Vikings Reportedly Offered Kirk Cousins a Multi-Year Deal with Guarantees in Year-2

Kirk Cousins
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings lost Kirk Cousins to the Atlanta Falcons earlier this week, and while the NFL may end up slapping them with some serious tampering penalties when the dust settles, that wasn’t why he’s moved his life and career to Georgia.

Kirk confirmed again during his introductory press conference, before accidentally turning his new team for communicating with him too early, that the tone around TCO Performance Center back in Eagan recently had started feeling much more year-to-year, where as talks with the Falcons feld much more long-term.

“In Minnesota, over the last couple offseasons, it was trending to being somewhat year to year. As we talked with Atlanta, it felt like, this was a place where, if I play at the level I expect to play, I can retire a Falcon.”

Kirk Cousins at Falcons introductory press conference

That statement plays into the idea that the Minnesota Vikings offer to keep Kirk Cousins around wasn’t just in a different ballpark than what the Falcons offered. It was in a completely different league… a different planet or reality, even.

Minnesota Vikings offered guarantees to Kirk Cousins in year 2

Forget the total number of years on Kirk’s new deal. All of his guaranteed money is scheduled to be paid out by year two, so the Falcons can get out of the contract if they want to, after year 2. So, the question comes down to whether or not Minnesota offered a 2nd year of guarantees. And if they did, how close was their two-year offer vs the Falcons?

Well, we still do not know the answer to that question, as a whole. But Dianna Russini (The Athletic) did report on Thursday afternoon that the Minnesota Vikings offer did include multiple years and at least some guarantees in year-2. She did not provide any hard numbers, though… or any numbers, for that matter.

While this news sheds a little bit of light on the many questions surrounding why Kirk Cousins ultimately left town, it doesn’t answer the ultimate question of whether or not the Vikings were serious about re-signing him.

Related: Harrison Smith Agrees to Contract Restructure to Stay with Vikings

This entire time, Cousins has verbalized a need to feel wanted. That the team he plays for appreciates him as the high-end quarterback he is. The Falcons’ offer was worth $100 million in total guarantees. Now that we know the Vikings offer was for multiple years, we can hope/assume their offer was at least over half of that.

Why knowing the Vikings’ offer to Cousins is important

But how much of that 2nd season was built upon guaranteed money? If Minnesota’s offer was, for example, $40 million per year (the Falcons was $45 million per year), but only half was guaranteed in year 2, that’s only a total of $60 million guaranteed.

For those who struggle with math, that’s still a $40 million difference in guaranteed money than what he signed with Atlanta for. Nobody in their right mind would turn down $40 million additional dollars, just because they like living here. I don’t care how much money he made prior to these negotiations.

On the other hand, if the Vikings’ hypothetical offer was worth a total of, say, $80 million… now we are getting closer to an offer that I would consider legitimate. Not only that, but an offer of $80 million guaranteed could possibly lend insight into why Atlanta offered that extra $10 million guaranteed in year 3.

Related: Vikings Sign Massive Former First-Round DT Jerry Tillery

It seems odd that the Falcons would offer more than two fully guaranteed seasons at $45 million per, just for the hell of it. But if the Vikings were offering $80 million, it would make sense that Atlanta had to sweeten the deal from $90 million to $100 million guaranteed, in order to get a signature from Cousins.

Again, these are all hypothetical situations because we do not know what Minnesota’s offer looked like. But it is important because, should the next 10 months go poorly, between drafting a QB and the Vikings first season since 2017 without Kirk Cousins, the fanbase deserves to know who should have the finger pointed at them.

Did Kirk choose money over comfort + a little less money or were the Vikings never serious about re-signing him in the first place?

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