There’s Only One Way for Kirk Cousins to Finish His Career in Minnesota

Are the Bucs a Fit for Kirk Cousins?
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Just win, baby. That sentiment, after all, is one of the most quoted football sayings of all time. When it’s all said and done, no one really cares about the individual performances. Sure, it’s great to see our favorite players do amazing things – Jared Allen’s 22 sack season comes to mind – but seeing a Super Bowl is what it’s all about. In that respect, Kirk Cousins falls short.

Cousins believes he’s doing the things necessary to help his team win:

I think the short answer is I want to be a Minnesota Viking. I wanted to help create some cap space so we could put together the roster that we feel really good about. It’s just trying to always find win-wins. I think it was a way to create a win-win and hopefully that leads to a lot of wins this fall.

In fairness, he has been consistent on this point since the beginning. His desire isn’t to hop around the league. Instead, he wants to establish himself as the QB1 at one spot – Minnesota – and then spend his career there.

Unfortunately, Cousins has been lacking one critical thing since becoming the purple QB: wins. In fact, this is an issue that goes back to the Washington days. It was easy to dismiss it in Washington since it’s, well, Washington. It’s not like anyone is confusing Minnesota for the Steelers or Patriots, but compared to the Commanders the Vikings are a shining light of franchise competence.

At 59-59-2, Cousins is remarkably average. He commonly shrugs off these criticisms about his record, suggesting that those who actually understand the game can turn on the film and see he’s not the issue.

At some point, though, we really need to consider the common denominator. Plus, let’s not forget that his salary – which comes in at 15% of the Vikings’ cap – is likely a prohibitive number. A team has never won a Super Bowl when their starting QB has demanded so much of the salary cap (of course, the Rams present a tricky exception, but I get into that in some detail in the linked piece). That has to mean something, right?

Kirk Cousins will be the QB1 in 2022. Unless something wild happens, he’ll also be the QB1 in 2023. If he wants to continue beyond those years, he’ll need to start leading his team to wins.

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