Those reports were correct, and it’s also being reported that the Jets offered Cousins up to $30 million dollars a year to come to New York, but he turned down a few extra million a year to give himself a chance to win with the Vikings:
Said on @nflnetwork: the #Jets were believed to be high bidder for Kirk Cousins, but he had two others close, from the #Vikings and ... the #Cardinals. Cousins said it was all about winning. Believes he can do it in Minnesota. pic.twitter.com/wSL68xRq4b— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 16, 2018
It’s easy to be cynical in this day and age when Monopoly Money figures are being thrown around during free agency, and to say it’s not about the money is just false. If Cousins said he wanted to win more than anything and the Vikings only offered him $10 million a year, he’d be in New York right now. And if a player, especially in the NFL, wants to chase the maximum contract possible, I don’t begrduge them one bit. You only have a small window to maximize your earning potential in the NFL, so they need to take advantage of it when and if they can.
Still, though, it’s refreshing to see that it wasn’t ALL about the money, and it goes back to the vision owner Zygi Wilf, GM Rick Spielman, and Head Coach Mike Zimmer have for this team—build a championship caliber team that not only has good players, but good men with good locker room chemistry. During his introductory press conference, Cousins alluded to that:
“I would be here a long time if I were to read off the grocery list of reasons why this is the right fit,” Cousins said at the first press conference at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center. “But for the sake of time, winning is what I said it would be all about, and it’s true. I came here for the chance to win. Probably the best chance. That is all that matters in this business.
“More importantly than that, the chance to win comes from the fact that I believe in the leadership of this organization. There has to be a commitment to win from ownership. The ownership, the general manager, the head coach and the quarterback have to all be on the same page,” Cousins added. “I feel very good about that dynamic here. Everything rises and falls on leaderships. I believe the leadership here is in place to be able to win a lot of football games.”
Granted, throwing to Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, or handing off to Dalvin Cook helps a lot, too. But make no mistake, the Minnesota Vikings are becoming a destination team in NFL Free Agency, and the Cousins Deal is, I think, a testament to that.
Think about it—the Vikings have the best stadium in the NFL, and with the new team headquarters, they now have arguably the best facilities. They have a coach and GM that have assembled a very talented roster on both sides of the ball, one that looks to be competitive for the near future.
The only thing missing was a quarterback, and now they have Kirk Cousins. Yes, they need to address a couple depth issues on both lines, but on paper this is one of the most complete teams in the NFL.
Yes, the Minnesota Vikings are going all in, but make no mistake, this isn’t a ‘Super Bowl or rebuild’ scenario like it was in 2009 with Brett Favre. This is set up to roll for the next few years, and if the Vikings can keep drafting well, re-sign key pieces, and plug a hole or two in free agency, they will be a force to be reckoned with in the NFC for the forseeable future.