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Could Kirk Cousins be willing to give the Vikings a “hometown discount?”

It kind of sounds that way

Green Bay Packers v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

One of the biggest discussions of the offseason for Minnesota Vikings fans. . .one that will no doubt be conducted in the calmest of fashions. . .will be whether or not the team should bring back quarterback Kirk Cousins. In an interview he did with Kevin Seifert of ESPN on Monday, we may have gotten a bit of insight as to what the answer to that question might be.

As we know, Cousins has done his best to maximize his contract value throughout his career. He played under the franchise tag for two straight years in Washington, and when the (then) Redskins refused to franchise him for a third time, he came to Minnesota and signed the NFL’s first fully-guaranteed contract, a 3-year, $84 million deal. He reportedly had a deal worth more money on the table from the New York Jets but chose Minnesota instead.

Since then, Cousins has signed a pair of extensions with the Vikings: a 2-year, $66 million pact in March of 2020 and a one-year, $35 million deal (fully guaranteed) in March of 2022. His deal is now set to void this coming March, and it sounds like there’s a great deal of mutual interest on both sides about a reunion. When Seifert asked about a potential discount if the Vikings wanted him back, here’s what Cousins had to say:

“That’s a great question and one I’ve thought about pretty much my whole 12 years,” Cousins said. “I do think it’s important to be aware of. I think that God has blessed me financially beyond my wildest dreams. So at this stage in my career, the dollars are really not what it’s about.”

Now, that isn’t a definite “yes” or anything like that, but Cousins isn’t stupid. He knows that he’s a 36-year-old quarterback coming off of a significant injury, he was on his way to putting up one of the best statistical seasons of his career when he got hurt (he was leading the NFL in touchdown passes and was second in passing yardage at the time of his injury), and he knows that he’s got an offense in Minnesota that’s absolutely loaded, including a star receiver in Justin Jefferson that has expressed his affinity for and his desire to team with Cousins numerous times.

Cousins likely knows he’s not getting a big money, fully-guaranteed contract this time around. If he wants to make a run with this team, he’ll likely have the opportunity to do so.

This is the part where about half of the comments section says that the team needs to move on from Cousins and look to the future. And, to that, I’m going to say something that pains me to my core in ways I can’t possibly express:

Maybe the Vikings should do what Green Bay does.

If the Vikings are going to take a quarterback high in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, there’s no reason they can’t do so and bring Cousins back on something short-term. Having someone waiting in the wings when Cousins’ final extension with the Vikings is done with would be a pretty nice change for a franchise that hasn’t really taken a swing on a long-term answer at quarterback in a while. That way, the team remains competitive (which is good), Justin Jefferson remains happy (which is also good, considering that the team needs to get around to extending him, too), and the youngster gets the opportunity to absorb life in the NFL and the nuances of an NFL offense before just throwing him out there.

Again, Cousins didn’t give a definitive “yes” to giving the Vikings a discount in order to come back to the team in 2024, but it damn sure doesn’t sound like something he’d be against.