The Minnesota Vikings want to bring quarterback Kirk Cousins back this offseason, but it does not appear to be an inevitability.
The Vikings would have to eat $28 million in dead cap money if they allow Cousins to walk in free agency, and many feel they don’t want to resort to that.
However, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah did not seem to rule out the possibility, saying that he has not received any mandates from ownership one way or the other.
He added that he doesn’t think a transition year would be the worst thing in the world if it comes in exchange for potential long-term success.
“Taking a step back in the short term isn’t a big deal if you don’t think you’re actually close,” Adofo-Mensah said, via Alec Lewis of The Athletic.
While Adofo-Mensah has said he hopes to retain Cousins, the above quote is not exactly a ringing endorsement for the 35-year-old signal-caller.
It’s also important to note that Adofo-Mensah wants to bring Cousins back on a deal that provides Minnesota with financial flexibility. Cousins refused such a contract last offseason, although he has said he is open to taking a discount to sign with a contender this spring.
“I think at different times this year — we’ve shown it in the last two years in fact — but I think you want to get to that place in your program where it’s consistent year in and year out [and] you can overcome adversity,” Adofo-Mensah said. “We’re not there to that standard yet, but we’ve made the playoffs, we’ve got in playoff contention for a lot of this year through a lot of things. So, I think we’re pointed in the right direction.”
So, basically, Adofo-Mensah thinks the Vikings need to add some pieces, and it will be difficult for the club to do that if they are paying Cousins a substantial salary.
Cousins joined Minnesota as a free agent back in 2018. Since then, he has been a consistent presence under center for the squad, although midway through this season, he unfortunately tore his Achilles. Prior to the injury, Cousins was enjoying a spectacular year, having thrown for 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions through eight games.
We’ll see if Kirk Cousins is still playing in a Vikings uniform in 2024.