Vikings sign Cousins to record contract

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins

Covered the 49ers, Raiders and Warriors for the San Jose Mercury News.

Cousins struck gold with the Vikings, becoming the first player in National Football League history to have a fully guaranteed multi-year contract.

A group of quarterback-needy teams that included the Broncos, Jets, Cardinals and others had lined up as potential Cousins suitors.

Still, Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, said the Vikings didn't offer the most money for his client. His deal with Minnesota is a 3-year deal worth $84 million. ("You can learn a lot just by typing peoples' names into your search engine and researching their backgrounds and the roster and the records", he notes.) While in Minneapolis for six days during Super Bowl week, he also rented a vehicle to explore the area and drive past the Vikings' new headquarters. The Redskins used their franchise-player tag the previous two years to keep Cousins from entering free agency, and the two sides never were able to agree to a long-term deal to ensure that Cousins' stay in Washington would be more permanent.

But injuries played a role in each of those circumstances. Both spoke with the anticipation of the quarterback being in Minnesota for much longer than three years. With a proven track record and that kind of durability, the Vikings were all-in.

Lakers see positives in Randle-IT sideline dispute
If he does, Kevon Looney would be in for extended minutes with David West (arm) in line for more when he returns. Of the other 13 games he's played with the Lakers , though, Thomas has served as a reserve.

The Buccaneers have signed former Eagles run-stopper Beau Allen to a three-year, $15 million contract. "He's right now in the prime of his career. We're going all in". Especially at that quarterback position. Cousins said. "The answer is, I believe we will". Which suggests that the Jets were offering a straight $90 million over three, and that Cousins simply wanted a chance to match that amount in Minnesota. "It wasn't necessary at that point". He didn't say so, but after being strung along by Washington the past few years, it's easy to understand why that would be a priority of his. "Sometimes it's hard to tell teams no, but I have a lot of respect for how everybody handled it, and we're just thrilled to have Kirk here in Minnesota".

Cousins' deal for $28 million per season makes him the NFL's highest-paid player in terms of average salary per year. There's the assumption that figure will be surpassed when Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan ink their extensions in the near future.

"Our approach Monday was when we talked to the teams interested, I didn't really want to negotiate teams against each other so I just implored them, 'Bring your best offer, and you get one shot". But he echoed the need for others to follow suit.

"I came here because of the chance to win", he said. "I guess history will probably write that".

ESPN's Mike Sando took a look at quarterbacks around the league and considered which ones "stand to benefit from the initial wave of roster activity", even if the quarterback wasn't a free agent himself.

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