Vikings Owner Mark Wilf Gave Interesting Comments on QB Kirk Cousins

Vikings Owner Mark Wilf
Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings president and owner Mark Wilf before the NFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday morning ahead of free agency’s start, Vikings owner Mark Wilf joined the Good Morning Football crew on NFL Network to discuss a few Vikings topics regarding the team’s roster and future.

Among those topics was the state of QB Kirk Cousins. The Vikings QB has been in the news cycle recently because of some uncertainty regarding his future with the team. Early in the offseason, Tom Pelissero said it was “unlikely” that the Vikings would give him another one-year extension, and then over this past weekend, Ian Rapoport suggested that Cousins could play out the final year of his contract and “bet on himself” by entering free agency.

Wilf’s comments on Monday didn’t necessarily clear any of these rumors up regarding Cousins’ future with the team, either. ““Kirk’s an outstanding quarterback,” Wilf said. “He’s done a great job for us. This past season with Kevin O’Connell he took our offense to the next level. So, we’re looking for great things in 2023. Kirk’s going to be the leader on our offense.”

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 28, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a pass against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With the rumors about Cousins potentially leaving the Vikings in free agency, there have been some proposing that Minnesota could try to trade the QB at some point in the offseason, thus eliminating the possibility of him leaving the team for nothing. The San Francisco 49ers are a team that consistently comes up whenever discussing such a possibility because of Cousins’ connection to Kyle Shanahan.

However, this seems like the one rumor that can be dispelled from Wilf’s comments. The Vikings owner and president may not have said anything regarding a future contract, but he was very clear that he expects Cousins to be the team’s leader in 2023.

As far as Cousins’ future with the team, Wilf seems to have given the 35-year-old quarterback a challenge: prove that you can do “great things” with this offense once again, and then maybe you can stick around.

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Nov 24, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrates the win after the game against the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest problem some Vikings fans have with Cousins doesn’t necessarily involve his play on the field, but instead, it comes from the fact that he consistently carries one of the highest salary cap hits in the NFL. This limits the Vikings ability to put together a consistently competitive team.

A 13-4 season in Kevin O’Connell’s first season as head coach should be considered a success, but in order for Cousins to get a market value contract from the Vikings ($40+ million AAV), he may have to prove that he can do that again and then some in 2023.

Nov 6, 2022; Landover, Maryland, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) celebrates with Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

Analysts across the NFL consistently doubted the legitimacy of the Vikings 13-win season as it was happening because they consistently seemed to have luck on their side in the fourth quarter of games; it’s an ironic reality considering the Minnesota Vikings seemingly have always found themselves on the wrong side of the luck coin throughout much of their history. Then, the Vikings Wild Card loss to the New York Giants seemed to prove them at least somewhat correct about that.

We shouldn’t consider Cousins’ future with the Vikings over after 2023, but getting a new contract with the team may depend on how well he plays in this upcoming season. It will be a very interesting negotiating process to keep an eye on, especially as free agency gets started this week.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.