Kirk Cousins Makes Revealing Confession on Reason He Joined Vikings

Kirk Cousins and RGIII

Getty Kirk Cousins detailed his decision-making process in choosing the Vikings during his 2018 free agency process.

Contrary to belief, Kirk Cousins wasn’t all about the money when deciding to sign with the Minnesota Vikings.

The veteran quarterback, reaching free agency for the first time in his career in 2018, had four teams interested: the New York Jets, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and the Vikings.

Cousins recently revisited his decision-making process at the time on the All Things Covered podcast this week, touting that the Vikings had the best possible situation he could enter.

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Vikings Were a ‘Home Run’

Selected 100 picks after the Washington Football Team used its No. 2 overall pick on Robert Griffin III, Cousins wasn’t expected to be the team’s starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.

Yet, he continued to see playing time while Griffen’s career was marred with hamstring injuries. Cousins, becoming a three-year starter in Washington, was franchise-tagged twice before finally seeing free agency at the age of 30 — 11 years after the last time he had the opportunity to choose a team after his senior year in high school in 2007.

On the All Things Covered podcast this week, Cousins said that he didn’t necessarily want to leave Washington, but he did want to test the market and see what he could fetch as a free agent.

“I did want to go to the market. I did want to see what was out there. I did want to know what could be and allow my agent to talk to other teams. It didn’t mean I wanted to leave Washington,” he said. “There’s a difference. There’s a difference in going out to see what the market has and truly wanting to leave somewhere. I just wanted to go see the market — because of being franchise-tagged, I hadn’t been able to do that.”

He added that while most other teams were “doubles,” the Vikings were a “home run.” He turned down a more lucrative three-year, $90 million, fully guaranteed deal with the Jets to sign with the Vikings for a slightly lower agreement at $84 million.

“We just felt like Minnesota was a home run,” he said. “To Minnesota’s credit they helped make it work and make it worth our while and it really worked out.”

In an NFL feature on Cousins’ free agency process, Cousins’ agent said the Vikings and Cardinals were a tier above the Broncos and Jets. The Cardinals were enamored with Cousins and were rumored to have offered a five-year, $145 million deal that averaged out to $29 million a year.

Contract structure was important to Cousins throughout his free agency process, and the fact the Vikings made the deal the first fully guaranteed contract in NFL history, likely played a factor in his choosing the Vikings over the Cardinals.

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Cousins Wasn’t Kicked Out of Washington

VideoVideo related to kirk cousins makes revealing confession on reason he joined vikings2021-11-28T14:01:28-05:00

When Cousins decided to enter free agency, he said he still thought there was a chance he would return to Washington.

However, Washington traded for Alex Smith, ultimately pushing Cousins to commit to finding a new team. He detailed that his plan to explore free agency led the franchise to find a contingency plan if he didn’t return.

“To their credit, they said, ‘We just can’t wait. We can’t be left in free agency, planning on getting you back and then you’re gone and now what do we have,’ ” Cousins said. “They were practice to their credit went and got Alex Smith to make sure they had a plan and that obviously sealed my fate.”

Cousins was garnering interest that would prove to be the most lucrative contract in NFL history at the team — a price tag that Washington perhaps opted of by securing Smith.

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