Former Viking Says He Would ‘Think Twice’ About Rebuild With Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

Getty Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins may be left to play out the final year of his contract after a recent statement by general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins proved his naysayers wrong for much of the 2022 season.

He won a career-high 13 games and tied an NFL record eight-game winning drives. The 34-year-old quarterback mounted improbable comebacks weekly, giving the Vikings optimism that if they made the postseason they could make some noise.

But after falling to the New York Giants in the first round of the NFC playoffs, the Vikings must reassess the future of the franchise that has just one playoff win under its belt in the Cousins era. Cousins’ final throw on 4th and 8 where he checked down to T.J. Hockenson has been a pressure point of whether he can play winning football when it matters most.

For that reason, former Vikings offensive lineman Alex Boone, who admitted he believed in Cousins throughout the season, would not be buying in if he were a free agent in talks with the Vikings or the general manager assessing the team.

“[Cousins] is not going to take you anywhere,” Boone said on a January 27 airing of the Purple Daily podcast by SKOR North. “He showed you…When you check down on a 4th and 8 in a playoff game… it can ruin you. One bad play can really, really piss a lot of people off… I don’t know why he didn’t take off, I don’t know why he didn’t try to extend it with every bit of ounce of might he had. Dude, it’s 4th and 8. The game is on the line. This is our season. If we’re ever going to push, it’s now.”

“If I’m the GM in MN,” Boone said. “I’m [making the calls]. I’m standing by my team. I’m letting them know that this was not acceptable. It’s not good enough for me,” Boone added.

While Boone acknowledged Cousins played well throughout the Giants game, that final play sticks in the mind of players and potential free agents — especially with a quarterback who has unproven postseason track record.

“If I’m a free agent and I’m a guard, and Minnesota offers me, ‘I’m like, are you guys really rolling with Kirk again? Are you doing this?’ I was all about him all year, one play could really screw you up. It would make me think twice,” Boone said.

 Kurt Warner Defends Kirk Cousins’ Decision on 4th Down vs. Giants

VideoVideo related to former viking says he would ‘think twice’ about rebuild with kirk cousins2023-01-30T13:30:00-05:00

Following the Vikings’ loss to the Giants, Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner dissected the final play by Cousins and found Cousins’ check down wasn’t a horrible decision as painted by the national audience’s reaction.

Warner shows that Justin Jefferson had commanded double coverage on the same side as Hockenson, which left that side of the field without confident options to convert at the point of the catch. Adam Thielen and K.J. Osborn‘s route concepts on the other side took longer to develop and did not offer much protection against a defensive back undercutting the route while they developed.

Meanwhile, the pass protection folded as Ezra Cleveland was clipped by Dalvin Cook‘s foot, causing New York defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence to bulldoze his way to Cousins in a hurry.

The play design didn’t offer Cousins many other options other than Hockenson.

The only critique Warner offered was that Cousins, seeing Jefferson commanding double coverage earlier, could have clicked to his options on the other side of the field sooner and made an anticipatory throw.

Vikings Are at a Crossroads With Kirk Cousins

Cousins, entering the final year of his contract with the Vikings, is at a crossroads with the organization that is trying to carve a new path under the regime of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and Kevin O’Connell.

Adofo-Mensah said he expects Cousins to be Minnesota’s quarterback for the 2023 season, however, the future is unclear.

The Vikings are strapped for cap space to rebuild their defense with veteran talent this offseason but could make another attempt at stitching the unit together by extending Cousins — effectively lowering his cap hit by spreading his signing bonus onto later years of the contract.

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