Vikings GM: Kirk Cousins contract likely to be done Thursday morning

By Jesse Reed

The worst-kept secret in the NFL is finally all the way in the light. After a few days of reports that Kirk Cousins will sign a monster, fully-guaranteed contract with the Minnesota Vikings, the deal is all but in the bag.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman told reporters Wednesday night that Cousins’ agent will be flying in on Thursday morning, when the two sides are likely to hammer out a deal and announce it in a press conference Thursday afternoon.

Cousins was flown out to Minnesota on a private jet Wednesday for a meet-and-greet with the Vikings, and cameras were on him when he arrived.

He went out to dinner with the team’s brass Wednesday night to discuss things, and signed a few autographs afterward.

The Vikings are reportedly going to pay Cousins $28 million per year on a three-year deal for a total of $84 million guaranteed, making him the richest quarterback in the league on a per-year basis.

Originally a fourth-round pick by Washington in 2012 — the same year Robert Griffin III went No. 2 overall — Cousins emerged as the starter went 26-30-1 during his tenure with the Redskins. He completed 65.5 percent of his passes for 16,206 yards with 99 touchdowns and 55 interceptions.

Widely viewed as the top free agent in this year’s class (aside from Drew Brees, who never wanted to leave New Orleans), Cousins is redefining the free-agency process for quarterbacks. He signed consecutive franchise tags in 2016-17 and stands to make nearly $128 million fully guaranteed from 2016 through 2020.

Of course, with that huge payday comes huge expectations. The Vikings feel they are a quarterback away from a championship and now have landed a guy they feel can get them to that pinnacle. Others, like myself, aren’t so sure he’s capable of shouldering this responsibility.