Cousins has been a fine starting quarterback, one capable of keeping his team in the playoff hunt each year. But has Cousins been worth the $94 million he’s earned from the Vikings so far? Not quite.
The Vikings have an opportunity to be one of the league’s trendy breakout teams next year. That possibility bodes well for Cousins, who just received an exciting update about his future in Minnesota.
Kirk Cousins has had a divisive tenure with the Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings stunned the sports world in the spring of 2018 when they signed Kirk Cousins to a three-year contract worth $84 million.
Neither the length nor the fit is what generated so much shock and outrage. Instead, it was the Vikings’ decision to guarantee Cousins — a 2016 Pro Bowl selection in Washington — every cent of that $84 million.
Through his first three years with the Vikings, Cousins completed 69% of his passes for 12,166 yards, 91 touchdowns, and only 29 interceptions in 47 starts. Cousins is 25-21-1 as the Vikings’ starter and led them to the NFC divisional round in January 2020.
From an on-paper perspective, Cousins has lived up to everything the contract demanded. But the Vikings’ lack of playoff success, coupled with some bad losses along the way, have put Cousins in the crosshairs.
The Vikings reportedly don’t intend to trade Cousins
The first few months of 2021 are on pace to be remembered for two things: vaccines and quarterback trades.
Both of the Las Vegas Raiders’ quarterbacks — starter Derek Carr and his backup, Marcus Mariota — have been linked to trades. Is Kirk Cousins among the quarterbacks who could be on a new team later this year?
Posts spread like wildfire on social media about the Vikings potentially trading Cousins. However, The Athletic recently shut down those rumors, with beat writer Chad Graff commenting that Cousins is expected to be the Vikings’ starting quarterback.
“The team hasn’t made a single call to another team looking to trade Cousins, according to a source. They want to be in contention for a playoff run and believe they have a team that can do that with Cousins at the helm. They don’t want to get worse at quarterback.”
According to Spotrac, Cousins will receive $21 million in 2021. That number is set to increase to $35 million in 2022, the last year before Cousins hits free agency.
Kirk Cousins should be thrilled at that news
Kirk Cousins should be dancing for joy if the Minnesota Vikings truly intend to keep him.
Minnesota is one of the league’s few teams with legitimate All-Pro threats at running back and receiver. Dalvin Cook ran for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns on an even five yards per carry in 14 games last year.
Justin Jefferson produced one of the greatest rookie receiving seasons in league history, totaling 88 catches for 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns. Veteran receiver Adam Thielen added 74 catches, 925 yards, and 14 touchdowns in 15 games.
If you’re Kirk Cousins, wouldn’t you rather much work with those weapons than the ones on the New York Jets or San Francisco 49ers? We thought so.
All contract figures courtesy of Spotrac.