Vikings create $16 million in cap room with Kirk Cousins restructure

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - New York Giants v Minnesota Vikings
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Word over the weekend was that the Vikings and quarterback Kirk Cousins were not close to an agreement about a contract extension, so the team has gone another route to lower his cap number for the 2023 season.

Ian Rapoport if NFL Media reports that the team has converted a chunk of Cousins’ compensation into a signing bonus. According to multiple reports, the result is $16 million cap space for the coming season, which is the final one on Cousins’ contract. The remaining hit pushed into the two void years that are tacked onto his deal.

Cousins had a base salary of $10 million and a roster bonus of $20 million before the conversion.

In addition to creating cap space, the restructuring could lower Cousins’ salary for the 2023 season and make it easier for another team to absorb his contract in a trade. There’s no sign at present that the Vikings are considering anything other than getting compliant with the salary cap, however.

UPDATE 1:53 p.m. ET: Albert Breer of reports that Cousins’ salary is unchanged and that the restructure only involves converting the roster bonus. Two more void years have been added to the contract to further spread out the cap hit.

20 responses to “Vikings create $16 million in cap room with Kirk Cousins restructure

  1. please don’t extend this guy until he proves he can actually win in the playoffs. Stop settling for regular season success!

  2. Translation, even after he leaves next year, they’ll still be paying him for two more years

  3. I can see it now. They trade him and he wins a SB for that team. Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

  4. So Minnesota just anchored themselves to a mediocre qb and has guaranteed themselves they won’t be winning a chip in the next couple of years.

  5. “Translation, even after he leaves next year, they’ll still be paying him for two more years…”


    Actually, we are currently now on the hook for 4 add’l years of dead money if no extension is signed. Kirk already had void years in 2024 and 2025, now there’s 2 additional void years in 2026 and 2027. SO they owe $10,250,000 in both 24 and 25, and 4 million in 26 and 27. That said, the new regime created cap space and flexibility which we needed. They HAD to kick the can down the road, but at least we can pivot if a situation warrants it. And if we get a new rookie QB on a cheap deal, $10,250,000 on top of a rookie salary won’t hamstring us all that much in the whole scheme of things. We didn’t quite go from ‘hands tied’ to ‘hands free’ but we are getting closer.

  6. “please don’t extend this guy until he proves he can actually win in the playoffs”

    In the final Vikes play of the divisional round against the Giants when it was get a first down or lose, sackless Kirk decided to throw a 4 yard checkdown that had zero chance of success because he didn’t have the balls to try and throw it into the tight window that would have been required to hit the receiver who was beyond the 1st down marker. He was more concerned with not throwing an INT or having a pass defensed than winning.

    He will never get anyone to the Super Bowl or win one. He probably has the skill he just does not have the confidence under the bright lights of the playoffs.

  7. God I hate this so much. Stop kicking the cousins cap down the road!! E are going to be paying for this contract into 2030

  8. Get rid of him as soon as possible no matter what the cap hit is. Of course Kwesi will extend the contract and screw things up.

  9. I don’t think people understand how the void year thing works. If Cousins isn’t on the team next year, the money owed isn’t still spread across the void years so that you’re paying a little each year for four years after he’s gone. If he’s gone, they will have had to cut him, meaning everything you still owe on his contract is accelerated to the salary cap that year. So you cut him, you have $28.5 million dead cap hit that year, or you can spread it over two years if you make it a post-June 1 cut. The extra void years were just to lessen his cap hit this year.

  10. Cool! Now the Vikings can trade Cousins and their first round pick (#23 overall) to Washington for Washington’s 2023 first round pick (#16 over all) so the Vikings can draft one of the top CBs.

  11. I didn’t know Cousins played Defense in the Giants game. Hard to be perfect every game when the D gives up 35 points.

  12. All of the geniuses who said the Vikings would have to cut all veterans never even realized that this was an option. The Vikings are successfully clearing cap space, and will continue to look for trade partners for Z Smith and Cook. If none are found, then they’ll be cut.
    That will enable them to sign a couple of FA on defense.
    Re-signing Bradbury was a good move.
    No need to completely read it down. Get younger guys on the field, see what you can do in a weak division, and continue the restructure

  13. Another thing about those void years is Cousins won’t be an unrestricted free agent at the end of this year. The Vikings have to choose to move on from him, which means he does not count for getting a compensatory draft pick. If you want to get any assets for Cousins, you have to trade him this year.

  14. The cap hit down the road is limited because this was not an extension — no more new or increased money, not to mention extending to a time with the increased cap from the TV contracts. This doesn’t really hurt down the road, gives flexibility in 2023 and also gives cheesers who either don’t understand or care about the cap to chime in on Cousins once again as they watch their HOF QB string on his team on the way out of Dodge.

  15. If I’m not mistaken, isn’t this the second time Cousins has restructured his deal? I do remember he was extended last season. At any rate, Kirk is again betting on himself and if really does want to retire a Viking, he’ll have to be spectacular in 2023.

    Personally, I can’t shake the feeling Minnesota is moving uo to draft a QB.

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