Adam Schefter Believes Vikings Will Extend Kirk Cousins

Photo: Stephen Maturen – Getty Images

Everyone is asking the same question. What will the Minnesota Vikings do with Kirk Cousins and his massive $45 million cap hit in 2022? They only have two realistic options because entering the season with Kirk accounting for 21% of the team’s salary cap. The Vikings can trade him or they can extend his contract beyond 2022. Doing that would massively reduce Cousins’ cap hit for next season and sign him up to stay in purple long term.

Opinions are all over the place on this dilemma and, now that the Vikings have found their new general manager and head coach, it’s on the forefront of minds. But not all opinions are created equal. Like when the NFL insider, Adam Schefter, goes on ESPN during their coverage of the Pro Bowl and weighs in on the subject. That’s what happened Sunday.

“Here’s the thing you have to keep in mind: They’re going to be bringing in (head coach) Kevin O’Connell. Kevin O’Connell worked with Kirk Cousins in Washington. Kirk Cousins endorsed Kevin O’Connell for that job. One of the reasons Kevin kind of wants that (Minnesota) job is because of Kirk Cousins. There’s a relationship.”

“So that tells me that Minnesota and Kirk Cousins will figure out something, and maybe come up with a restructured contract that adds years on for Kirk Cousins and gives the Vikings salary cap relief this offseason, to give them more money to spend on other players.”

Adam Schefter – ESPN (Quote via NESN.com)

Kirk Cousins Endorsed O’Connell?

This part of Schefter’s quote is what intrigues me the most. Would the Wilfs or new general manager, Adofo-Mensah, really go to Kirk Cousins as part of their head coach hiring process? But when you take a step back and think about, why wouldn’t they tap on Cousins?.

They’re hiring a new leader for their football team and have Kirk in-house. He worked very closely with O’Connell just five years ago (2017) when he was Kirk’s QB’s coach in Washington. Why wouldn’t the Vikings’ search committee use Cousins as a resource in that situation?

Extension Doesn’t Eliminate Trade

Kirk Cousins wants to be in Minnesota and he’s made that very clear. I’d also imagine the prospects of working with an offensive mind like Kevin O’Connell is extremely enticing. If Kirk is going to wear Vikings purple in 2022, that’s the mindset he’ll need entering negotiations.

The new regime at TCO Performance Center will not want to marry themselves to three more years of Cousins without an easy way to get out of the deal if things go sideways. Should Kirk be open to an extension that makes him easy to trade next offseason, a new deal becomes pretty easy to negotiate.

Remember, the Minnesota Vikings offense has a lot of weapons to feed and they’re very unlikely to find a quarterback in the upcoming draft who is capable of feeding all of them in his rookie season. So why bring in a below-average journeyman QB if Kirk Cousins is willing to make himself more affordable? You wouldn’t.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan