Vikings QB Kirk Cousins reportedly names price: $90 million
Posted on: 31 Jan, 2024 at 04:30 PM
Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
Approaching his 36th birthday while rehabbing from surgery to repair a torn right Achilles tendon, Kirk Cousins said he's willing to take a little less to return to the Minnesota Vikings.
According to a report in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Cousins would eschew free agency and stick with the Vikings the next two seasons if they meet his asking price of $90 million through 2025.
While it could seem a sticker-shock ask, Cousins was No. 15 in average salary at $35 million on his existing contract with the Vikings. If he nets another guaranteed contract and the cap hit for 2024 comes in at $45 million, he would be the eighth in the league between Josh Allen (Bills, $47.1 million cap number in '24) and Derek Carr (Saints, $35.7 million).
Cap gymnastics make it feasible to reduce Cousins' cap figure to a more palatable number for next season. But the Vikings also have critical contracts to negotiate with wide receiver Justin Jefferson and edge rusher Danielle Hunter, among others.
Cousins said he would focus in free agency mostly on "structure," and not salary when his contract automatically voids in March.
"Everything that isn't the dollars," Cousins said when asked to elaborate on his definition of structure. "That stuff you also work through."
Among teams potentially in the market for a quarterback this offseason, Cousins' previous team, the Washington Commanders are projected to have the most cap space at nearly $77 million. New England has space -- projected at nearly $66 million -- but the Patriots are expected to closely consider top available quarterbacks in the draft with the No. 3 overall pick.
"I'm not going to try to sell myself, if you will. I kind of like to let people make their own decisions, because I do think the league needs quarterbacks, and if you're trying to talk yourself out of a quarterback, then I can't help you much," Cousins said last month. "The Achilles is going to heal. And it's on track, and I'm a pocket passer and there's a lot of time before next season. For a lot of reasons, it doesn't concern me, but if I can't convince other people of that, then that's OK."
Cousins will be 36 before playing his next regular-season snap. A fourth-round pick in 2012, he was tied for the NFL lead with 18 touchdown passes when he suffered the Achilles injury eight weeks into the 2023 season.
Jefferson is owed $19.7 million on his fifth-year option, the last year of his rookie contract, and is a lock to become the fifth active wide receiver with a contract over $100 million. Raiders star Davante Adams is the NFL's highest-paid receiver with a $140 million total contract value, but Dolphins All-Pro Tyreek Hill leads in average annual value at $30 million (Adams stands at $28M per, Rams' Cooper Kupp averages $26.7M, and A.J. Brown draws $25M per year from the Eagles).
Hunter set a career-high with 16.5 sacks in 2023 after relenting on plans to sit out in a contract standoff.
--Field Level Media