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Report: Kirk Cousins, Vikings agree to restructure contract

Kirk Cousins Vikings
(Jeffrey Becker / USA Today Sports)

Report: Kirk Cousins, Vikings agree to restructure contract

While the Minnesota Vikings and quarterback Kirk Cousins have agreed to restructure his contract, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday morning. Sources told Vikings reporter Alec Lewis of The Athletic that the restructured deal will save Minnesota $16 million in salary cap space.

Cousins was entering the final year of his contract, was expected to carry a $36.3 million cap-hit with $15 million of a $20 million roster bonus due on March 23 (remaining $5 million to be paid on Sept. 23), per Spotrac. Now, according to Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer, the Vikings are expected to add two more void years on top of the two Cousins already had, converting the $20 million roster bonus into a signing bonus.

This comes in lieu of an extension not being agreed upon; it was reported Sunday that Minnesota and Cousins were not close to an extension, so a move to restructure his contract was the right one. So the 34-year-old is still expected to head into free agency after 2024 for the first time since 2018, when he signed the Vikings.

Cousins completed 65.9 percent of his attempts last year, throwing for 4,547 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 touchdowns, miraculously leading the Vikings to a 13-4 record (despite a sour ending in the playoffs). In his Minnesota tenure, he’s thrown for 30,934 yards, 153 touchdowns to just 50 interceptions in 80 games (all starts), earning three Pro Bowl appearances.

Second-year general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has already undone previous contracts made by former Vikings GM Rick Spielman to work on getting under the cap, which they’re now $6.1 million below in lieu of Cousins’ restructured deal, according to Over The Cap. Minnesota’s recently released fan-favorites Adam Thielen and Eric Kendricks, as well as Cameron Dantzler. While it doesn’t seem as likely now, reports previously surfaced that another fan-favorite, Harrison Smith, could be axed.

Maybe that’s the case, maybe it’s not, but it’s house cleaning time in Minnesota, so most everyone (other than Justin Jefferson, and now Cousins) are at risk.

It would not be surprising if Minnesota elected to move on from Cousins in the near-future. Adofo-Mensah, a forward-thinking executive, and Vikings brass appear to be cleaning house; Minnesota is getting younger, (way) more athletic and building a heap of cap-space ahead of 2024 and beyond.

“Obviously from their side, they want it as certain as possible, and from our side, we want flexibility,” Adofo-Mensah said, via Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “You’re always trying to be solutions-oriented and find a way that works for both people. . . . He has as much importance to this organization and maybe more than I do, so we all have to be on the same page and make sure that relationship works.”

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