Latest Update about Kirk Cousins Is Quite Revealing

Kirk Cousins
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have reached a possible end of an era. They can now decide if they want to continue the journey with Kirk Cousins after six years with him under center or if it is time to go in different directions and perhaps select his successor in April. There were some trade rumors in the last couple of offseasons, but divorce is realistic for the first time since he joined the Vikings in 2018.

Latest Update about Kirk Cousins Is Quite Revealing

Latest Update about Kirk Cousins Is Quite Revealing
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Cousins was franchise-tagged by Washington in 2016 and 2017. He drew a rare back-to-back franchise tag. Considering their terrible QB play in the last six seasons, they would probably like to turn back the time and keep him instead of letting him walk in free agency.

The passer moved on to Minnesota, signing a fully guaranteed contract in 2018 and extensions in 2020 and 2022. Of course, all of those years were also fully guaranteed. That’s what Cousins became famous for, and he quietly revolutionized the league because most decent quarterbacks sign similar contracts.

Betting Odds for Kirk
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Everyone in the business expects Cousins to enter negotiations with the Vikings and other teams demanding one thing: Fully guaranteed contracts. However, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is reportedly hesitant to grant him that wish. Albert Breer from Sports Illustrated reported on Monday:

The current Minnesota brass, now going into its third season, really likes Cousins, but it’s also been made clear that they’re not going to go contractually where the previous regime did twice, and give Cousins a fully guaranteed deal.

Albert Breer

It has always been expected that money wouldn’t be the reason for a divorce. More important are contract length and guarantees. Cousins surely wants to continue earning the most possible security, while the Vikings do and should prefer flexibility. They simply don’t know for how long Cousins can play at his borderline Pro Bowl level. He will turn 36 in August, and his Achilles tear only adds to that question.

Ultimately, it remains to be seen if the two parties, Cousins’ camp, and Minnesota’s front office, can find common ground and meet somewhere in the middle; perhaps a possible solution could be agreeing on a three-year contract while only guaranteeing the salary of two campaigns.

Cousins to NFC
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

That salary is always an interesting topic among fans, especially on social media. Because of Cousins’ comments after the season that money is not as important as the contract structure, it is fair to assume that he doesn’t demand any crazy numbers. Regardless, it needs to be said that the QB market has evolved in the last few years. If he signs a deal worth $35 million per season, he would rank 15th in the league-wide rankings. $40 million annually would place him 10th. Neither of those compensations would be an overpay.

While Breer’s report doesn’t imply that a deal is close by any means and even fuels the theory of Cousins’ exit because he simply hasn’t signed a contract without maximum guarantees, he also added that the Vikings “did touch base with Cousins’ camp last week, as they got their pre-combine meetings going, so the lines of communication are open.”

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

He continued by stating that more clarity could come at next week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis, when decision-makers always chat with agents.

At this point, it is just a coin flip. The veteran could leave, but continued employment in Minnesota shouldn’t be ruled out.

If he departs, the Vikings will try to acquire his successor in April by trading up or using the 11th overall pick. J.J. McCarthy has evolved into a popular target.

Janik Eckardt is a football fan who likes numbers and stats. The Vikings became his favorite team despite their quarterback at the time, Christian Ponder. He is a walking soccer encyclopedia, loves watching sitcoms, and Classic rock is his music genre of choice. Follow him on Twitter if you like the Vikings: @JanikEckardt