The worst kept secret in football is no longer a secret. The Vikings have officially inked quarterback Kirk Cousins to a three-year, fully guaranteed deal.
Cousins now takes the reins of a Vikings team that came one win away from a Super Bowl appearance. Last year, Case Keenum transformed from an NFL afterthought to a legitimate NFL starter. Cousins comes in with a much stronger resume and, frankly, a sharper skillset.
Cousins’ three-year contract is worth a reported $84MM. The $28MM average annual value is less than anyone expected, but the deal is revolutionary in that it is 100% guaranteed. Cousins’ deal figures to shape the future deals of other quarterbacks, including upcoming extension talks for Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, and other star signal callers.
There were plenty of clubs interested in Cousins – including the Jets, Cardinals, and Broncos – but Minnesota wound up being Cousins’ first and only free agent visit. The Jets had the most cap room of the bunch to work with, by far, but Cousins apparently valued the opportunity to win right away with the Vikings. The Jets wound up going to their Plan B by re-signing Josh McCown and adding Teddy Bridgewater. The Cardinals inked Sam Bradford to a short-term deal that will cost less than Cousins’ deal, but is still fairly hefty with $20MM coming to him in 2018. The Broncos, meanwhile, were the first of the group to sign a QB by inking Keenum.
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Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.