The Snag on Kirk Cousins’ Extension Remains the Same

Cousins
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For the first time in seven years, the Minnesota Vikings may embark on a regular season without Kirk Cousins as QB1.

The Snag on Kirk Cousins’ Extension Remains the Same

The 35-year-old quarterback is scheduled to hit free agency in three weeks if no extension with the Vikings materializes. He’s expected to fetch free-agent attention from a handful of teams, including the Atlanta Falcons and Pittsburgh Steelers, if Minnesota doesn’t extend his stay.

the snag on kirk
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Vikings fans have wondered for about six weeks if Cousins will return, but according to credible reporting, the snag on his return remains the same: contract structure + guaranteed money.

SI.com’s Albert Breer reaffirmed the Cousins stakes on Monday, detailing the Vikings’ hesitation to spring for another sizable guaranteed contract, “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. Absent that, Cousins is now in position to hit the market like he did six years ago, this time older and, of course, more injured.”

3 Definitive
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If the Vikings, alas, sever ties with Cousins, they’ll need a quarterback, presumably from free agency, a fancy trade, or the 2024 NFL Draft. Caleb Williams (USC), Drake Maye (North Carolina), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Michael Penix Jr. (Washington), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan), and Bo Nix (Oregon) are expected to go off the board in Rounds 1 and 2.

Breer added about a timeline on the Cousins decision, “For what it’s worth, 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. More clarity could come in Indianapolis next week.”

Team Super Bowl Contender
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So, business could pick up next week when Cousins’ representation begins whispering with other general managers in Indiana.

In line with the Breer reporting, ESPN’s Kevin Seifert wrote about a would-be Cousins extension in January, “The team’s key decision-makers are on record saying they will try to get Cousins re-signed, and the quarterback has said he wants to finish his career in Minnesota. The outcome likely will hinge on whether the Vikings are willing to give Cousins, who turns 36 in the summer, multiple fully guaranteed years in his new deal. That seems a 50-50 proposition at best.”

Offseason Schedule
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Earlier the same month, reporters asked Cousins what was most important to him via his next contract. He replied, “Structure is probably more important.”

A few days after the 2023 season ended, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said at the team’s year-end press conference that his job, among several duties, is to “protect” the Vikings. And safeguarding his franchise from spending too much on an aging quarterback fits the criteria.

The takeaway? If you’re wondering why the Vikings’ front office and Cousins’ people haven’t locked in a deal, it’s because of the guaranteed money aspect. Rick Spielman and Co. gifted Cousins his request a couple of times. The new regime reportedly isn’t as willing.

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.

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