Vikings close books on Kirk Cousins era with 50-37-1 regular-season record, one playoff win

Quarterback Kirk Cousins arrived in Minnesota on the heels of an unlikely berth in the NFC Championship, with Case Keenum taking over after Sam Bradford's knee basically gave out after a Week 1 Monday night win in 2017. The Vikings, in six years with Cousins, didn't get back to that level.

The final tally for six years with Cousins in Minnesota becomes a 50-37-1 regular-season record and two playoff appearances. In 2019, the Vikings beat the Saints in the wild-card round, before losing decisively to the 49ers in the divisional round. In 2022, the Vikings lost at home to the Giants in the wild-card round, after going 13-4 in the regular season.

That history wasn't enough to get the Vikings to break the bank, again, for Cousins.

In July 2022, Vikings G.M. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah foreshadowed the unwillingness to splurge for a new Cousins contract when he acknowledged anxiety over not "burning it down" at quarterback, called Cousins a "good quarterback," and said “we don’t have Tom Brady . . . we don’t have Pat Mahomes.”

So that's that. Even though coach Kevin O'Connell told PFT Live 13 days ago that he 100 percent wanted Cousins back, the organization decided not to pay the price. They decided that two playoff appearances in six seasons couldn't justify matching the Atlanta offer to Cousins.

Time will tell whether it was a good move, for both teams. For now, the Vikings will take a $28 million cap charge for Cousins, the cost of kicking the can in past years. That will make them inclined to spend less on the position, via a second-tier veteran and perhaps a rookie.