The Minnesota Vikings underperformed once again in 2021.
Their defense has been the team’s Achilles heel for so long, even if former head coach Mike Zimmer was a defensive specialist.
But while there’s a need to build that unit, Cousins would like to earn the amount he thinks he deserves.
He is reportedly not interested in any pay cut in extension talks with the Vikings.
Kirk Cousins “isn’t likely” to accept a team-friendly discount if offered an extension by the #Vikings this year
— Adam Patrick (@Str8_Cash_Homey) February 14, 2022
Last season, the 33-year-old quarterback had a $31 million cap hit, $21 million of which was his base salary.
However, he had a solid season with Minnesota, finishing with 4,221 yards and 33 touchdowns.
Both numbers made him the ninth-best signal-caller in those categories during the regular season.
What’s more impressive is that he only threw seven interceptions, giving him the best touchdown-to-interception ratio of his ten-year career.
Those credentials give Cousins some leverage in negotiations for an extension.
Will The Vikings Listen To Cousins’ Request?
It’s up to new Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah to decide on what’s best for the team.
If Cousins won’t budge in getting more money, they would have a hard time signing more players because they are already $15 million over the projected 2022 salary cap.
In 2022, Cousins’ base salary escalates to $35 million which could be the floor for the new deal he’s seeking.
Therefore, there’s a possibility that he and his agents at Priority Sports and Entertainment will negotiate for an annual pay of at least $40 million.
The Vikings have options other than giving Cousins what he wants.
One fun one is Adofo-Mensah pursuing a deal with the Houston Texans to acquire Deshaun Watson.
The 2020 passing yards leader specified the Vikings as one of the teams on his radar.
If that’s the case, Minnesota must take the opportunity to take the upgrade at quarterback.