Playoff Success Will Determine Size of Kirk Cousins’ Extension

Photo: Rich Storry - USA TODAY Sports

After their latest jaw-dropping victory Saturday, in which Greg Joseph kicked a 61-yard field goal to walk off the New York Giants, the Minnesota Vikings are 12-3 and eyeing the 2nd-seed in the NFC come playoff time.

The question is no longer about whether or not the Vikings will make the playoffs. Instead, fans and media members are exploring paths for a deep purple playoff run. The depth of said run will largely fall on the right arm of quarterback, Kirk Cousins, who has more on the line this postseason than any other player in the league.

Kirk Cousins’ has everything to win/lose

Not only can Kirk shed all remaining narratives about his ability to perform in clutch situations but, according to Charley Walters (Pioneer Press), the size of his future paychecks will be determined by how well he plays this postseason and how many of those games the Vikings win.

It’s certain that Kirk Cousins, 34, guaranteed $30 million next season, will be the Vikings’ QB in 2023. There’s no viable path for the Vikings to get anyone better. Whether Cousins gets a contract extension, for nearly $40 million or so, for either 2024, or even 2025, will depend on the playoffs. The way it looks now, though, Cousins will get an extension within the first two weeks of March.Charley Walters (Pioneer Press)

At $35 million, the average annual value of Kirk Cousins’ contract sits 10th among NFL quarterbacks (Spotrac.com). His 2022 cap hit of $31 million ranks 3rd highest. A bump to $40 million AAV would move him into a tie for 8th with Dak Prescott and Matthew Stafford.

Win, win, win no matter what…

Cousins has already started to shift his own narrative. Seen for most of his career as nothing more than a boxscore stuffer who struggles in big moments, Kirk has performed at his best repeatedly this season when lights are at their brightest. His efficiency statistics (CMP %, QB Rating, QBR, Y/A, etc), meanwhile, are all down.

Winning is what people care about and what NFL quarterbacks are judged on. There’s no greater example of that than what we’ve seen from Kirk Cousins this season. And if he wins some playoff games, the Vikings will happily back up the Brinks truck for their 34-year-old QB and (most) fans would celebrate.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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