The Vikings will make a major move before the tampering period begins. They have reached an agreement on a Kirk Cousins extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. It’ll be a two-year deal worth $66MM, bringing the grand total to $96MM over three years, with $61MM guaranteed at signing.
This could be a significant help to a franchise that is annually up against the cap. The Vikings authorized a historic three-year, $84MM fully guaranteed Cousins pact two years ago. This move will help bring down their quarterback’s $31MM 2020 cap number.
While a Minnesota-Cousins re-up was rumored, this stands to change the Vikings’ near-future outlook. Cousins had one season left on his initial Vikings contract. The soon-to-be 32-year-old passer is now signed through the 2022 season. This will put to rest any further rumors of a Cousins-Kyle Shanahan reunion. With the 49ers also passing on Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo again appears to be in the clear.
Minnesota already cleared cap space by cutting Linval Joseph and Xavier Rhodes, going from over the 2020 cap to $15MM-plus under it. This Cousins accord will create additional space for the team in free agency.
Cousins has played fairly well since choosing the Vikings in 2018. He has thrown 56 touchdown passes compared to 16 interceptions. The former fourth-round pick, however, has only finished 14th and 13th in QBR during his two Vikings seasons. The Vikings did win a playoff game in 2019, but their offense accomplished little in a divisional-round loss to the 49ers.
Nevertheless, this deal will keep Cousins in Minnesota for the foreseeable future. While it is likely not a fully guaranteed contract like the 2018 deal was, Cousins surely did well again. Given where the quarterback market has gone since Cousins’ landmark deal, it’s likely this contract will come in north of $30MM per year.
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