Kirk Cousins’ Asking Price May Be on the Rise

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions
Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since Kirk Cousins signed with the Vikings back in 2018, the veteran quarterback is set to hit free agency.

Cousins and the Vikings were unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension last offseason, and thus, he went into the 2023 season on the final year of his deal. While he played some of the best football of his career during the first half of the season, a torn Achilles in Week 8 against the Green Bay Packers derailed what looked like a promising year for the Vikings.

Now, all attention turns to Cousins’ pending free agency, and what his next contract could look like. Some hope that the QB will take a “hometown discount” to remain in Minnesota, but recent reports have suggested that his price tag may be on the rise this offseason.

The Latest on Kirk Cousins’ Price Tag

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

Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press recently wrote an article laying out what he has been hearing regarding Cousins’ price tag in 2024. “The buzz now is that it will take $90 million guaranteed for two years, despite that he’s still not yet fully recovered from Achilles surgery in November, to sign free agent QB Kirk Cousins. If that’s the case, he certainly won’t get that from the Vikings,” Walters wrote.

Walters is correct in the idea that, if Cousins were to ask for $45 million per season, the money won’t come from the Vikings. They simply have too many other roster needs this offseason in order to fork out that type of money for a QB coming off a major injury and quickly approaching his late-30s.

This type of contract would also be on-par with what Cousins has received throughout his career. Remember, Cousins was set to hold a $45 million cap hit in 2023 before he restructured his previous deal with the Vikings, and prior to last offseason’s restructure, he held a top 10 cap hit at the QB position in four of his first five seasons in Minnesota.

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

If Cousins were to receive a contract with a cap hit of $45 million in 2024, that would rank eighth among quarterbacks this season behind the following players:

  1. Deshaun Watson ($63.977 million)
  2. Dak Prescott ($59.455 million)
  3. Patrick Mahomes ($57.358 million)
  4. Kyler Murray ($51.857 million)
  5. Matthew Stafford ($49.5 million)
  6. Daniel Jones ($47.105 million)
  7. Josh Allen ($47.056 million)

It would also currently land him 10th on the list for the 2025 season, but this does not take into account new contracts for players like Jared Goff, Jordan Love, or Prescott.

Another key item to remember is the fact that Cousins is not guaranteed to receive this type of contract regardless of what he is asking for. He is still entering his age-36 season and is coming off a major injury. If teams aren’t willing to fork out big money for the veteran, his asking price inevitably will go down.

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

Still, there has been a trend towards the idea that Cousins could decide to leave the Vikings this offseason in pursuit of a more lucrative deal. Some have thrown the Atlanta Falcons out there as a potential landing spot for the veteran.

Cousins is also reportedly ahead of schedule on his rehab and projects to begin throwing in just a few weeks. During that time, he will send video to prospective teams to showcase his progress. The QB recently spoke with Rob Maadi of the Associated Press, and according to the QB, he continues to plan on being ready to go by the time OTAs roll around in May.

“My expectation is that I’ll be able to practice during OTAs as normal,” Cousins said. “But the question will be, is it worth it? And so you have to weigh that a little bit. But my goal would be that I’m saying I can go and you guys are going to have to stop me because I feel that good. If I’m not allowed into the full-team drills, I know I can do basically a full-speed practice on the field next to it is pretty much my goal.”

If Cousins is able to lay the groundwork and prove that he is left his injury behind him, it would certainly help him get a more valuable contract in free agency. Thus, it could spell the end of his time in Minnesota.

Editor’s Note: Contractual information for this article was found via Spotrac.

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

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