Mike Zimmer: Kirk Cousins signing doesn’t make this “Super Bowl or bust”

AP

The Vikings finished a game short of the Super Bowl last season after going 13-3 in the regular season, but they decided to shake things up on offense.

Minnesota opted against re-signing quarterback Case Keenum and signed Kirk Cousins to a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract instead. For many, the message behind that move was that Cousins would be able to get the team over the hump that they couldn’t clear with Keenum under center.

Coach Mike Zimmer said at the league meetings that he isn’t viewing things that way.

“I don’t look at this as Super Bowl or bust,” Zimmer said, via Tom Pelissero of NFL Media.

Managing expectations in March may be a wise approach, but there’s little doubt that they are going to still be high once the Vikings hit the field in Minnesota. Even a small step backward is going to be met with negative reactions and three more years without a Vikings Super Bowl win is unlikely to lead to warm feelings about the choices made this offseason.

78 responses to “Mike Zimmer: Kirk Cousins signing doesn’t make this “Super Bowl or bust”

  1. Mike Zimmer: Kirk Cousins signing doesn’t make this “Super Bowl or bust”

    Yeah…it kinda does. Anything less will make this next season a failure for you guys.

  2. NFCCG or bust, It’s hard in any year to repeat success and the
    turn over each year of teams in the playoffs are the best example.

  3. Yes, Zim, it does. You were 60 minutes from a Super Bowl with a career backup you let walk away.

    It very much is Super Bowl or bust.

  4. jjackwagon says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:02 am
    Mike Zimmer: Kirk Cousins signing doesn’t make this “Super Bowl or bust”

    Yeah…it kinda does. Anything less will make this next season a failure for you guys.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    If they miss or lose the Super Bowl, then sure. They will have failed… just like 31 other teams did.

  5. Last year was crazy, the Vikings had a great year. I’m a season ticket holder and even I don’t believe they will duplicate 13-3. It’s a much tougher schedule so when they go 11-5, 12-4 is a stretch, I’ll still be pleased. You just have to get into the playoffs and let it all play out. Not making the SB next year is not a bust. Not making the SB at all with Cousins while he’s in purple, then yeah, maybe a bust.

  6. ryanvanslooten says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:05 am
    I love Zim, but I’d rather hear him say, “Isn’t every season Super Bowl or bust?”.
    ////////

    I totally agree you, not with just the Vikings but isn’t that what every team is thinking when they report to camp? My take is the Vikings have three years to win a Super Bowl before they can call the Cousins signing a bust. There are alot of factors that go into a season we as fans all know. Somethings can’t be prevented mainly injuries, bad calls, bad bounce,etc

  7. It is not Super Bowl or Bust. If they don’t win the Super Bowl, the Sun will come up the next day. It is a game, not life or death.They made the team better and made it more likely that we beat Green Bay again. Like 3 out of the last 4 times. Beating Green Bay and their lowly fans is all I care about.

  8. It’s either Super Bowl or….have a decent team year in and year out. I like Cousins a lot but I don’t know that he’s the answer to get them over the hump.

  9. When you look at what the Ram’s did this offseason you have to realize how tough it is to get to the top.
    Sammy Watkins will be disappointed that he left.

  10. winningisabrees says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:24 am
    Saints almost beat em at home if not for one bonehead play. they further away than they think. I think Zimmer understands this
    _____________________

    Vikes blow them out if not for a bonehead throw from their JV QB and an even more fluky blocked punt to set up 2 very short TD drives. Shouldn’t have come down to the last few minutes anyway.
    This coming year isn’t like 2010 when the band was breaking up at the end of the year. Vikes will be fine for the next 5 years.

  11. winningisabrees says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:24 am
    Saints almost beat em at home if not for one bonehead play. they further away than they think. I think Zimmer understands this
    ***********
    Let me get this straight. The team that beat a very good Saints team, then lost in NFCCG, then signed the best available QB is further away they think?

  12. The truth is, there is no such thing as a “Super Bowl Or Bust Signing”. No exectuive, or coach would ever EXPECT to win a Super Bowl because of ONE PLAYER ACQUISITION. A singler player can make a difference, and keep a team competitive for a number of years, giving them a chance to CONTEND for titles, but there are never any GUARANTEED Super Bowls.

  13. youngs79 says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:21 am
    It is not Super Bowl or Bust. If they don’t win the Super Bowl, the Sun will come up the next day. It is a game, not life or death.They made the team better and made it more likely that we beat Green Bay again. Like 3 out of the last 4 times. Beating Green Bay and their lowly fans is all I care about.

    =======

    You are consumed with envy. The Packers — and their fans — are residing rent-free in your head.

  14. It’s not super bowl or bust. Take it for what it is, an effort to stabilize QB after wasting a decade on Tarvaris, Ponder and Bridgewater. I liked Case, but he is what he is, and he would never be the difference-making QB a playoff contender will need at various points in a season. Particularly playing a division champ schedule. I would not have high hopes entering a season with Case against that list of opposing QBs.

  15. Earth-to-Zimmer: When you send a quarterback with a QB rating of 98.3 and a TD-to-INT ratio of 3:1 packing, and your front office goes all-in by signing a guy to the largest QB contract in the hIstory of the game, guaranteed, then yes………….it is most definitely “SuperBowl or Bust.”

    Backtracking this soon with a preemptive strike to save your job (already) is not the way to go.

  16. And the delusion of these NFL guys rolls on. Its not ultimately what he says, the very fact that the questions has entered almost everybody’s minds as he makes such a risky decision to start new with a QB who hasn’t even won a single play off game (not Tom Brady) but Cousins, and gives him an unprecedented deal, will cloud over every thing the Vikings do next year. Had he have kept keenam for a low price, the FEEL would not have been as intense. But he took a mans move by hoping this guy would lift your team as the guy they rolled the dice on hasn’t won anything. And the Vikings are sitting on ready. I assure you, the owner IS thinking it.

  17. There are so many things that can kill a season like injury’s. You have to look at as they went out and got the beat player available at the most important position in football and let the chips fall where they may.

  18. Beating Green Bay and their lowly fans is all I care about.
    ——
    Thanks for admitting what everyone already knew about Viking fans.

    And I love that when you guys don’t get any packer fans trolling your stories you actually try to lure them out. Too funny. Just be happy you got a good team guys and quit worrying about us so much. It’s a bad look.

  19. He is saying that because he knows that Cousins isn’t a winner and he isn’t going to risk his job pinning his hopes to a QB with a career losing record.

  20. Case Keenum didn’t fail the Vikings last year – their defense did. 38-7 or whatever it was isn’t on the offense. So I still say that signing Cousins was a desperation move by a team that just can’t seem to find a championship – and yes Zim, it is a trophy or people, including your fans, will wonder why you are paying someone $84M guaranteed when you went 13-3 and 60 minutes from the big one last year.

  21. Super Bowl or Bust…..in Minnesota???

    Isn’t that like saying we are going to send humans to the surface of the sun and return them home safely or bust?

    Zimmer is delusional. It is Super Bowl or bust for him and Cousins. They are now attached at the hip. If they don’t win a title (and we all know about the 57 year streak and never having won one) Zimmer and Cousins will both be unceremoniously discarded onto the trash heap with the rest of the coaches and QB who were on that team.

  22. yeah it does. You lost the NFC championship with a QB that signed for 10 million less/year. Getting to the Super Bowl is not enough. Cousins has to win it to be worth it.

  23. I’m a Cousins fan and it is truly Super Bowl or bust for Cousins. He’s always been saddled with a non-existent defense – now that barrier has been removed. Cousins now has to show he can string five, six, or more wins together in a row. He’s yet to show that other than the year he went to the playoffs and his defense never looked like they had prepared for the cheese-cheater cheating offense of exploiting pre-snap defensive penalties.

  24. Should be interesting. The Vikings have built a solid team and with Cousins, you never know. The Packers have their work cut out for them, in the division, let alone the league.

  25. The Vikings have won back to back division titles only once in the last 40 years. They just can’t handle playing a first place schedule. Now they have the 3rd best QB in the NFCN, behind Rodgers and Stafford. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Trubisky have a better season than Cousins.

  26. Zimmer appears to be a little weak on the outside not sure he has the personel himself. The team went all in with a fully guaranteed contract for a qb that was replaced by Alex Smith. Spielman has completely failed with qb’s since his days in Miami and it appears Zimmer has his doubts as well. Schism.

  27. Not only is the SB the goal for every damn team, the NFL will shortly see that the contract given Cousins is market rate for a starting QB not named Tom Brady (who can afford to take a below market contract). I hope there is pressure on the team to win — that’s the point. Better than hoping for an 8-8 record.

  28. When you have the best front office and the most accumulated talent along with some of the best coaching, expectations will follow. You will still need some things to fall in place throughout a season. The Vikings have made some runs here and there but this particular team is set up for the long run, not just a smash and grab.

  29. 0-52. If you can’t make it happen then why keep you? I question his leadership skills sometimes. Telling the team they got lucky to beat the Saints & pointing out all their flaws was the wrong approach and totally deflated the Vikings vs phi. The thing is he did the same thing the year prior saying to an undefeated team they were lucky and not that good and fat cats get slaughtered. Then that cutting heads off of stuffed cats nonsense. After that the wheels fell off but he repeated the same scenario the next year to a tee. He learned zero from his previous mistakes & even repeated them. That and his inability to allow the D coordinator do his job while Zim sticks to being HC are his flaws. Start pumping your team up and stop bringing them down. You’re not Parcells.

  30. The Cousins move was made to give the Vikings the best chance to compete for a Super Bowl for the next few years. There are a lot of good teams in the NFC, with the Eagles, Saints, Rams, Panthers, and Falcons legitimate contenders. The Saints and Rams have certainly made moves that have improved them. The Cowboys, Packers, and Cardinals should be better than they were last year. It will be difficult enough just to keep up with everybody else without putting the expectation of a Super Bowl on them. You try to be as good as you can for as long as you can and just hope things break your way in the playoffs. That’s how every team should be thinking.

  31. It’s weird how even though the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl so many fans of other teams are so outwardly jealous of the Vikings and their fan base. Things I don’t care for do not occupy that much space in my head to the point that I must let you know I don’t like it. P.S. Packers suck…

  32. ryanvanslooten says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:05 am
    I love Zim, but I’d rather hear him say, “Isn’t every season Super Bowl or bust?”.

    True but you have to be careful how you say it. Look how stupid Mark Murphy looked last summer saying it to thousands of Porker owners.

  33. @hardcorevikesfan

    If they miss or lose the Super Bowl, then sure. They will have failed… just like 31 other teams did.

    ——————————————————————————————

    With your math, there would be no super bowl winner.

  34. Liberalsruineverything says:
    March 27, 2018 at 11:11 am
    When you have the best front office and the most accumulated talent along with some of the best coaching, expectations will follow. You will still need some things to fall in place throughout a season. The Vikings have made some runs here and there but this particular team is set up for the long run, not just a smash and grab.
    ////////////////////

    Oh oh. You made me laugh my orange juice out my nose. Dang.

  35. lenthevikesfan says:
    March 27, 2018 at 11:37 am
    It’s weird how even though the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl so many fans of other teams are so outwardly jealous of the Vikings and their fan base. Things I don’t care for do not occupy that much space in my head to the point that I must let you know I don’t like it. P.S. Packers suck…
    ________________

    The irony of this post is hilarious.

  36. cookerduff123 says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:31 am

    It’s either Super Bowl or….have a decent team year in and year out. I like Cousins a lot but I don’t know that he’s the answer to get them over the hump.
    _________

    Nobody knows if Cousins is the player to get them over the hump. That’s why it’s stupid to say the Vikings should be expected to win the Super Bowl with him. The calculation is that Cousins is more likely to get the team over the hump than Keenum is. If they kept Keenum, nobody would be expecting a Super Bowl. I’d say it’s a good sign that the team isn’t afraid to raise expectations by getting the best quarterback available.

  37. stellarperformance says:
    March 27, 2018 at 9:56 am

    Earth-to-Zimmer: When you send a quarterback with a QB rating of 98.3 and a TD-to-INT ratio of 3:1 packing, and your front office goes all-in by signing a guy to the largest QB contract in the hIstory of the game, guaranteed, then yes………….it is most definitely “SuperBowl or Bust.”

    Backtracking this soon with a preemptive strike to save your job (already) is not the way to go.
    _____________

    So you think it makes more sense for Zimmer to predict a Super Bowl championship this year, like Mark Murphy did last year? Maybe Zimmer understands that championships depend on a lot more than a quarterback and he doesn’t want to look stupid if something unexpected happens. I’m surprised you haven’t learned that lesson yet.

  38. I haven’t seen Viking fans so excited and predicting a Superbowl because of a new QB since:

    Keenum
    Bradford
    Bridgewater
    Ponder
    Joe Webb
    Matt Cassel
    Josh Freeman
    McNabb
    Tavaris
    Favre
    Gus Ferotte

  39. stellarperformance says:
    March 27, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    Oh oh. You made me laugh my orange juice out my nose. Dang.
    —————————————

    Glad I could make you laugh. Usually you are crying.

  40. Zimmer isn’t the one under the most pressure here; that would be Rick Spielman, the man who drafted Christian Ponder #12 overall (when he was rated as a third rounder at best), and let the man he picked as Ponder’s replacement just three years later walk away (albeit injured), along with another injury-prone QB who he traded a #1 pick for to replaced the injured QB drafted in 2014.

    In other words, Rick Spielman has spent three first round draft picks since 2011 on the next Viking QB of the future, and his starter for 2018 is not one of those three QBs. If Cousins doesn’t perform as well in 2018 as Keenum did last season, and the Vikings get stuck with an $84 million contract they can’t get out of, Rick Spielman will be the first guy out the door.

    Don’t get me wrong, I hope that doesn’t happen. But like most Viking fans, a consistent answer to the QB position is about three decades overdue.

  41. The Vikings traded a first and a fourth for Bradford two years ago because they thought they had a legitimate shot at the Super Bowl. Ha.

    Zimmer is lucky to have his one playoff victory. Let’s see if he can get another one without Pat Shurmur running his offense. And if he gets another one, then maybe talk about the Super Bowl.

  42. Having some stability at the position is a big part of signing Kirk Cousins. It’s amazing the Vikings have done as well as they have (plus humbling the legendary* Packers) with a revolving door at the QB position. They’ve come right out and said the goal is -and will remain- winning a championship. The rest is press driven hype and troll fodder. When I read the Vikes will pay Cousins, Siemian and Sloter only 4-million more per year than Bradford, Bridgewater, Keenum and Sloter the move made a lot more sense. Vikings have GREAT management!

    (* Only in their minds)

  43. When an organization/GM commit a fully guaranteed contract for $84 M to a QB for three years every year is a Super Bowl or bust season. It seems like they are starting to make excuses for Kirk Cousins already and he hasn’t played a single football game for the Vikings. The Lions, Bears are on paper better football teams that coupled with a healthy Aaron Rodgers the Vikings will not run through the NFC North. Kirk Cousins has not shown that he can make an NFL team better or that he can elevate his play according to the level of play. I think this was a bad signing for the Vikings! Kirk Cousins signing has the potential of being the biggest bust in free agency history. The Vikings won’t come close to the success they had last season! Let the excuses begin!

  44. For everyone out there that just LOVES to through Keenums stats out there, they always conveniently just quote last year’s stats. Those of us who watched him regress back to the mean the last 6 games of the season, all know that the stats below are WAY more accurate to who “..the Vikings just let walk away…” than just this last year’s.

    Case Keenum Career Stats: Record 20-18-0
    Comp: 779 / Att: 1258 = 61.9% /Yds = 8771
    TD: 46 / INT: 27 = Rating 86.0

  45. Cousins will make $84 million over the next three years with a cap hit of $24 million in 2018.

    This is what other quarterbacks will make over the next three years:

    Matthew Stafford – $87.5 million, 2018 cap hit of $26.5 million
    Jimmy Garoppolo – $83.6 million, 2018 cap hit of $37 million
    Andrew Luck – $80.325 million, 2018 cap hit of $24.4 million
    Joe Flacco – $79.5 million, 2018 cap hit of $24.75 million
    Derek Carr – $69 million, 2018 cap hit of $25 million

    All of these players have a bigger cap hit than Cousins this year. Stafford will make more over three years and Garoppolo, Luck, and Flacco are close. Stafford, Garoppolo, and Flacco have large dead cap money over the next three years so their contracts are essentially guaranteed.

    Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers will have larger 3-year salaries than Cousins within a few months and will probably have larger 2018 cap hits.

    Last year, Flacco and Carson Palmer had larger cap hits than Cousins has this year.

    People hear 3 years guaranteed and assume Cousins is being overpaid with an oppressive contract. What he got is the going rate for a starting quarterback getting a new contract. Why aren’t we saying Super Bowl or Bust for the Lions, the 49ers, the Colts, the Ravens, the Raiders, the Falcons, and the Packers?

  46. Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    March 27, 2018 at 4:36 pm
    Why aren’t we saying Super Bowl or Bust for the Lions, the 49ers, the Colts, the Ravens, the Raiders, the Falcons, and the Packers?
    ///////////////////////////////////

    Because none of those teams smell desperate, like the Vikings do.

  47. stellarperformance says:
    March 27, 2018 at 7:57 pm
    Rob Brzezinski is a Magician says:
    March 27, 2018 at 4:36 pm
    Why aren’t we saying Super Bowl or Bust for the Lions, the 49ers, the Colts, the Ravens, the Raiders, the Falcons, and the Packers?
    ///////////////////////////////////

    Because none of those teams smell desperate, like the Vikings do.
    ——————————————

    If the Vikings fired their GM, most of their coaches and cut their best offensive position player then the Vikings would look desperate.

  48. Zimmer is free to say anything he wants but the reality remains, the Vikings didn’t guarantee $84M to a QB that has never even won a playoff game for the hell of it. The Vikings will soon find out, you have to take advantage of the few chances you get, like when a DB falls down and allows the Vikings to advance in the playoffs. They promptly took that chance and pooped their pants.

    So it is Superbowl or bust, the fact that Zimmer denied it only makes it more laughable.

  49. Oh wow… what’s wrong with you guys?! We are paying our 3 qbs 4 mil more than we did the ones we had last year. I also love seeing the amount of ignorance when referring to past moves Rick spielman has made, when said move was made before he was actually the GM. Also, as a Vikings fan, I for one will enjoy going into a game feeling like my qb isn’t gonna cause me to hafta hold my breath for 3 and a half hours the way keenum did, no matter how much I liked him. And as far as zim goes on this stuff you guys are blowing so far out of proportion, it has nothing to do with his faith in cousins or anything else of that type. It’s coach speak dummies. Look between us and the rams, we both have made clear steps to take a serious run at the super bowl. And while you want to instil in your players that they’re fully capable of winning it all, you have to temper expectations, especially this time of year. You have to think you’re the best, while also being self aware enough to recognize that you’re always beatable. It’s the best thing he could do right now. And this absolutely not a single year SB or bust, that’s ignorant. This is a we need to win one in the next 3 years assuming cousins only lasts that long. What? Do you think every year the saints don’t win a SB with breeze is a bust? Gosh how many busts have the packers had under their hall of fame qbs? Manning with the Colts? This game is hard, and a lot of teams improved including us.

  50. I wouldn’t say Super Bowl or bust. Now…if the Vikings fail to make the playoffs and at least advance 2 out of the next 3 years. That’s another story. Zimmer and Rick will be gone.

  51. TruFBFan says:
    March 27, 2018 at 10:19 am
    Case Keenum didn’t fail the Vikings last year – their defense did. 38-7 or whatever it was isn’t on the offense. So I still say that signing Cousins was a desperation move by a team that just can’t seem to find a championship – and yes Zim, it is a trophy or people, including your fans, will wonder why you are paying someone $84M guaranteed when you went 13-3 and 60 minutes from the big one last year.
    ————

    “Case Keenum didn’t fail the Vikings last year – the defense did”. Yes the defense gave up 31 points, but the offense only scoring 7 points was on Keenum… a pick six with the game at 7-7 and then a fumble in the red zone with the score 21-7 didn’t do the defense any favors…I like Keenum and love what he did for the team last season…but this narrative that they could just stand pat and expect to duplicate last season is way off…

  52. The Vikings have a pretty good chance to get into the playoffs and a team capable of advancing to the Super Bowl. I’m sure Zimmer thinks the same thing. There are a bunch of other teams that can say the same thing. Most of the time the Super Bowl winner has a top level qb. It’s the most important position in the game. I think the Vikings put themselves in a decent spot. They will just have to work the draft and cap to maximize their talent at other positions a little better the next few years with his cap hit increasing in ‘19 and ‘20. We will definitely lose a player or two because of the cap – likely Diggs with the contracts that some of the WRs are getting this year. In the end the ultimate goal for every team each year is winning the Super Bowl. Some just have a more realistic chance than others.

  53. From a former Redskins fan I am excited to see Kirk as a Viking. In his three years as a starter the rushing attack has been poor at best. They average around 1,600 yards or less. The one year they ran the ball better (not good) was Kirk’s best year. He threw for 29 TD’s and many of them were in the long range variety on play action. His QB rating was over 100 for the year. Another note that never seems to get press. Outside of Wilson and Cam Kirk has more rushing TD’s than any other QB in the league for the past 3 years.

  54. John Hopkins, it was so nice to read a comment from a redskins fan who is rational and not spewing irrelevant win loss records or playoff wins about the whole 3 seasons cousins played on a team that wasn’t impressive. I’m not sure why your fellow fans feel as if they aren’t being redskins fans if they don’t hate Kirk cousins right now and scream as if they somehow came up with a definitive equation to prove Alex Smith is better than cousins or that cousins is the worst qb in the league. I’m happy to see Bridgewater get another chance and for a team to take a flyer on him. Wish he was with us as a backup still but I wish him all the success in the world. Why can’t redskins do the same for cousins? They act as if he franchise tagged himself repeatedly and then he orchestrated the Alex Smith trade that came long before not only they had had a convo with cousins, but before cousins had declared his intentions at all. It’s as if they think the redskins front office had nothing to do with cousins no longer being there. Just because it didn’t work out there doesn’t mean he’s a horrible qb. Again thank you for being a breath of fresh air

  55. Also I so wish everyone was smart enough that they didn’t grade the talent, success, and future of the Vikings 2017 season and all future seasons based souly on the NFCCG. I’m not gonna defend the Vikings play cause they were atrocious, but any one who has every played a sport or called themselves an athlete has played in a game where you were even the betting favorite, at the very least an even match to your opponent, and even tho you know it and you plan and prepare for the game to what seems like perfection, and be a supremely talented team, and somehow walk out there and lay an egg like you were a middle school jv player playing against the university of Alabama. The eagles and Vikings go head to head 10 times, and the game doesn’t come out that more than that 1 one time. I’m not calling it a fluke, I’m not making excuses, it just happens to everyone and elite athletes and teams are no different on a given day. I’m not sure why a team that goes 13-3 using by all accounts their 3rd qb, should be graded by this one game alone, no matter how important it was. To do so is an emotional way of thinking and the only way to really analyze a team is by thinking logical. To think this team will regress souly based on that game is short sighted and a living in the now opinion. While I think keenum was great last year, even if I did hold my breath the entire time he was on the field, he also shouldn’t be judged by said game. Nor should he be judged by last season as he had some rough seasons leading into it.

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