Vikings not closing door on Cousins extension
Mike Florio and Chris Simms unpack the chances of Kirk Cousins landing a contract extension with the Vikings and evaluate how far Minnesota could go with him at QB.
- Well, in Minnesota they don't have those issues because there's just one of each major sports team. The Vikings have a franchise quarterback sort of, a guy who's taking them as far as he can, but they aren't replacing him yet. Here's Kwesi Adofo Mensah, GM of the team, on whether he's trying to decide whether he wants Kirk Cousins around beyond the 2023 season.
KWESI ADOLFO MENSAH: Kirk doesn't need to show anything to me. Kirk has played football at a high level before I got to the Minnesota Vikings. Last year, we won 13 games. I don't know what he would need to prove to me or anybody else. When you go into a contract negotiation, you're trying to come up with solutions together. It's not just what Kwesi wants, or the Vikings want, or even what Kirk wants. It's what we can do together and, ultimately, put together that Lombardi.
And sometimes, you come to a place where you decide, hey, let's talk later. This is a solution for now. That's all that's happened. And then this year in this draft, we found an opportunity to get a player that we, frankly, thought should have been picked long before then, and it was there, just like every other position. But like you said, this is an important position, so obviously you emphasize that when you can. But we like where we are at the quarterback position, but every option is open to us going forward, and we're just really excited about Kirk this year, the weapons we've added in free agency, the weapons we've added in the draft, and we'll see what happens after that.
- You like the Kirk Cousins, Mike? What do you like, eh?
- Well, look, I think he needed a flower when he was offering that explanation. He loves him. He loves him not. He loves him. He loves him not. Last July, he made the comment that, hey, we don't have a Patrick Mahomes or a Josh Allen, and it made people think that they we're going to be looking for one. Good luck finding one.
And I think if they could have gotten up for an Anthony Richardson, it would have been very interesting, but they finished well enough last year that they were low enough in the draft standings. It just wasn't even a conversation to be had. So Cousins is the guy for now, due to be a free agent next year.
He's got plenty of leverage over the situation, but he says he wants to stay in Minnesota. We'll see if they can continue this relationship beyond what will be year number six in 2023. I-- again, if they're ever going to compete for a championship, they got to find somebody else. The question is who do you find that is at least as good as Kirk Cousins? You don't just snap your fingers and a better quarterback shows up.
- No. That's the thing. Right. So build the damn team then. Build the damn team and try to do it that way. They can do it. I mean, yes, he's not going to be like Joe Burrow or Mahomes. You've said that a million times. You're right. He's still really damn good. You can look what he did this year. There's a lot of, like you're saying, the grass is not always greener.
Yeah. There's a few that it's greener with. OK, after that you start to go, eh, he's just as good, maybe better. I don't know. You know? And what I'll say to it too, Kwesi Adofo Mensah, he came from a place in San Francisco where he knows there was great respect for Kirk Cousins in the building, and then Kirk Cousins coaches like Kevin O'Connell ex-quarterbacks, offensive game plan designers, they usually like Kirk Cousins because he does exactly what he tells them to do.
And then they get him out there on the field and go, ooh, he's got a little more ability than maybe I gave him credit for. So I wouldn't be shocked if you're stuck with your man, Kirk Cousins, for a few more years. Again, he's never going to be a superstar, but really damn good, and build the team around him and let's see what happens.
- Something Kevin O'Connell told us in Indianapolis, and he has said publicly since then, he mentioned to us off the side, first time since he left Washington that Cousins has the same voice in his ear.
- That's right.
- Two straight years.
- And that's a very significant element of the overall calculation for Kevin O'Connell. So we'll see what they do this year.