Vikings’ Justin Jefferson Sounds Off On Kirk Cousins’ Departure

Justin Jefferson, Kirk Cousins
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings are making their transition at quarterback after Kirk Cousins departed in free agency. Cousins spent six years with the Vikings before inking a four-year, $180 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons earlier this offseason.

Minnesota quickly pivoted to signing Sam Darnold to a one-year, $10 million deal. Darnold will likely start for the Vikings in the 2024 season.

However, the long-term option at quarterback could be JJ McCarthy.

The Vikings took McCarthy with the 10th overall pick in the draft, but he likely won’t start in his rookie campaign.

Justin Jefferson is the best player in Minnesota and secured a long-term extension with the team. Jefferson inked a four-year $140 million deal, with $110 million guaranteed.

The 25-year-old receiver has put up great numbers in his first four seasons, totaling 392 receptions for 5,899 yards and 30 touchdowns.

Jefferson is one of the most talented players in the league. His instant impact in the NFL has warranted recognition, including three Pro Bowls and the Offensive Player of the Year Award in 2023.

With Cousins departing from the Vikings, Jefferson shared his thoughts on the Rich Eisen Show.

Jefferson sounds off on Kirk Cousins’ departure

Jefferson stated, “I feel like he just wanted a new start, a new opportunity to start with Atlanta. A clean slate. I’m not mad at him at all for that. I’m grateful for what he’s brought to me and the things we accomplished together. But at the end of the day, it’s a business, and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do for yourself and your family. I clearly understand that. It’s on to the next.”

Jefferson isn’t holding any grudges toward Cousins as he understands he wanted a clean slate.

A fresh start makes sense for Cousins, who wants to finish his career as a starter. In Minnesota, that didn’t make sense, as they planned to draft a quarterback to take over in a few years.

While Atlanta seemed like the optimal place, it may not be now. The Falcons shocked the NFL world by taking Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth overall pick.

Cousins will likely be the starting quarterback for a few years with the Falcons, but Penix Jr. could take over at some point.

Jefferson isn’t mad at Cousins’ departure, and both sides will look to have good sides with their new situations. Justin Jefferson will play with a new quarterback while Kirk Cousins adjusts to a new system.

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