It may not be what Vikings fans were hoping for, but extending Kirk Cousins was really the only move the team could make.
Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings are determined to make it work, whatever it is that means.
When the Vikings handed Cousins a three-year guarunteed contract in 2018, Minnesota thought it was dotting the ‘i’ on it’s Super Bowl chances. The team had come up a game short the year before with a backup carrying the load so surely COusins was enough to finally take the Vikings over the hump.
Two seasons later, the Vikings are stuck repeating themselves without anything to show for it. Kirk Cousins was handed a two-year extension by Minnesota which feels more like a reset to two years ago than it does a reward for accomplishing the original mission.
Cousins did not lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl, did not live up to the lofty $84 million expectations that were set, and has not been the savior fans hoped he would be.
As unsexy as this is for Vikings fans, what has to be considered is the fact that Minnesota really didn’t have another option. What was the team going to do?
As historic as this quarterback class is in free agency, Minnesota was never part of the conversation. With all the rumors of Tom Brady looking to solidify a legacy away from New England, the Vikings were never once mentioned as a landing spot.
Teddy Bridgewater already did a tour of duty with the Vikings and they chose to move on from him. The NFC North team most closely rumored with acquiring Cam Newton was in Chicago, and from there the options begin to blur with what Cousins would bring.
Andy Dalton, who was in Cincinnati at the same time as Mike Zimmer, hasn’t been connected to Minnesota despite how easy those dots are to connect. Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota have upside but neither provide fans with any deeper sense of confidence than trotting out Cousins would.
Drafting a quarterback is a logical option but it doesn’t fit through the Vikings championship window. Minnesota picks 25th overall, which is well out of range for any of the quarterbacks who might have what it takes to start as rookies.
If Minnesota were to draft a quarterback, he’d be a project that would have to sit behind a veteran — which returns us to square one of the problem.
The Vikings might still be able to win with Cousins. He showed flashes over the last two years of the guy Minnesota thought he could be. But two more years means the Super Bowl window has been clearly defined. If the same things happen on Cousins second contract as did the first, then the Vikings will be changing more than just who plays quarterback for them in 2022.