This could very well be the last season that Kirk Cousins plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
Prepare yourself to live in a world where Kirk Cousins is a top free agent quarterback once again.
Mike Garafolo of The NFL Network reported on Sunday afternoon that while Cousins is on the books for $30 million in 2023 and roughly $36 million against the cap, there is a chance he could play out the final year of his contract, meaning he would be an unrestricted free agent in 2024. Prior to coming over to Minnesota, Cousins had been slapped with the tag twice by Washington.
Simply put, this is a critical season for Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings franchise as a whole.
While Cousins will earn a $20 million roster bonus shortly, nothing is imminent about a new deal.
This could be the last season Kirk Cousins is the Minnesota Vikings starting QB
No matter how you look at this, it is very interesting. Cousins has flourished since coming over to the Vikings. He typically makes the Pro Bowl and remains one of the top 12 passers in the game today. Cousins may be in his mid-30s, but he takes great care of himself and his game should age gracefully because it is not contingent on his athleticism. However, he does have a definite ceiling.
Even though he worked with head coach Kevin O’Connell briefly when they were in Washington together, it seems as though general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is the one steering this Vikings ship. Seemingly one big name after another is being released. This team could reload, but a rebuild seems to be on the horizon, so get ready for that. It is why Cousins is playing out his deal.
See, if the Vikings are heading towards a rebuild, Cousins may not want to be part of it. He is probably never going to win or even get to a Super Bowl, but staying put in the Twin Cities should they reshape this thing certainly brings a swift end to those postseason conversations. Factor in Minnesota’s never-ending thirst for having a homegrown star quarterback they can call their own.
Overall, the Vikings know what they have in Cousins, and he knows what he has in them. It has been a good marriage for the better part of a decade, but this thing could be past its expiration date and heading to divorce. Should Minnesota trade up into the top 10 and draft a quarterback this spring, then all signs point to him being the Vikings’ 2024 starter over Cousins, maybe sooner.
Cousins may have a robust market after this season, but the Vikings are totally up to something.
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