Kirk Cousins, Vikings Verdict Could Happen Tonight

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

For months, the main topic in Minnesota Vikings circles has revolved around the future of QB Kirk Cousins.

The veteran quarterback is currently slated to hit free agency, and with the legal tampering period set to begin on Monday, Cousins will officially get a chance to test the open market if he and the Vikings are unable to agree to a contract in the next few hours.

If a deal is to come between Cousins and the Vikings, it could happen as early as tonight.

Kirk Cousins, Vikings Verdict Coming Soon

Kirk Cousins
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) passes against the San Francisco 49ers in the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Dianna Russini of The Athletic tweeted on Sunday, “The Vikings are expecting to hear from Kirk Cousins tonight on his decision to explore free agency, sources tell me and @alec_lewis Of note: His contract does not void until Wednesday so the team will have until then to extend him before his dead cap hit officially hits the books for ‘24.”

As Russini notes, the Vikings have about two days to figure out a new deal with their QB before his current contract voids. If the two sides don’t agree to terms on a deal before Wednesday, Cousins’ whopping $28.5 million in dead money officially hits the books.

There are plenty of reasons for the Vikings to re-sign Cousins, but there are also reasons for the team to let him go. The determining factor here likely lies in the overall contract structure in terms of total years and guaranteed money.

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

Over his 12 years in the NFL, Cousins has secured over a quarter of a billion dollars in guaranteed money, often finding ways to sign short-term deals that are fully guaranteed. This has been his strategy throughout his entire stint with the Vikings, and now, the QB is set to hit free agency for the first time since he initially signed with the team back in 2018.

If Cousins asks for too much money, the Vikings may ultimately have to cut ties with the veteran seeing as they have to consider paying a number of other players in the coming years such as Christian Darrisaw, Danielle Hunter, and Justin Jefferson.

However, Cousins was also enjoying some of the best football that he’d ever played throughout his entire NFL career while with the Vikings. Keeping Cousins around ensures stability at the position in 2024 rather than relying on an unknown in the draft or turning things over to a bridge QB through free agency.

Sep 24, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to throws a pass against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Ultimately, Cousins and the Vikings have a very big decision to make in the next couple days, and we should know more sooner rather than later.

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.