Kirk Cousins deal has a no-trade, no-transition tag clause

AP

The general money to be paid by the Vikings to quarterback Kirk Cousins has been known for two days: Three years, $84 million, fully guaranteed.

The actual contract has some other key terms. Per a source with knowledge of the deal, Cousins’ contract has a no-trade clause. The deal also includes a term that keeps the Vikings from using the transition tag in 2021.

The deal includes a $3 million signing bonus, annual workout bonuses of $500,000, and fully guaranteed base salaries of $22.5 million in 2018, $27.5 million in 2019, and $29.5 million in 2020.

The cash flow is $26 million through one year, $54 million through two years, and $84 million through three years. The cap numbers are $24 million, $29 million, and $31 million.

The $31 million cap number means that use of the franchise tag in 2021 would cost $44.64 million, given that Cousins would be entitled to a 44-percent increase over his 2020 cap number, if the franchise tag is applied. Which explains why the deal doesn’t prevent the franchise tag.

(The transition tag would have entailed a 20-percent raise over the 2020 cap number, which equates to $37.2 million on a one-year deal for a right of first refusal.)

The deal also includes up to $2 million in annual incentives, which could push the deal to being worth $90 million over three years. Which suggests that the Jets were offering a straight $90 million over three, and that Cousins simply wanted a chance to match that amount in Minnesota.

69 responses to “Kirk Cousins deal has a no-trade, no-transition tag clause

  1. There’s also a clause that Rick Spielman has to call him “Mr. Cousins” at all times.

  2. The only way to reach 90 million is 3 straight Super Bowl wins. Every single Vikings fan wants him to be paid in full.

  3. So basically it’s the best NFL contract in the history of ever. Well played Kirk and even more so your agent.

  4. This will either go really good or really bad. WOW what an all in…. If it works, they win the SB this year, if it doesn’t, they wont sniff it for another 5.

  5. Nice deal, gives the Vikings room this year for other FA’s like Richardson and get some of their own pending FA’s wrapped up. With the cap going up each year this deal simply spreads the contract to that new money.

  6. Wow! I mean, Cousins deserves it after that amazing post-season run! This can’t go wrong!

  7. It’s Kirk Cousins, not Fran Tarkington for cripes sake. I think the Vikings have that Shallow Hal thing going on.

  8. Simple, he performs the way the team is expecting, they could sign him to an extension. He doesn’t, this is a 3 year marriage. By then, Sloter will be advanced and can take over the reigns.

  9. All the naysayers are just hiding their fear of the Vikings…and their jealousy. Kirk wanted the
    Vikings and the Vikings wanted Kirk. Dynasty forthcoming…#suckithaters

  10. I guess life is funny that way. We saw Aaron Rodgers fall in the draft, then was “forced” to sit behind Brett Favre for three years. That turned out well for Aaron. Then we see Cousins fall to the forth round; 2nd QB drafted by his team. This also worked well for him.

  11. wlubake says:

    March 15, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    There’s also a clause that Rick Spielman has to call him “Mr. Cousins” at all times.
    _________________________________________________________________________________

    GREAT LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL

  12. The no-trade clause is a wash: If Cousins is playing to expectations, the Vikings wouldn’t consider trading him, and if he isn’t no team would pick up his contract. The fully guaranteed money is the big deal. If Cousins falters, the team is stuck with that contract, and no real way to bring in an alternative.

    In three years, Rick Spielman will either be hailed as a genius, or he’ll be out Viking GM. That is ridiculous money for anything less than multiple Lombardi trophies.

    So now, what are Rodgers and Ryan going to demand in guaranteed money?

  13. allight59 says:
    March 15, 2018 at 4:17 pm
    All the naysayers are just hiding their fear of the Vikings…and their jealousy. Kirk wanted the
    Vikings and the Vikings wanted Kirk. Dynasty forthcoming…#suckithaters
    ————————-

    Usually you have to win something, ANYTHING multiple times to be a dynasty.

    Vikings haven’t even won it once.

    Slow your roll.

    And before you talk about dominating the Packers – even with bad decades for the Packers – they still have a winning record against you.

  14. allight59 says:
    March 15, 2018 at 4:17 pm
    All the naysayers are just hiding their fear of the Vikings…and their jealousy. Kirk wanted the Vikings and the Vikings wanted Kirk. Dynasty forthcoming…#suckithaters
    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    You’ve got to win the first one to start talking about dynasties.

  15. Big investment. Good for him. Hope some outside LB doesn’t take two full steps after he throws the ball….

  16. Say what you want about his play, (which by the way, was pretty good considering the Redskins general dysfunction, no running game, 22 different O Line combinations this season alone, and historically bad defenses every year)
    Cousins and his agent belong in the negotiating HOF.
    4th Rd. Backup to RG3
    $19 Million tag
    $24 Million tag
    $84 million garaunteed with no trade clause. Read that last part again. That may be the most player friendly contract in the history if the NFL.

  17. I honestly have no idea why people are freaking out about this contract. Do you people realize that the salary cap has increased by at least $10 million each of the last five years? This is not going to seem like that much money next year. This year’s money isn’t that much when you consider it’s only $4 million more than Sam Bradford.

  18. What a huge gamble. It’ll be interesting see to how this plays out. Also, will this be the new trends for qb’s with all the leverage. Smaller and fully guaranteed deals so they can sign 3-5 deal in a career…

  19. “grandsonofcoach says:
    March 15, 2018 at 4:13 pm
    All for a guy with a career losing record.”

    Right – like he’s to blame for the rest of his team. What about the other 50 guys? QB wins, just like pitcher wins in Baseball, are overrated.

  20. Hey I guess winning and money wasn’t important like he claimed… even though he wants the opportunity to match the 90 mil contract with incentives lol. He makes almost twice as much as Tom brady’sLast deal. No wonder NE stayed in contention for so long… He is the only true franchise qb to take real a team friendly deal. These other guys like Carr and Cousins who haven’t yet proven they’re franchise qb’s take as much as possible then brag about how they left 1 mil a year on the table for the team because they’re team first people lol. Give me a break! I mean I have no problem taking everything you can get but don’t paint yourself as a “team first guy”.

  21. Cap hit next three years:

    Kirk Cousins:
    2018 $24M
    2019 $29M
    2020 $31M

    Matthew Stafford:
    2018 $26.5M
    2019 $29.5M
    2020 $31.5M

    The hit to the salary cap for cutting Stafford each year is at least $20M, so his contract for the next three years is also essentially guaranteed. You still have a $10M cap hit in 2021 if you want to cut him so the Lions would still get hurt. The Vikings can walk away free and clear if they want to.

    What has Matthew Stafford ever done?! Why are we not hearing complaints about Matthew Stafford’s contract?! There is literally no difference between what these two quarterbacks have accomplished in the last three years stats-wise or record-wise.

  22. grandsonofcoach says:
    March 15, 2018 at 4:13 pm
    All for a guy with a career losing record.

    ————
    You do realize it’s a team sport, right? Keenum had a career losing record until he played in Minnesota, so I am not worried about Cousins career record…he’s not bringing the Redskins garbage defense with him…

  23. minneanderthals says:
    March 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm
    This guy works out well for Minnesota. They’ve loved cousins for a long time.
    %%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%
    One thing for sure, your beloved Packers won’t be SNIFFING a Division Crown for at least 3 years.
    On your other comment, low function is a part of that, you are excused for believing the state you referenced Begins with a W and not an M…But bless your little heart we understand.

  24. grandsonofcoach says:
    March 15, 2018 at 4:13 pm
    All for a guy with a career losing record.

    ————
    You do realize it’s a team sport, right? Keenum had a career losing record until he played in Minnesota, so I am not worried about Cousins career record…he’s not bringing the Redskins garbage defense with him…

    That’s a good point. Just concerned with all 3 years guaranteed. If he tears and ACL the first year and misses the next and isn’t right the 3rd it doesn’t matter he is guaranteed every cent.

  25. And if they don’t make the playoffs next season ? Rogers isn’t back. The bears got a lot better. And the Vikings just gave a q.b. 85 mil guaranteed who’s probably the third best qb in their division. Maybe even 4th depending on the bear qbs progress. Good luck

  26. MNfaninIL says:
    March 15, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    Nice deal, gives the Vikings room this year for other FA’s like Richardson and get some of their own pending FA’s wrapped up. With the cap going up each year this deal simply spreads the contract to that new money.

    Yes, this deal has no negative impact whatsoever on the Vikings cap. In fact, the Vikings cap actually increased when they signed Kirk Cousins.

  27. This is the moment they were referencing when they said Stafford’s deal would seem like a bargain. Yay???

  28. This guy worked the system perfectly, I don’t blame him one bit for getting every single penny he got, hell where else can a back up QB get paid 84 million over 3 years.

    The Vikings Organization will regret this signing for many many years ahead, the roster will be picked over during the next two years so they can pay him in year 3.

  29. He simply isn’t an elite QB. His numbers prove it.

    He’s an average QB who’s been paid like a superstar for some reason?????

  30. I wanted Keenum to stay, but still, find all of these comments funny. Most of the comments are coming from a fanbase that doesn’t know what it is like not having a franchise quarterback. And if you look at quarterback pay from here on out it all seems crazy. I think Kirk is getting crazy money, but have to trust the people who manage the books 2 years ahead in order to find a balance. Minnesota and even 100 times more the Wilfs want that trophy. Only a few teams have found the balance between franchise QB and team. Besides the Pats there hasn’t been a Dynasty for decades and I’m no Pats fan.

  31. patriots123456 says:

    This contract is financially insane IMO
    ########

    Wait until Rodgers gets his new deal. He’s going to want more (a lot more) and have it guaranteed too… He feels the Packers owe him, after they made his contract the richest NFL contract in history back in 2013, and he still has 2 years left on that deal.

    He doesn’t care. He wants more and he wants it now.

    The Packers only have Brett Hundley and Deshon Kizer if they don’t agree to Rodgers demands. And we all know how “good” those two QB’s are…

  32. The most popular comment by the peanut gallery is that Cuz is the third-best quarterback in the division. Please, somebody…anybody, explain to me how Matthew Stafford is better than Kirk Cousins. As I explained above, Stafford’s contract is actually worse than Cousins’ contract in terms of flexibility and cap hit each year. Now go look at the numbers each of them have put up the last three years. The totals are nearly identical. Last I checked, Stafford has never won a playoff game either.

  33. Actually shame on us. The Vikings let every viable QB option go without having Cousins locked up which shifted all the leverage to cousins and his agent. Well played by them, but we eliminated any opportunity to get him to take less to play with a legitimate contender. Spielmans a magician? We ran ourselves out of options and had to pay the price. We can only hope he plays like Aaron Rogers or Drew Brees, or Tom Brady or …………………

  34. “Win the Super Bowl and that contract will be worth it. Miss the playoffs and it’ll be the worst contract in the history of the NFL.”

    Not really. Some of the pre rookie cap contracts for top 2 QBs were so awful it would be hard to come close. The money thrown away to the Ryan Leafs of NFL history was beyond outrageous.

  35. wow this is such a dumb move. I suspect Viking fans will be sick of this guy by mid season and talking about it rivaling the Herschel Walker trade as the worst move in Franchise history.

  36. They would have been smarter to trade for Alex Smith. This eagle fan wasn’t worried about facing Cousins.

  37. Zimmer was so happy that he actually had an offense after the 1st New Orleans game last year and then Sam went down and the D was back to well be better hold the other team down to 17 or less to have a chance.
    Now if they can fortify the O line a bit the Vikings may actually field an O capable for scoring 30-40 on a regular basis. That will make playing D even easier.
    But agree with earlier poster.
    This is probably either going to go real well or real poorly. Kirk will need to win a lot of games early and be good at doing it to win over players and fans.

  38. Well, the good news is, when Cousins’ contract is up, Tom Brady will still be playing and still taking less money.

  39. This is about as all-in as all-in can be. The Vikings have adopted Snyder’s propensity to purchase victories, which always worked great in D.C.

  40. If the Vikings had lured Brees away from New Orleans, I’d be concerned. This signing doesn’t concern anybody, except perhaps the people whose heads are on the block if it doesn’t work.

  41. It’s SB or bust. There is really no other way to look at this contract.

  42. Seriously, people, why are you so afraid of the guaranteed money? Under what circumstances are they going to wish they could cut Cousins in the next three years? Is he going to play substantially worse than he did in Washington the last three seasons? That seems pretty unlikely. Is there going to be another quarterback available who is better? Who might that be? Is he going to tear an ACL? Wouldn’t it be better to hold onto him and have his services when he’s healed? Some people just like to complain.

  43. stellarperformance says:
    March 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm
    If the Vikings had lured Brees away from New Orleans, I’d be concerned. This signing doesn’t concern anybody, except perhaps the people whose heads are on the block if it doesn’t work.
    —————————————

    You should be concerned that the Vikings could start Siemian against the Packers and win both of them next season.

  44. A couple weeks back, I predicted that some team will overpay for Cousins and they will come to regret it, I just didn’t realize it would be fully guaranteed money so that regret will be even more painful.

    I find it ironic that Cousins conned the con men (Vikings owners, the Wilf family who were convicted in a $90M real estate fraud deal), and who says there isn’t any justice in this world.

  45. The Packers would have won 5-6 more games last year if Rodgers had played in all of the games.

    2 easy wins over the Vikings, win over the saints, lions, and Ravens. Probably the Steelers as well.

    That’s 13-3, with the Vikings at 11-5.

    Let’s just see what happens when Mo Wilkerson “accidentally” lands on your shiny new toy, like Barr did last year on Rodgers.

  46. Seriously, people, why are you so afraid of the guaranteed money? Under what circumstances are they going to wish they could cut Cousins in the next three years? Is he going to tear an ACL? Wouldn’t it be better to hold onto him and have his services when he’s healed? Some people just like to complain.
    _______________________

    I don’t know if he will tear an ACL, break a shoulder blade or whatever. Has been known to happen to a QB. Let’s say it happens Year 2, Game 15. What then? That circumstance.

  47. whatjusthapped says:
    March 15, 2018 at 6:23 pm
    A couple weeks back, I predicted that some team will overpay for Cousins and they will come to regret it, I just didn’t realize it would be fully guaranteed money so that regret will be even more painful.
    #####

    You do realize that the Packers are about to do a deal with Rodgers for more than what Cousins got.

    And Rodgers ability to do anything but throw dink and dunk passes is a serious question.

    The Packers have to pay him because the only alternative are Kizer or Huntley.

    Rodgers days of throwing the deep ball may be over…

  48. The football ‘experts’ pontificating on Cousins are hilarious. Let’s see all your credentials and body of work coaching and scouting in college and the NFL. I think I’m safe in putting my trust in Zimmer and his coaching staff over a bunch of pasty, over-weight, lite beer swilling arm-chair QBs.

  49. Liberalsruineverything says:
    March 15, 2018 at 6:21 pm
    You should be concerned that the Vikings could start Siemian against the Packers and win both of them next season.
    ////////////////////////////////

    Let us know when your “Predictions-$1.00” booth is set up at the county fair, will you?

  50. And Rodgers ability to do anything but throw dink and dunk passes is a serious question.
    _____

    I guess any quarterback’s career could turn on one play, huh?

    Enjoy that $84M KC GC Contract. Especially the early honeymoon games.

  51. packertruth says:

    Enjoy that $84M KC GC Contract.
    ####

    After the Packers complete Rodgers new deal – $84M over 3 years guaranteed will look like chump change.

    And Cousins is healthy!

    I’m thinking Rodgers will demand 3 years and $100M fully guaranteed. Which will mean he only adds 1 year to his current deal.

    And the Pack will have to pay him – because the option of Hundley or Kizer is not a viable
    option.

    The stockholders would be burning there certificates!!!

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