Kirk Cousins has been an enigma for the NFL. The former Washington Redskins quarterback went through each of the past couple seasons accepting the franchise tag in hopes of landing a long-term deal somewhere.
That seemed to pay off as Cousins is set to sign with the Minnesota Vikings in a rare fully guaranteed deal.ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news that Cousins is headed to the Vikings while NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported it’s likely to be a three-year deal worth $86 million that’s fully guaranteed.
Cousins and the Vikings will have to wait until Wednesday for free agency to officially start in order to make it official.
Cousins was getting paid during his franchise tagged years, but it required taking on some risk knowing that an injury or even a drop in performance would lower his value. While his team hovered around the .500 mark, Cousins threw and threw for a lot. In 2016, Cousins outperformed his breakout 4,166 yard 2015 season by tossing 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns. Last season, in another tagged season, Cousins got 4,093 yards but threw for 27 TD’s.
This lack of winning might have caused some teams and some fans to balk at giving Cousins all this money but it’s clear he could be a great quarterback and as a free agent, could be a way for a team to sign a franchise quarterback rather than via the NFL Draft.
The Vikings feel like they got that quarterback, and as a team who made it to last year’s NFC Championship Game, feel like Cousins is that final piece to the Super Bowl puzzle.
Even with that, Cousins is betting on himself. Instead of a long-term deal that would likely be renegotiated after four or five years, the 29-year-old Cousins insisted on a short-term deal so he could potentially cash in for top dollar on his next contract when he’s 32. That might cost the Vikings way more money than if the two sides got a long-term deal but Cousins had all the leverage. And while there were other teams interested in him, teams really had to sweeten the pot for Kirk to sign with them.
Kirk Cousins took a risk on himself and it paid off, it’s now time for the Minnesota Vikings to take a risk on Cousins in hopes it pays off in a Super Bowl win.