Why the Minnesota Vikings Should Try to Sign Kirk Cousins
There's two roads of thought when it comes to the Vikings and Kirk Cousins. Sign him and go for it all, or don't to save the money for other contracts.
Minnesota is in a known, but unfamiliar conundrum this offseason. The known? The team needs to figure out what to do with the quarterback position. The unfamiliar? The fact that the team has three quarterbacks on the roster who are set to become free agents.
Sam Bradford is more than likely gone following a season where he made two starts and missed the rest of the season with another knee injury. Nobody really knows anything in regards to Teddy Bridgewater and what his ceiling as a quarterback could be following the terrible leg injury he suffered.
As for Case Keenum, after a fantastic season Keenum would seem to be in line with the Vikings for a new contract. The story all season from the Vikings was that Keenum was week-to-week and there was always that question surrounding him. We had a chance to talk to Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman on Thursday from Radio Row about Keenum and here's what he offered...
There's a lot there that a person could read deeper into. The fact that he was put in the right situation, fit Pat Shurmur's system, and the stars just aligned are typical responses that would show that he isn't completely sold on Keenum as a quarterback. Or, we just take this all for face value and that Keenum is the guy.
But let's just say that the Vikings decide to move away from Keenum. What's next? Either the team would hitch their full wagon to Bridgewater or it's time to look outside of the organization.
One of the names floating out there this year is Kirk Cousins. The former Washington Redskins quarterback has, statistically, had three consecutive good years for Washington. The only issue? The win/loss record. Most would blame it on the lack of a good offensive line and lack of weapons on the field in Washington.
Cousins has traditionally taken care of the football. He has thrown 99 touchdowns to 55 interceptions in his career, and over the last three seasons has a 81-36 touchdown to interception ratio. Throughout the last three years, he's averaged around 275 passing yards per game.
He's going to command a lot of money. That is a given and is known. Alex Smith, who was just traded to Washington, signed a four-year $94 million contract. Cousins is going to demand roughly around $100 million.
Minnesota has salary cap room however.
Going back to the tradeoff, the issue here becomes whether a team wants to spend that amount of money on a quarterback and potentially risk losing some of the other key members of the offense or even the defensive side. Signing Cousins could potentially put re-signing the likes of Anthony Barr or Stefon Diggs in danger in the future.
That's the future. We're also talking about a team that was one game away from the Super Bowl and still brings back most of the talent from last season. Signing Cousins might end up being the last piece that is missing from the 5000-count puzzle that brings a Lombardi Trophy to town.
Minnesota still has the window open for opportunity to make a run for a championship. It wasn't that way after 1998, 2001, or when they brought a beat up Brett Favre back for 2010. The chance is still there.
The window of opportunity might only be open for one to two more seasons as it is. A couple of years from now, some of those players might decide to walk to a different organization regardless of the money situation with the Vikings.
So...Go for gold? Or just see what you have?
Maybe it's time to get aggressive.