Skip to main content

Report: Kirk Cousins not interested in pay cut, could receive $40M per year

Heading into the final year of his contract, Kirk Cousins is a prime candidate for a contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings this offseason. After all, the quarterback has already mentioned how he wants to remain a Viking for the rest of his career.

Naturally, he also wants to win a Super Bowl, and of course those are the same expectations the organization had in 2018 when initially bringing the QB to town.

One way to potentially get further into the playoffs would be by supplying a better roster around the three-time Pro Bowl quarterback. Of course, Cousins could make things a bit easier on new general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah by agreeing to an extension aimed at bringing his $45M 2022 cap number down.

Previously Cousins had hinted he may not be inclined to tear up this contract. In the past, Cousins had always been known to try and maximize his contractual value, not being afraid to go year-by-year, receiving top-dollar with each contract year bringing larger and larger amounts.

From any team’s perspective, this is far from ideal. Not only would it hinder their chance to receive trade value should his contract expire, leaving the team without a startable quarterback, it doesn’t provide much long-term security.

Why shouldn’t an organization continue to seek any and every opportunity to improve at the most important position on the field if their leader isn’t willing to meet them halfway in a sense, contractually.

Maybe we’re being a bit too harsh on Cousins. Though he may not be among top-10 QBs in the NFL he’s still a proven starting quarterback who would be an immediate improvement over several other teams’ best options heading into the 2022 offseason.

Kirk Cousins asking for $40 million per year isn’t outrageous

There have been recent reports of Derek Carr reportedly wanting a new contract in the $40 million range, which is a fair comparison to Cousins. Both quarterbacks haven’t been the catalyst to their team’s success over the years, yet they also have prevented the bottom from falling out altogether thanks to steady play throughout the season.

At the outset, Kirk Cousins receiving $40 million per season seems asinine, yet three years into the deal it may be considered the league-average. Each year’s contracts outpace the last year’s and so on. With players like Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson looking at extensions this offseason, $40 million won’t seem gargantuan.

When the Vikings do get to the negotiation table this offseason with their starting quarterback, it won’t break any records like the first time he signed on the dotted line with the team, but it still might surprise some.

One report from Jordan Schultz suggests Cousins has “zero intention of taking a pay cut“. He also adds any extension could be exactly in that $40 million per year range that’s been tossed about.

On the surface, it’s a wild number, but if you were to consider the possible outcome of Cousins hitting the open market this free agency period for example, he would likely immediately command $40 million per year.

Look at all the franchises who appear desperate to add even an above-average quarterback this offseason.

  • Washington Commanders
  • Carolina Panthers
  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Denver Broncos
  • Indianapolis Colts
  • Pittsburgh Steelers

It’s hard to imagine that not one of those seven teams wouldn’t be willing to pay Cousins the $35 million base salary amount he’s due in 2022 and then some. For that reason alone, Cousins has plenty of negotiation power.

Still, even a Kirk Cousins extension at $40 million per season can help the team’s budget. One way to do that is by backloading the deal when the NFL’s salary cap is expected to continue to grow, but still having it average out to $40 per year. Either way, expect some short-term extension to prevent a lame-duck scenario going into the 2023 offseason.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: