Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins has endured quite an up and down journey since taking a massive, fully-guaranteed $84 million contract with the team prior to 2018.
Cousin’s well-documented struggles in primetime games have seemingly carried over with him to Minneapolis, while he’s still yet to capture a playoff victory over his eight-year NFL career.
If Cousins were to falter in the Minneapolis Miracle rematch set to take place today, would the Vikings be smart to think about life without their once hand-selected quarterback?
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Has Cousins Lived Up to the Contract?
Kirk Cousins was brought to Minnesota for one reason, to bring the team a Super Bowl. One of the league’s most talented rosters was looking for the quarterback to help take them over the horizon. However, the jury on whether Cousins is the man capable of that feat is still out.
We all remember the horrendous start Cousins had to his 2019 campaign. Stefon Diggs was seemingly trying to force himself out of town, while fellow wideout Adam Thielen went to the media to call out his QB. Cousins responded from the backlash by averaging 288+ passing yards and accumulating 18 touchdowns to just one interception over the seven games following Thielen’s comments.
However, Cousins has seen his star fall quite a bit in the latter part of the regular season. Minnesota’s quarterback has tossed an interception in three of his last four games, while completing less than 58% of his passes twice over that period.
Cousins is trending down at the moment. Yet, he still finished 2019 with an extremely solid 26 touchdowns to six interception line. He’s shown flashes of brilliance this year, and will get Dalvin Cook back in the backfield today.
Will Cousins ever live up to his massive deal? We may never know, but today’s game could go a long way in answering that question.
Is Cousins Set for Yet Another Massive Pay Day?
Cousins will be 32 years old when his contract expires, making him more than youthful enough for the Vikings or another team to swoop in and invest mightily into the quarterback as the cornerstone of their roster.
Minnesota will be prohibited from using the transition tag on the signal-caller following the 2020 season due to stipulations in his current contract. Yet, the team is allowed to place the franchise tag on their quarterback, something Cousins has become all too familiar with during his time in the NFL. However, it’s something he hasn’t shied away from either. When you realize the increase in pay that Cousins would receive if the Vikings do tag him, you’ll realize why.
Due to NFL rules put into place in recent years, a 44% increase in Cousins’ salary would occur for the QB in 2021, should Minnesota decide to tag him. This is due to Cousins having been tagged twice already in his NFL career.
If Minnesota followed through with the tag, Cousins would get $42.5 million in the first year of his new contract with the team, a highly unlikely occurrence. Instead, expect the team to try and hammer out a new contract with their quarterback. However, if Cousins faulters in the playoffs today and next season as well, the Vikings could ultimately decide to let their former $84 million man walk come free agency time in 2021.