The Vikings will be the first team to meet with free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, and are in the “driver’s seat” to sign him, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). Minnesota has offered Cousins a three-year deal with a $28MM annual salary, per Rapoport.
Cousins will meet with the Vikings brass and have dinner on Wednesday night, tweets Rapoport. On Thursday, he’ll take a tour of the Vikings’ brand new facility. Given that his visit in Minnesota is expected to last until Thursday, other teams with interest in Cousins may not get a seat at the table until later this week.
The Vikings have long been considered a prime contender to land Cousins, and their need for a quarterback only increased this morning when Case Keenum reportedly agreed to a deal with the Broncos. Incumbent options Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford are also unrestricted free agents.
Cousins, meanwhile, has drawn interest from clubs such as the Jets, Cardinals, and Broncos, but some reports indicated New York and Minnesota were his only serious suitors. Denver, clearly, is no longer in the running after inking Keenum, and while the Jets boast far more cap space than the Vikings, Minnesota can offer a better team and offensive weapons.
While a $28MM annual salary would make Cousins the highest-paid player in NFL history, it would be a somewhat disappointing total, as most expected Cousins to collect $30MM per year. Of course, we don’t any details about the structure or guarantees of Minnesota’s offer, so it’s possible the potential deal is stronger than the yearly average would indicate.
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