Kirk Cousins is a fascinating case study when it comes to NFL quarterbacks. A fourth-round pick by Washington in the 2012 draft, Cousins saw minimal action in his first three years in the NFL. He went 2-7 in nine starts between 2012 and 2014. He became Washington's starter in 2015 and was average at best. His best season was either his 9-7 record in 2015 or his 8-7-1 record in 2016, with nearly 5000 passing yards.
Cousins joined the Vikings ahead of the 2018 season, signing the NFL's first-ever fully-guaranteed contract. It was worth $84 million over three years. Minnesota have had mixed success with Cousins at the helm, but have financially invested in him. Cousins has made, over three contracts with the Vikings, over $155 million. He signed a one-year, $35 million deal to play with the team in 2023. However, he may be facing a do-or-die season if he wants to stay in the purple.
Cousins Wants To Stay In Minnesota
"I want to be in Minnesota. That's kind of a no-brainer. Hopefully, we can earn the right to do that," Cousins said on May 3. Contract discussions between Cousins and Minnesota broke down in recent weeks. Despite the 13-4 record the Vikings posted in 2022, Cousins had a career-low quarterback rating. Furthermore, the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. "The exception is that you have something penciled in for future years. Most of our locker room has no idea what is coming in three or four months, let alone three or four years or next year. I feel like I'm one of the guys, if you will. We're all in this together," Cousins also said.
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However, it remains to be seen just how at risk Cousins is. The Vikings have two other quarterbacks on the roster - career backup Nick Mullens and 2023 fifth-round pick Jaren Hall. The team had done extensive work on the 2023 quarterback class, but were limited in options at #23 in the first round. While Will Levis was on the board at 23, the Vikings took USC wide receiver Jordan Addison instead. However, with a poor enough 2023 season, or some careful trading, the Vikings could be in the position to draft a stud QB prospect in next year's draft.