The Kirk Cousins Verdict? Probably Down to the Wire.

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The NFL’s “legal tampering” period of free agency begins in 12 days, the kickstart of players talking to teams about contracts for 2024 and beyond.

The Kirk Cousins Verdict? Probably Down to the Wire.

At the very top of the Minnesota Vikings free-agent ledger lives Kirk Cousins, and the team’s offseason plan starts with the 35-year-old. The choice — to extend Cousins or let him walk to a new team — entirely sets the course of the franchise’s plans this season and beyond. It’s the almighty domino.

Probably Down
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Well, according to Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, the man in charge of deciding yes or no on Cousins’ return to Minnesota, the verdict will probably go down to the wire. If fans expect Cousins-themed news between February 29th and March 10th, well, they may be waiting with no action.

“I think it’ll probably go right down to the deadline. I hope it doesn’t. I don’t like hoping, but as I’ve learned in this league, deadlines do just kind of get people to tighten up, I guess, and come to that final agreement,” Adofo-Mensah told KFAN this week.

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who was hired in January 2022 after the club parted ways with Rick Spielman. The Vikings finished 13-4 in Adofo-Mensah’s first season as general manager.

Regarding the likelihood of an extension, the Cousins choice could truly go either way. His asking price may be too grand for the Vikings’ budget, or Cousins could realize no other team will pay him the fat stacks of guaranteed cash he habitually covets.

On the overall update about Cousins returning in 2024, Adofo-Mensah explained on Tuesday that he wants the veteran signal-caller back while acknowledging that a compromise must be met. “Had a great conversation with him a few days ago. At the end of the day, it’s we have our interests, he has his, and we get to the table and see if we can figure out a creative solution and how to meet in the middle. What we do know is we have a really great quarterback, a great leader, and somebody that we think we can win the ultimate prize with, and so that’s ultimately what I focus on, and that’s where we’re at right now,” Adofo-Mensah told reporters.

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Cousins tore his Achilles tendon last October, a terrible injury for anyone but especially an aging quarterback, and Minnesota never recovered in 2022, finishing 3-6 without him.

Meanwhile, Pro Football Talk‘s Mike Florio claimed this week that Cousins might have had a rough time finding the humongous deal he seeks on the open market. Florio said, “They use the phrase, Kevin O’Connell did a couple of times, ‘Kirk Cousins has earned the right to bet on himself,’ and they believe that when the time comes for Cousins to go see what else is out there, he will learn that whatever else is out there is not better. That the grass will not be greener in Atlanta or Las Vegas or back in Washington.”

Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Kevin O’Connell addressed the media from the TCO Performance Center on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023. The Vikings had a quarterback debate off the bye week in 2023, and O’Connell announced incumbent starter Joshua Dobbs would play in Week 14 at the Las Vegas Raiders.

The takeaway? Vikings fans will assuredly have a Cousins verdict soon — but it may hit during free agency week, not before.

Cousins will turn 36 in August.


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.