Kirk Cousins is fully aware he’s on the hot seat this season

Kirk Cousins spoke about his future in the NFL and how he’s not taking anything for granted in Year 6 in Minnesota.

Has any NFL player in the past decade finessed his finances as well as Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins?

According to Spotrac, Cousins has earned north of $230 million in his career, good for the sixth-richest player among all active NFL players. His cash flow could start to dry up after this season as the 35-year-old enters his sixth year in Minnesota in 2023; barring an extension, Cousins will become a free agent next offseason.

The Vikings brass opted against restructuring Cousins’ deal this year and is looking ahead to a somewhat uncertain future at the quarterback position. One could see why Cousins, well past his prime, is still playing hardball with Minnesota; the Vikings, for their part, are content to let Cousins sweat it out.

On Wednesday, Cousins told the media it was a “no-brainer” that he wanted to stay in Minnesota but admitted that he had to “earn the right” to do so.

Kirk Cousins is a veteran quarterback with a rookie mindset

Cousins’ take on entitlement should make any player, rookie or veteran, want to run through a wall:

“I think in this league, there should never be entitlement. You’ve always got to go play, and teams can do whatever they want to do. That’s their prerogative. You just go to work, you do the best you can, and I’m encouraged and excited because I do think I have a good football ahead of me. So, got to go out there and earn that. But I feel positive about the future looking forward.”

Minnesota drafted BYU quarterback Jaren Hall in the fifth round, who has some upside as a mid-level starter but probably won’t see the field much in 2023.

Cousins doesn’t seem worried about losing his job in the near future or playing out his contract — he has grown accustomed to facing free agency on the horizon and noted that his focus was on putting together another solid season.

With the Packers in quasi-rebuild mode and the Lions and Bears tending to their own young and inexperienced rosters, the Vikings’ window for postseason glory may be the biggest right now. Cousins has plenty reason to feel positive about the Vikings’ potential this year, and his quarterback play could make or break the team’s season.

But what lies beyond 2023 for Kirk Cousins, no one really knows.

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