Report: Kirk Cousins plans to sign three-year, fully guaranteed deal with Minnesota Vikings
The Kirk Cousins saga is almost over. He is going to be leaving the Washington Redskins for sure, and it appears that he will land with the Minnesota Vikings.
Soon, Kirk Cousins‘ ties to the Washington Redskins will be a thing of the past. But, until he inks a deal with another team, he is still just a free agent who is a former Redskin. However, it appears that the list of suitors has been narrowed to a few, but a favorite has definitely developed.
The Minnesota Vikings are reportedly going to offer Cousins a three-year deal to sign him to be their franchise quarterback. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cousins is set to sign a fully guaranteed contract worth close to $84 million over the three years. That would make him the highest paid quarterback in NFL history, in terms of guarantees. And giving a fully guaranteed contract to a quarterback, at elite level money, is unheard of.
This move is a sensible one for the Vikings, though it does carry some risk. They were able to make it to the NFC Championship Game last season largely thanks to the superb performance of their defense and a career year from Case Keenum. That said, trusting Keenum, who was a one-year wonder in Pat Shurmur’s system, was a risky proposition. Given that three of the team’s four quarterbacks are heading for free agency, they had to sign a player. And Cousins was the best player on the market, so he will be a fit for the team.
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Now, there are obviously some risks in bringing in Cousins. While he has put up some excellent numbers during his time with the Redskins, those haven’t directly translated to wins. Cousins only got the team to the postseason once in three years as the starter, and the team lost the one playoff game they had. Yes, the team’s defense was poor for most of his tenure in D.C., but truly elite quarterbacks are able to carry their teams in spite of major weaknesses. Take a look at what Aaron Rodgers did with poor defenses in Green Bay. It remains to be seen if Cousins is truly elite or if he is just above average.
It’s also worth noting that the Redskins red zone offense hasn’t ever been particularly good with Cousins at the helm. His red zone abilities are his biggest weakness and if he doesn’t improve in those areas, he may not be much of an upgrade over Keenum.
At the same time, Cousins has proven that he can be a top 12 quarterback in the NFL, and with a strong supporting cast in Minnesota, he should give the team a shot to win a Super Bowl. The Vikings had the money to add Cousins and they did it.
As for how this affects the Redskins, it really doesn’t mean that much. Cousins didn’t seem to want to negotiate with Washington, so they replaced him with Alex Smith. Smith got less in guarantees than Cousins, so that should give the Redskins a bit more flexibility.
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Overall, letting Cousins walk doesn’t appear to be a big deal. The Redskins saved some money and while they got an older quarterback who is a minor downgrade from Cousins, they will still be a competitive team in 2018. There’s a chance they will make the playoffs and take on Cousins and the Vikings. So needless to say, the 2018 campaign is shaping up to be an interesting one.