Kirk Cousins Wants to Play for Vikings; No Thanks for that Price Tag
He LIKES us… He really, really LIKES us!
Alright Minnesota Sports Fam, we need to have a little discussion about our new hot QB target: Kirk Cousins. Our favorite radio/play-by-play announcer, Paul Allen, got an interesting scoop about Kirk Cousins’ Free Agency preference while he was hosting his 9AM-Noon radio show, Friday. If you haven’t heard this yet, (first, get your head out of your ass because this has been impossible to avoid) PLEASE temper the love you immediately feel as a Minnesotan who hears a professional athlete say they want to be here. I’m going to bring you down a couple of notches afterward. You can skip to the 5:50 mark of this clip to get to the breaking news:
WHOA. Charch doesn’t even have any pants on anymore…
Maybe… but I’m skeptical.
So put your pants back on, Charch.
We need to remember what Kirk Cousins seems to be seeking in Free Agency. It’s rumored Kirk is going for anywhere from $25-28 million per season. It is also rumored he will want a 5-ish year deal. The Vikings shouldn’t be ok with either of those two things. Here is what Forbes thinks Cousins will get:
“So this is what we can estimate Cousins’ value to be. Five years at $150 million with $75 million guaranteed at signing and a $60 million signing bonus. Obviously, this would set a new high-water mark for NFL contracts in all three categories.”
The Vikings shouldn’t pay a QB anything over $20-22 Million. Here’s why:
Current prices for the quarterbacks currently in the discussion as the next starter for the SKOL seem to be as follows:
The Vikings have a unique opportunity with all of these guys. From Kirk’s comments earlier today, it seems like he favors Minnesota, in a vacuum where money isn’t a factor. But, so do the other three listed above. If the Vikings offer these guys their asking price, they’d happily sign on the dotted line, from what we know of the situation.
Cousins is a little better and has been MUCH more reliable over his career than any of the other three, when looking at the full picture that includes injury history. But, Kirk’s price tag is inflated for a few reasons.
- The NFL QB market is overpaid because of how important the position is.
- However, the league doesn’t have NEARLY enough talent to fill all that money the owners want to throw at the position.
- Kirk is the best QB that a team has let hit the market since Drew Brees was picked up by the Saints in 2006 (Dolphins got Culpepper…).
- Then, the Redskins went and franchise tagged him 2 seasons in a row which seems to have pushed his number up even higher.
Lucky for the Vikings, again, most of the best options in the QB market are coming out of their own organization, in Keenum, Bridgewater, and Bradford. They don’t need to fill the gap between what Cousins is worth and what you might have to pay him. Enter Case Keenum.
As stated before, Case isn’t the QB Cousins is, but the price tag difference is much greater than their difference in caliber of play. If Keenum is going to give you the price you are comfortable with, and Kirk isn’t, then you stick with Case on a reasonable deal. We can talk about what Case’s “reasonable price” is another time but it’s probably around $18-21M. Hopefully the lighter side of that.
And, if all else fails, you REALLY save a lot of money if you drop down to Bridgewater’s price tag, since he would take the bare minimum as a starter, which seems to be about $10M+ depending on how many pursuers he has. There’s really nothing wrong with this choice either. It leaves you with a lot of options going forward since nobody, including the Vikings, are going to give Teddy long-term money. This allows you to draft another QB earlier than otherwise in this year’s draft, and possibly look into our options after 2018, if Teddy doesn’t show you the future you had hoped.
There are A LOT of QB’s that will be free agents or in the final year of their contract, which could mean some movement over the next 12-24 months with mid-level QB’s, or anyone who may be unappreciated by their Wisconsin-run organization…
Lastly, the Vikings don’t have as much cap space as people think. Sure, on the face, $57 Million looks like a lot. However, expect Spielman to start securing guys who are due paydays in 2019, this offseason, like he has with others in recent years. Diggs, Barr, Kendricks, and Hunter are all due in 2019, and that doesn’t include Waynes who they will owe $12M+ if they pick up is 5th year option without an extension. I did some research on Spotrac.com and expect the money to land somewhere in here. Remember, all of this money can be moved around but it’s a good possibility the Vikings lose one of these 4 if they sign Cousins:
There isn’t as much room as it looks if they decide to extend Hunter($10-14M), (Barr $10-14M), Kendricks ($8-12M), and Diggs ($8-12M). $36-48M right there. You can only do so much smart structuring.
That’s before QBs, depth, OL upgrades. Money is tighter than it seems.
— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) February 2, 2018
Like stated here, Spielman always has some options on freeing up some space and he and his right hand man, Rob Brzezinski, are the best in the business, when it comes to that. However, every $1M you can save will go a long way, as we enter the next few years and really look to compete year in, and year out, to win a Super Bowl.
So, Kirk Cousins sounds great when he says “the Vikings would be at the top of my list with a bullet if the offer is similar to others”, but just remember:
If the other offers are for $24M+, I hope the Vikings are FAR from similar. And, if that’s the case, what’s it gonna be Kirk?
Rings or $$$?