Vikings Intend to Bring Kirk Cousins Back and Address QB Future This Offseason

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell sat down behind the table at TCO Performance Center.

Surrounded by Aquafina water bottles and behind two microphones, the organization’s head football decision makers were ready to address questions about their upcoming offseason; one that is full of franchise altering possibilities.

Related: 7 Biggest Questions Minnesota Vikings Must Answer This Offseason

Minnesota Vikings face franchise-altering offseason decisions

Of course, none of those decisions are more important than what their future, both near and far, holds at the quarterback position. Kirk Cousins is due to become a free agent on March 13 and the Vikings are slotted to pick #11 in the draft, the highest they have picked since 2015, when they took Trae Waynes with the same #11 overall pick.

The Minnesota Vikings roster arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, 24-year-old Justin Jefferson, who they’re about to make the highest paid non-QB in NFL history. Problem is, the rest of roster needs a lot of work, especially on defense and money is looking a bit tight.

So, the question that Vikings fans everywhere have been debating for the last couple weeks (well, last 6 years but let’s not go there), which is whether or not the organization should move on from the soon to be 36-year-old Kirk Cousins and use their draft position to aggressively pursue a QB of the future?

Many writers and media members across the local and national markets have been picketing for the Vikings to rid this market of Kirk Cousins for good, and I’m not really sure what all their vitriol and certainty is based in.

Kwesi Adofo-Mensah intends to bring Kirk Cousins back

Luckily, it does not appear the Minnesota Vikings organization feels the same way, regarding their QB1. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made it clear while speaking with reporters on Wednesday, that the Vikings intend on bringing Kirk Cousins back this offseason.

Reporter: You’d like to bring Kirk back?

Kwesi: Yeah, I’ve said it. I think I’ve been pretty consistent with that. Kirk, the player, is somebody that, as we saw what he does to this team. I thought we were playing really good football before he got injured. And it’s the most important position in sports. Now ultimately, it always comes down to can you find an agreement that works for both sides and all those things. But as a player, it’s certainly my intention to have him back here.

Reporter: As you approach negotiations, what’s one of the most important things to you?

Kwesi: You know, it’s comfortability. I think there’s a lot of factors that go into negotiations, right. So it’s there are levers that you pull. If you get this thing, maybe you give up this other thing. We have a really great shared history with Mike and his other representation. And so these aren’t new conversations that are having, right? We kind of each side kind of understands the other and we’re gonna go have those conversations and see where we end up.

Related: Vikings Land No. 11 Overall Pick in 2024 NFL Draft

In other words, this front office has a pretty good idea of what Kirk’s representation is looking for, when the two sides get together and start negotiations in the next month or two. Unsurprisingly, Mike McCartney (Kirk’s agent) and Kwesi talk on a regular basis, regarding a plethora of players Mike represents, Kirk being at the top of that list.

The Vikings are not concerned about Cousins’ age

Kirk Cousins Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Another myth being spread by media members is Kirk’s age being an issue for future guarantees. The Vikings confirmed they aren’t worried about Kirk’s age, nor should they be. He’s 35 years old. In QB years, that might as well be a 30. Unless a quarterback let’s himself rot away physically (which we all know Kirk is not doing) they can easily play at an MVP level until they start to teeter closer to 40.

Reporter: Kirk talked the other day about structure being important to him. Does his age, does the injury affect your willingness to give guaranteed money in the future, if that’s something he wants in terms of structure?

Kwesi: I mean, there’s a lot of factors that go into these things. It’s age injury, but it’s also performance. How do you believe the performance will go and there’s different examples through time. And obviously, you have to also pay attention to the person and what he puts into his body and how regimented and detailed he is. So all those factors go into it, but at the end of the day, you’re just taking risk. We try and measure it as best we can and protect ourselves and and insure against it. But not only on his side. He’s trying to take less risk. Right? That’s his that’s his his job. And they should they should do that. And we’ll try and find a place in the middle and see where we end up.

Of course, the money is going to have to work but if Kirk is willing to give on his yearly salary cap hit, it seems the Vikings will be happy to give him enough term to make him comfortable. But what I love most about what the Minnesota GM said in the above video, had to do with the team’s future beyond Cousins.

Keeping Kirk will not affect Vikings search for QB of the future

Extending Kirk doesn’t mean you are giving up on drafting your QB of the future, should the opportunity present itself. And it’s Kwesi’s job to make that decision and pull the trigger, if it does. Everyone involved in these negotiations is aware of that, Kirk included.

Reporter: How do you balance wanting Kirk back with having a borderline top ten pick in a pretty talented quarterback draft?

Kwesi: Yeah. I mean, I think ultimately it’s the most important position in our sport. And so you want to be thinking long term and short term and ultimately the Vikings are going to, you know, pursue actions that help us in both windows. And that’s open to any position in the draft, whether we pick the 11th or 23rd.

Related: Vikings Tried Trading the Farm for Anthony Richardson During 2023 Draft

The Vikings GM knows what many fans and media members out there refuse to accept and/or acknowledge. The Minnesota quarterback situation this offseason isn’t an either/or conversation. Kwesi and KOC are going to target QBs in the draft who they think can realistically be their next QB1, and act accordingly based on how highly they view said quarterback.

At pick #11, they can realistically target any of the draft eligible quarterbacks, though moving into the top-3 would be very expensive. Is there a QB in this class that both the GM and head coach are willing to put their jobs on the line for? Can they find a trade partner and win the bidding war, if they do? Those are the questions we do not yet have answers to.

Give Cousins the two or three guaranteed years, if that’s what will make him happy. Then use those future guarantees to leverage a lower yearly salary. If you draft the right QB, whether this year or next, and that QB proves himself capable, before Kirk’s contract expires, that’s the best case scenario. Because I can promise there will always be takers for a top-10 caliber 37ish-year-old quarterback.

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