Vikings Ownership Breaks Silence on Kirk Cousins’ Future With Team

Getty Minnesota Vikings President Mark Wilf addressed the team's future following the firings of Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman.

Minnesota Vikings president Mark Wilf met with media on Monday following the firings of general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer to address the future of the franchise.

Spielman and Zimmer were the brain trust behind the Vikings’ reemergence last decade — taking the post-Favre era Vikings from a 3-13 record in 2013 to three postseasons. But after missing the playoffs two consecutive years, both team leaders were shown the door.

“We are in a better place as an organization because of their work, but we’re trying to elevate off of this foundation we have here and get to the next level,” Wilf said of the decision to move on from Spielman and Zimmer.

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What players remain from the former tenants remains to be seen, with the most pivotal decision on the roster being what to do with quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Signed to a lucrative fully guaranteed contract in 2018, Cousins was Spielman’s final piece to a roster that made an NFC Championship game appearance just months beforehand.

However, the roster unraveled, leading to just one playoff appearance in Cousins’ four seasons in Minnesota.

Wilf addressed Cousins’ future with the team approaching the final year of the 33-year-old quarterback’s current contract.

Cousins’ Future Uncertain

Speaking to local media on Monday, January 10, Wilf maintained that the organization is looking for new leaders first. Any further speculation, especially on Cousins, will be decided once new leadership is in place.

Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder reporter Larry Fitzgerald Sr. referenced a statistic that no Super Bowl-winning quarterback in the past 10 seasons has taken up 13% or more of the team’s cap space. Cousins’ $45 million cap hit in 2022, which ranks third among NFL quarterbacks, is slated to take up 21% of the Vikings’ cap space next season.

Fitzgerald asked Wilf if Cousins’ hefty cap hit that doesn’t align with the formula for past success would be addressed and whether his presence has hurt the Vikings.

“I don’t want to be, to use the phrase, a Monday morning quarterback on this situation because we have to look forward,” Wilf replied. “We’re going to bring in the right people to help evaluate the answer to that question.”

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No Rebuild in Mind

Wilf was not ready to submit to a rebuild, saying the Vikings are confident in many pieces that remain in Minnesota.

“I wouldn’t classify (a transition in team leadership) as (a rebuild),” Wilf said. “I believe we can be super competitive in 2022.”

What direction the Vikings intend to go will be left to new leadership, which Wilf maintained will be “strong leaders, strong communicators and strong collaborators.”

Instead of consulting a search firm, Minnesota will conduct the search for a new general manager and coach through an internal search party but will “leave no stone unturned.”

“Whether it’s the league office or our relationship around the league,” Wilf said, adding the Vikings don’t want to “pigeonhole themselves in any direction, per ESPN’s Courtney Cronin.

The first order of business will be finding a new general manager, who once hired, will have a say in the head-coach hiring. Both searches have already begun internally, Wilf said.

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