Kirk Cousins: If you keep doing your part, you get more opportunities

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After the Vikings lost to the 49ers in the divisional round of the playoffs, quarterback Kirk Cousins said that the fact that he has one year left on his contract was “just not my focus right now.”

Cousins signed a three-year deal with the Vikings before the 2018 season and the $29 million salary he’s due in 2020 makes a franchise tag almost impossible to envision, so the topic of what will come after next season probably isn’t going away.

It came up during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio from the Pro Bowl. Cousins was asked if it felt crazy to be back in a contract year and Cousins said he’s concentrating on playing well enough to ensure opportunities will keep coming his way.

“Well, that’s the NFL, right? I mean, you just keep going and you understand that if you keep playing and do your part then you’re going to get more opportunities,” Cousins said. “I’m blessed to be able to be looking back with two of those years behind me and looking forward to finishing out that contract in Minnesota.”

Cousins has plenty of company when it comes to expiring contracts in Minnesota. Head coach Mike Zimmer, General Manager Rick Spielman and running back Dalvin Cook are in the same boat, so there’s plenty for the Vikings to ponder about the direction of their franchise.

35 responses to “Kirk Cousins: If you keep doing your part, you get more opportunities

  1. You need to start making more out of your opportunities then.
    Aside from the Bears game and the 49ers game when the blocking just was horrible, both packer games were all on Cousins. He’s not that bad, and he’s also just not that very good. We’ve all seen enough to give him an extension or move on in a different direction. Christian Ponder, Tarvaris Jackson etc… It could be a lot worse. We’ll see.

  2. He had a very good season. Pretty tough to blame playing third and fourth string RB’s during Packer game, plus the 26th best O-line, on Cousins. Hey, if the 27-32nd best O-lines did better, I guess I’ll change my tune a little. Who were they? Cousins isn’t HOF, let’s stop comparing him to those that are. Then again, how’d Brees and Brady do this year in the playoffs?

  3. Kirk Cousins is a good Quarterback but he requires a very strong OL and running game. Kirk’s cap hit makes it very difficult to build that OL and run game. The Vikings are in prime position to start rebuilding this roster with youth.

  4. He’s an accurate passer but pretty limited overall. It’s not like Brady, who doesn’t move, but who makes up for it by having amazing pocket awareness and a next level ability to read the field. So for Cousins to be successful, you’d have to build a Patriot esque offense with tremendous pass blocking, and in the end Cousins is basically a journeyman level QB that has a ceiling of the Divisional Round.

  5. Except he’s not emblematic of that lofty statement. He has done nothing in this league; not with the Washingtons and not with the Vikings.

  6. How many times has a “high priced free agent QB’ won the Super Bowl?
    2 times. Drew Brees in SB44 and Peyton Manning in SB50. Sure there has been other free agent QB’s that have won the Super Bowl, but only 2 were of the huge FA contract ilk. You gotta get lucky sometimes. This team is going nowhere with Kirk Cousins. Is he a bad guy? No. Is he a bad player? No. Does he have what it takes to elevate his play consistently when the chips are down? No.

  7. The Redskins wish he was back so they could improve to 8-8. Cousins is only worried about winning. Sure, he isn’t giving any crazy discounts on a contract, but he also told the Redskins “no thanks” many times on a new contract. He’s made enough cash for many lifetimes. Now, I would redo his contract to a 3 year contract and free up about $10 mil in salary cap for this year.

  8. 54thtimeisthcharm says:
    January 23, 2020 at 2:44 pm
    This team is going nowhere with Kirk Cousins.
    /////////
    Ok, I’m listening. What is your plan then? Cut Cousins? Well, we know you can’t do that. Salary cap hit would be crippling. Draft a rookie and sit Cousins? No, that’s even more ridiculous. Ride out this next season and not care about winning? Because if you’re in charge and truly believe Cousins cannot win, then you need to start dumping salary for 2021.

    I’m genuinely curious what you do. And no, not signing Cousins is not a possibility in this realty. So, let’s pretend Spielman has just been fired and now you are the GM. Shoot!

  9. Just when are those opportunities going to occur? Before or after your ridiculous contract expires?

  10. snowlock2013 says:
    January 23, 2020 at 2:40 pm
    Telling you. Kirk has no, as in en oh intention of signing another contract in MN. He wants that open market money.
    //////////
    Why do you think that? Open market money isn’t automatically higher than your current team.

  11. 1westcoastfootballfan says:
    January 23, 2020 at 2:34 pm
    He’s an accurate passer but pretty limited overall. It’s not like Brady……
    ////////
    Come on man. You know who else isn’t like Brady? Every single QB to ever play the game. But hey, sure, let’s compare Cousins to the Greatest QB to ever play the game and see how he fares.

  12. uncommon1 says:
    January 23, 2020 at 2:29 pm
    Kirk Cousins is a good Quarterback but he requires a very strong OL and running game. Kirk’s cap hit makes it very difficult to build that OL and run game. The Vikings are in prime position to start rebuilding this roster with youth.
    ////////////
    Cousins, age 31
    Cook, age 24
    Diggs, age 26
    Hunter, age 25
    Thielen, age 29
    Barr, age 27
    H. Smith, age 30
    Kendricks, age 27
    Rudolph, age 30
    Bradbury, age 24
    Huges, age 22
    Irv Smith, Jr., age 21
    O’Neill, age 24
    Mattison, age 21
    Holton Hill, age 22

    Bro, how much younger do you want the core of this team to get? There is a fine point between young and cheap, and having guys actually experienced and good. How’s about the Vikings do what everybody in the world knows they need to do, replace the left guard and left tackle? And yes, that can be done by dumping contracts for Griffen, Rhodes, and Joseph, and possibly redoing Cousins contract to a 3 year deal.

  13. Like at least 90% of the quarterbacks in the NFL, Kirk has limitations that require he have certain things around him to be successful. Kirk’s primary limitations are a lack of pocket awareness and mobility. This means he needs a strong offensive line to give him time to find receivers downfield. They don’t have it and I don’t know if they ever will. Most teams don’t have it, but they have mobile quarterbacks who can scramble around to buy time and avoid sacks. I think Kirk is great but if there’s an opportunity to get a mobile quarterback they really like in the draft, they should jump on it.

  14. @conormacleod for a pro bowl QB in his prime that beat the Saints at home in a playoff game, someone is going to give him another contract like MN did. He knows that. I think the reason Spielman and Zim are currently under lame duck contracts is because we don’t know what Kirk’s going to do (Well, I know.). If Kirk leaves like I think he will, I think Spielman and Zimmer will be gone too. As great as Spielman has been in the draft, he sucks at picking QB’s. If Kirk leaves, I think the Wilf’s are going to want someone else picking the next QB. If that happens, they’ll get rid of Zim too so the next GM can pick his coach.

    It’s all connected.

  15. conormacleod says:
    January 23, 2020 at 2:54 pm
    54thtimeisthcharm says:
    January 23, 2020 at 2:44 pm
    This team is going nowhere with Kirk Cousins.
    /////////
    Ok, I’m listening. What is your plan then? Cut Cousins? Well, we know you can’t do that. Salary cap hit would be crippling. Draft a rookie and sit Cousins? No, that’s even more ridiculous. Ride out this next season and not care about winning? Because if you’re in charge and truly believe Cousins cannot win, then you need to start dumping salary for 2021.

    I’m genuinely curious what you do. And no, not signing Cousins is not a possibility in this realty. So, let’s pretend Spielman has just been fired and now you are the GM. Shoot!
    **********
    You hit the nail on the head. First thing, you thank Zimmer for his great tenure and explain that we need an offensive Head Coach to select and mentor our future Quarterback. You hire Eric Bienemy and everyone agrees that the 2020 season is probably going to be a bit difficult, but we want to build a young roster so we need to identify the young players on this team that can be apart of it. You cut aging, expensive veterans to clear cap for the future. You trade assets to obtain more draft stock in the hopes that you’re able to move up in the draft to select the QB that you have identified as your guy. You tell Kirk he will be a Free Agent after this season and to go out there and prove to the League how good he is. You continue building this team through the draft and have a couple of down years. 2021 and 2022 will be brighter if you’ve drafted well and kept the right veterans.

  16. Bro, how much younger do you want the core of this team to get? There is a fine point between young and cheap, and having guys actually experienced and good. How’s about the Vikings do what everybody in the world knows they need to do, replace the left guard and left tackle? And yes, that can be done by dumping contracts for Griffen, Rhodes, and Joseph, and possibly redoing Cousins contract to a 3 year deal.
    **********
    I have absolutely no belief that this is only a LG and LT away from winning a super bowl. We need much more than that. I didn’t realize people actually thought that

  17. 1westcoastfootballfan says:
    January 23, 2020 at 2:34 pm
    He’s an accurate passer but pretty limited overall. It’s not like Brady, who doesn’t move, but who makes up for it by having amazing pocket awareness and a next level ability to read the field. So for Cousins to be successful, you’d have to build a Patriot esque offense with tremendous pass blocking, and in the end Cousins is basically a journeyman level QB that has a ceiling of the Divisional Round.
    ————
    How many people do not understand that journeyman means you play for a lot of different teams for short periods of time. If two teams men’s your a journeyman than Steve Young, Brees, Manning, Montana, Favre, and maybe soon Brady are journeymen too.

  18. Every QB needs a good offensive line and you guys act like Kirk is the only one. How did all world Rodgers do with all the pressure in his face from SF? Between 28 seasons of NFL football Rodgers and Brees have had how many SB’s? 2 and only 2.

    Minnesota’s 142 blown blocks were 34 more than the second-most and their blown block percentage of 2.8% is also by far the highest number.

  19. It’s hard to write Cousins off just yet. His lack of mobility and pocket awareness are definitely his weaknesses. But his o-line sucks at pass blocking and he’s been in two different systems in the last two year. So if the Vikings can shore up the o-line, and Cousins familiarity with the offense allows him to get rid of the ball a little sooner, and Zimmer allows him to play a little more aggressively, Cousins should be better in 2020.

  20. I hope the Vikings do two things this off season. First that they do not extend Cousins until after we have seen season 3. And secondly I hope the draft a
    QB and some Off linemen &Def linemen.

  21. 84 Million guaranteed dollars!
    I could understand 16 million a year with performance incentives worth another 10 or 12 Million but, just handing over a pallet of cash for what has been a painful 2 years from a Fan’s prospective makes little sense.
    It was glaringly obvious the offensive line stinks. Naturally that is not Kirk’s fault.
    Unfortunately the money management side of the franchise appears woefully incompetent. So before I go how many long time fans here believe Mr. Cousins is worth 29 Million this year?

  22. I want to extend Cousins in order to alleviate some salary cap for 2020. And yes, draft O-line in round 1. And yes, maybe draft QB in round 2 or 3. The immediate concern is salary cap and O-line.

  23. If Kirk Cousins plays through his contract without extending his contract. His career earnings will be $125 Million 500,000 dollars or so. He has been over paid for the last 5 years. If Cousins wants to play for the Vikings like he said. He needs a $10 million dollar haircut. He can get by on $18 million a year. Paying him $30 some million dollars a year hurts the team. And he isn’t worth it.

  24. I think people who don’t like Kirk are mad because the Vikings paid him a LOT of money for what most people thought was an average — and his is average — quarterback. I think expectations would have been tempered with a lower salary. And even though most people think Case Keenum was an anomaly, a lot fans felt you had great success with Case, great team chemistry, and a lower price.

  25. I’ve watched every game he’s played as the Vikings QB. On a scale of 1-10 with Brady and Rodgers 10’s, Kirk is a solid 7. When protected he’s a 9, when not he’s a 5. I don’t see him “learning new tricks” as a 30 year old QB, so I don’t think he will be any better than what he is now. I don’t think you can teach him “Pocket Presence” and sliding around to avoid pressure like Brady does. So basically he’s an above average, good QB, but not great. If he re signs with the Vikings for a contract that is consistent with his ability, that allows the Vikings to build around him, then I’m good with that. We could do far worse.

  26. Some of you simply are not in tune with the QB market. Somebody said $16 mil a year plus incentives of $10 mil. Which QB’s have that contract? None.

    Newton, Rivers, Eli, Foles, Flacco. Those are your $20-22 mil a year QB’s. Goff, Wentz, Ryan. $30 mil plus. Dalton and Brissett are your $16 mil QB’s. Then it drops to guys on rookie deals. If you don’t want Cousins, fine. But it’s unrealistic to read you guys saying what YOU think he should sign for. Not happening.

  27. I think it all gets worked out. One scenario is the Wilfs offer him a 2-year extension with (no full guarantees) with a hefty signing bonus and try to free up some available cap space. If he takes it, great. Build on. If he doesn’t, let him prove it and see where things are after 2020.

    He played pretty damn well this year. Clearly Minnesota’s most consistent offensive player.

  28. Cousins is closer to Dalton than he is Wilson that gets paid $30 million plus that’s why he should be paid more like that Connor. And I never understood the outrage over the 3 year fully guaranteed contract he got. It is not like the Vikings were going to cut him before the 3 years were up. So who cares if it was fully guaranteed or not? Cousins was getting the money. I also know he isn’t going to be sign for what I think he should, not sure so why you say something like that. But it hurts the team signing Cousins for $30 million. Again you could draft a QB this year and not sit Cousins this year too.

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