coming off Achilles surgery. OK, you can win the NFC South … This is what comes up, ‘Man, Kirk Cousins with all those weapons in Atlanta.’ Well, he had all those weapons in Minnesota, too. Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison. He had a good running game.”

In fairness to Atlanta and Cousins, Patrick also said the arrangement will allow the Falcons to “consistently compete.” Which is what the Vikings encountered from 2018 to 2023.

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Minnesota’s roster has undergone dramatic overhaul since general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah took over a bit more than 2 years ago, but many Vikings fans loved to say out loud, “The Vikings keep running it back.” Yet, with Cousins gone, Adofo-Mensah’s competitive rebuild struck a grand crescendo with Cousins’ exit. Per Patrick, it was the right move.

Cousins leaves the franchise ranked second in most passing touchdowns in Vikings history and third in passing yards.

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Cousins said goodbye to Minnesotans and Vikings fans on Wednesday, “I’d also just like to say thank you to the people of Minnesota. The people of the Twin Cities. And the people we did life with on a daily basis around our great state of Minnesota. Just want to say thank you. You meant so much to my family. And as a result of your impact, Minnesota will always hold a special place in the hearts of me and my family.”

On Patrick’s opinion, we’ll find out in the next 3-4 years if he’s right.

Minnesota is expected to draft a rookie quarterback — Cousins’ replacement — six weeks from tonight.


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).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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