Another Report Hints at Kirk Cousins, Vikings Butting Heads over Contract Structure

Sep 10, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) leaves the field after the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Through the early stages of the 2024 NFL offseason, much has been made of Kirk Cousins and his contract situation with the Minnesota Vikings.

Of course, the Vikings can still offer him a new contract extension before his current deal voids on March 13th, the official start of free agency. However, if that does not happen in the next 23 days, Cousins will officially be on the books for $28.5 million in dead money for this season.

If that happens, it would greatly increase the chances of Cousins departing Minnesota this offseason, and yet another report seems to suggest that the QB and Vikings have been butting heads in regard to the contract structure of a potential extension.

Kirk Cousins Could Be Destined to Test Free Agency

Kirk Cousins
Nov 3, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Insider Albert Breer released his latest edition of Monday Morning Quarterback this week, detailing some of the items he’s been hearing around the league. Breer had this to say of Cousins and the Vikings in their pursuit of a new deal:

“The current Minnesota brass, now going into its third season, really likes Cousins, but it’s also been made clear that they’re not going to go contractually where the previous regime did twice, and give Cousins a fully guaranteed deal. Absent that, Cousins is now in position to hit the market like he did six years ago, this time older and, of course, more injured.”

Throughout his NFL career, Cousins and his camp have been very savvy in negotiations. The quarterback has been able to secure fully guaranteed contracts with the Vikings ever since he joined the team back in 2018. However, this is looking like another example of Kwesi Adofo-Mensah being willing to play hard ball and not overextend his funds just to keep a player around.

Oct 15, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

Breer also makes a very strong argument that, at this point, it may be in Cousins’ best interest to simply do nothing and wait until March before he makes a decision regarding his next team.

“Because of some creative timing in his contract (his current deal voids after the deadline to tag a player is passed), Cousins can’t be franchised by the Vikings, so all he has to do to become available to the other 31 teams is, well, do nothing contractually until mid-March,” Breer wrote.

Breer does suggest, though, that the Vikings and Cousins were able to get in touch with each other over the past week, so communication is still happening between the two sides. In terms of an actual timeline on when things between the two sides gets clearer? Breer tosses out the upcoming NFL scouting combine as a possibility.

“For what it’s worth, the Vikings did touch base with Cousins’ camp last week, as they got their pre-combine meetings going, so the lines of communication are open. More clarity could come in Indianapolis next week,” Breer wrote.

Sep 14, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) is pressured by Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox (91) during the fourth quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

There are multiple teams in the NFL that could use the services of a capable quarterback like Cousins this upcoming season, and it is certainly possible that his price (particularly in the guaranteed version) is driven higher than Adofo-Mensah is willing to pay.

If that ends up being the case, the Vikings will need to quickly pivot and find a replacement for Cousins either through free agency or in the draft. For now, though, nothing is imminent in terms of a decision with the incumbent.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of 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.