A lot has been made of Kirk Cousins’ contract and his struggles with the Minnesota Vikings this season. That came out in droves after a dreadful performance from the high-priced quarterback during a 21-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.
Cousins certainly deserves criticism. He’s now 0-5 against teams that are .500 or better this season and has continued to struggle against like opponents throughout his career.
Though, there’s one stat that tells us a story of teams with high-priced quarterbacks struggling to remain relevant this season.
According to the official NFL Research account, Cousins is the only quarterback among the six highest-paid in the league to currently have his team in playoff positioning.
— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) December 11, 2018
The inclusion of Jimmy Garoppolo is somewhat unfair in that he went down with a torn ACL less than three games into the season. The 49ers were 1-1 on the year prior to their recently-extended quarterback suffering said injury.
Even then, there’s a whole lot to look at here. Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan both received massive extensions within the past seven months. Matthew Stafford and Derek Carr earned their mega deals last year. None of these quarterback have their respective teams in playoff positioning heading into Week 15. In fact, the Raiders and Lions find themselves in last place.
On the other end of the spectrum, quarterbacks currently on their rookie deals are lighting the standings up big time. Patrick Mahomes, Jared Goff, Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson and Mitch Trubisky each have their teams in first place.
Such is the nature of the beast in an NFL that’s salary cap heavily favors teams with quarterbacks currently under their rookie deals.