No guarantee Kirk Cousins will be around to see the new era for the Vikings

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  • Minnesota Vikings
    Minnesota Vikings
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  • Kirk Cousins
    Kirk Cousins
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  • Mike Zimmer
    Coach of American Football

The Minnesota Vikings are turning over a new leaf after the Black Monday firings of former head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman. And yet, the real elephant in the room is the bloated contract of quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The 33-year-old signal caller’s contract carries a $45 million cap hit, which is the third-highest behind Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers. And his $35 million base salary is tied as the highest in the league, alongside Deshaun Watson.

He’ll have strangers coming out of the woodwork calling him “Cousin Kirk” once that money rolls in.

And to be fair, people might have already been doing that considering the fact that Cousins isn’t necessarily known for stepping away from the table without seizing the biggest portion he can grab. While it isn’t impossible, it might be a reach to think he’d ever agree to taking a pay cut to stick around in Minnesota.

The incoming GM and head coach better be well aware they aren’t dealing with Tom Brady in these negotiations.

But Cousins also has to know that he’ll no longer be dealing with Spielman. The former GM is the one that went out and signed him to a fully guaranteed contract in 2018 and then offered him a two-year, $66 million extension in 2020.

The new regime will have no obligations or connections to him. If they feel like his hefty contract doesn’t match his production on the field, they could be put in a position where they’d consider trying to trade him.

The fact that Zygi and Mark Wilf were willing to fire Zimmer and Spielman together is proof they aren’t looking for a slow build. They’re looking for someone that’s going to step in right away and make the necessary changes—no matter how difficult they might be—to get the team over the hump.

The Vikings could use some serious help on the defensive side of the ball, along with a boost to the interior part of the offensive line. It’s hard to make big moves when the quarterback is burning a hole in the team’s pocket.

Sure, Cousins has been good this season. He finished with the ninth-most passing yards (4,221) and ninth-most touchdowns (33) out of all NFL quarterbacks. But is he good enough to warrant a $45 cap hit in 2022?

That’ll be up to the new GM to decide.

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