The Minnesota Vikings and former Washington Redskins QB Kirk Cousins signed a history making deal moments ago. Albert Breer has the details:
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins' 3-year, $84 million contract, per source, fully guaranteed, with no-trade and no-transition tag provisions.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 15, 2018
$3 million signing bonus
2018: $22.5 million base, $500K workout
2019: $27.5 million base, $500K workout
2020: $29.5 million base, $500K workout
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins will have cap numbers of $24.0 million for 2018, $29 million for 2019 and $31 million for 2020. By rule, he can be franchised one more time. Would cost Minnesota $44.64 million to tag him in 2021.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 15, 2018
For the Vikings, it is, hopefully, the end to the quarterback carousel that has plagued this team for most of the last 40 years. For Cousins and NFL players in general, it is believed to be the dawn of a new era in NFL contracts—one that has fully guaranteed, no trade provisions in them, something that seemed almost unthinkable in NFL circles just a couple seasons ago.
For me, the surprising thing is that the contract is fairly back loaded, not front loaded. I thought they would push more money up front and work on getting some key guys—Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Stefon Diggs, Danielle Hunter, etc—contract extensions next year.
But the way the Vikings have done this deal is actually really smart, because it doesn’t mean they can’t get these deals done. They have the room to do them all, actually. The Vikings are banking on the salary cap to keep increasing around $10 million per year, and that is a reasonable assumption. Assuming it does, The percentage of cap that the Cousins contract will eat up will stay around 15%, which isn’t bad at all, even in 2020 when he is scheduled to make $31 million:
Cousins' cap percentage set for 13.5% of #Vikings room this season. Would increase to around 15.5% in '19/'20 if NFL salary cap keeps increasing by ~$10M a year. https://t.co/bmsobjZJvq— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) March 15, 2018
It also gives them added flexibility right now to go get another big name free agent if they so choose. Free agent DT Sheldon Richardson of the Seattle Seahawks is also in Minnesota on a visit as I type this, and this would give the Vikings plenty of room under the cap to get a deal done with him, for example. The Sehawks have offered Richardson $11 million, he said he wants $15...both numbers I thought were too high until the particulars of the Cousins deal came out.
So what has long been rumored has come to pass, and full guarantees aside, it’s not nearly as bad a deal as folks thought it would be in terms of limiting the Vikings by eating up a ton of cap space.
So, welcome to Minnesota, Kirk Cousins!