When it came to quarterback Kirk Cousins’ contract, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah opted not to rock the ship with his first big decision as general manager of the Minnesota Vikings. The two sides agreeing to a one-year, $35 million fully guaranteed extension had Vikings fans scratching their heads.
How is this move different from the one former GM Rick Spielman made when he decided to keep kicking the can down the road by agreeing to a two-year, $66 million contract extension with Cousins in 2020?
There are serious concerns that the Vikings may be traveling down a dangerous path that will lead to many of the same problems that brought down the previous regime. The mood emanating from Eagan has been different with Adofo-Mensah showing complete confidence in Cousins as the team’s starting quarterback.
“Kirk was one of the first players I called up when I joined the Vikings, and it was immediately clear how much he cares about this organization and winning,” Adofo-Mensah said when news of the reported extension broke, via from the team’s official website. . “Top-level quarterback play is a prerequisite to building a championship team, and we’re confident Kirk will continue down that path.”
The argument against Cousins has never centered so much on his talent as on his contract numbers relative to his overall output. Even as a top-10 quarterback, Cousins was expected to have the third-highest salary cap among all NFL quarterbacks in 2022 ($45 million).
The good news for the Vikings is that the new contract has been structured in a way that not only gives Cousins a pay raise, but also alleviates the cap stress the team faced with him on the roster. Whether that’s enough to make a difference when it comes to winning soccer matches remains to be seen.
So far, it’s a new regime making the same decisions in Minnesota.