Could Reports of Kirk Cousins’ $100M Salary Demands Cause Falcons to Fly Away?

Kirk Cousins
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

While he could technically sign an extension with the Minnesota Vikings at any moment, we’re now just days away from Kirk Cousins becoming a free agent for just the second time in his life. He’s undoubtedly the best free agent quarterback available in a market that features as many as ten teams seeking an upgrade or replacement. Naturally, that type of demand will drive a player’s price up.

Will re-signing Cousins become too rich for the Vikings? We’ve already heard rumors of the Falcons getting cold feet, possibly due to budgetary concerns, and the latest reports may offer a big reason why.

Rumors Swirl of Another Massive Kirk Cousins Contract

kirk cousins
Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Back in March of 2018, the Minnesota Vikings signed Kirk Cousins to a fully guaranteed, three-year, $84-million contract. It made Cousins the highest-paid player in NFL history, at the time. While several others have since broken that record many times over, there’s a sense the 35-year-old could once again become one of the NFL’s highest-paid QBs.

Once he’s on the open market, Cousins could receive an offer he simply can’t refuse. We already covered the thought that the Falcons may not be as big of a threat due to the asking price, and now another insider says Cousins could once again become one of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks, thanks to the market demand.

Here’s Jeremy Fowler on that front.

“So the feeling out of the combine is that Atlanta was gonna be firmly on the radar here that has not changed. I’ve been assured that Atlanta certainly has interest on this front. You know, really, it’s gonna be a budgetary decision. Are they comfortable paying Cousins? You know, let’s say $100 million in guarantees because that’s probably what it will take for a player of his caliber because that’s what he’s done in his past contracts. So he’s gonna have interest. The Vikings, 50/50. Can they get it done? I’m told it’s gonna be up in the air. They’re gonna try.”

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Kirk Cousins

While the Vikings would like to retain Cousins, and the interest is believed to be mutual, the opportunity to hit the open market as a free agent is rare. And no one takes more advantage of these scenarios than Captain Kirk. After all, Pro Bowl quarterbacks rarely reach free agency, and there are many QB-needy teams. This means Cousins could once again break the bank.

“Cousins is going to cash in once again, despite being just 4½ months removed from a torn right Achilles. He was playing outstanding football at the time of his injury and is the best free agent quarterback available in a thin market and in a league with a bunch of teams desperate for an upgrade. If you told me that Cousins winds up signing a two-year, $100 million fully guaranteed contract, I would not be stunned.”

ESPN’s Field Yates on Kirk Cousins’ free agency market

A two-year, $100 million contract would make Cousins the fifth-highest-paid QB in the NFL today, just behind Jalen Hurts and just ahead of Kyler Murray. No one seems to know what to expect when Cousins’ shopping window opens, but the current line of thought suggests he will get a legitimate chance to sign with the highest bidder, if that’s what he wants.

Related: 8 Free Agent QBs for Minnesota Vikings if Kirk Cousins Leaves, Ranked by Likelihood

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