Vikings Hesitant to Fully Guarantee Kirk Cousins’ New Contract Beyond 2024

Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The clock is ticking for the Minnesota Vikings and quarterback Kirk Cousins to finalize a deal, as the NFL season nears its end with just one game remaining. With March fast approaching, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah needs to make a decision on the team’s future at quarterback.

Related: Insider Buzz: Kirk Cousins’ Price Up to $45M/YR; Vikings Want Russell Wilson?

Despite still recovering from a torn Achilles, reports suggest that Cousins is progressing well in his rehab and plans to be fully recovered for Organized Team Activities (OTAs) in May. The major question persists: which team’s red practice jersey will he wear during OTAs?

Cousins is undeniably one of the league’s top free agents, and he will have numerous potential suitors, should he be available, come March. While Kirk has expressed a strong desire to remain with the Vikings (a feeling they have confirmed is mutual), the ultimate decision will depend on the terms and structure of the contract offer.

Vikings Hesitant to Fully Guarantee Kirk Cousins’ Contract

In a new report from Kevin Seifert of ESPN it sounds like the Vikings may not be as willing to offer Kirk multiple guaranteed years on his new contract, like many originally assumed.

That would seem to be a major problem, given other teams certainly will and Cousins has come out publicly to say how important structure, term and a feeling of being wanted will be during this process. How likely is it that Kwesi will bite on a multi-year fully-guaranteed contract? 50/50, according to Siefert…

“Cousins’ contract will void March 13, preventing the Vikings from using their franchise tag on him and guaranteeing him a path to the free agent market if he wants it. The team’s key decision-makers are on record saying they will try to get Cousins re-signed, and the quarterback has said he wants to finish his career in Minnesota. The outcome likely will hinge on whether the Vikings are willing to give Cousins, who turns 36 in the summer, multiple fully guaranteed years in his new deal. That seems a 50-50 proposition at best.”

Kevin Siefert – ESPN

The Vikings are gearing up for a very important offseason and figuring out their quarterback situation tops their long to-do list. Has the Vikings front office been more talk than walk, on how much they value Kirk Cousins? Because it’s been pretty common knowledge that refusing to offer two years guaranteed was going to be a deal-breaker for Kirk.

Yet, here we are… just 1.5 months away from free agency, and the Vikings aren’t sure if they’re comfortable with 2 fully guaranteed years? Minnesota’s hesitation to commit, while others are ready and salivating to give him the farm, tells a different story than what they sold after the season ended.

Options For Minnesota Vikings Front Office

If the Vikings are confident in their roster’s ability to win games and compete next year, the plan seems clear: re-sign Kirk Cousins, extend Justin Jefferson, and make efforts to retain Danielle Hunter. Additionally, they could consider drafting a quarterback this year to develop behind Kirk.

Related: Kirk Cousins’ Achilles Recovery is Ahead of Schedule

Alternatively, they could explore a strategy similar to what the Buccaneers did this year with a player like Baker Mayfield, who led them to the playoffs and won a game. Perhaps such possibilities are what’s causing hesitation in committing to Cousins, as they may believe they can sign a budget friendly veteran and still make a playoff push.

With February nearly underway, we can expect more rumors and speculation to surface in coming weeks, until Kirk’s contract situation is solved or he reaches free agency..

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