Kirk Cousins to Make Decision by Sunday Night on Whether or Not He’ll Explore Free Agency

Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

This morning, we found out that Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings have been back at the negotiating table this weekend for one last round of exclusive talks between the two sides, before the franchise’s six-year starter is set to open discussions with other teams on Monday at 11 a.m. CDT, mainly the Atlanta Falcons.

Over the last couple days, we’ve seen multiple reports that have Kirk and the Vikings back at the negotiating table, after his agent Mike McCartney was able to test the free agency waters combine week in Indianapolis. But it sounds like this last round of negotiations is over and Minnesota general manager Kwesi-Adofo Mensah has laid the Vikings’ new best and final offer in front of the 35-year-old veteran QB.

Kirk Cousins’ decision on free agency exploration will come Sunday night

According to Dianna Russini and Alec Lewis (The Athletic), Cousins is currently mulling his options, as he knows them, and he’s told the front office that he will have his decision back to them by tonight.

Minnesota expects to hear Sunday night about Cousins’ decision to explore free agency, multiple league sources confirmed to The Athletic. The NFL’s “legal tampering period” begins Monday, allowing teams to start negotiations with the representatives of free agents.

The Athletic

The other interesting tidbit in this piece from Dianna and Alec, which just dropped moments ago, is a sneaky mention of why this seemingly sudden change of heart from the Vikings, who now seem much more willing to work with Kirk on a reasonable extension, that are more comparable to what he’s expected to get on the open market.

Extending Kirk makes more financial sense for Vikings than letting him walk

Much like we have been reporting at Minnesota Sports Fan for months, it doesn’t make financial sense to let Cousins walk. If they do, they’d be slapped with an immediate salary cap penalty of $28.5 million, which is likely more than what he’d count against the cap in the first year of a new deal. Remember, once 2025 hits, the Vikings are expected to have around $100 million in cap space even after Cousins and Jefferson extensions.

The Vikings have openly and continuously expressed their desire to keep Cousins in Minnesota. Securing his services prior to Wednesday is likely to be a priority, considering the details of Cousins’s dead cap hit. If Minnesota cannot come to terms with Cousins before Wednesday, $28.5 million will accelerate onto the Vikings’ salary cap for 2024.

The Athletic

It’s possible we find out that Kirk Cousins is returning tonight. If not, the chances aren’t dead. Should Kirk decide to shop around tomorrow, when the legal tampering period opens, it’s still possible he finds out the grass isn’t greener and the stacks of cash more comparable to what’s back home in Minnesota, than he expects. Stay tuned…

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