Kirk Cousins was open to lowering his contract for 2023 to help the Minnesota Vikings out, but they didn’t take him up on it. Here’s why.

This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings added two void years to Kirk Cousins’ contract, effectively making the quarterback an unrestricted free agent in 2024. Cousins’ contract played out similar to how Daniel Jones’ contract could: It was thought to be a dramatic overpay at the start, and then as time went on and the market grew around it, it was much more of a market rate deal by the end.

Ironically, though, Cousins is likely to seek a deal similar to what Jones got from the New York Giants this offseason ($40 million average annual value) when he hits the open market after this season.

But we’ve learned that before the Vikes added void years to his deal, Cousins actually offered the team the opportunity to secure him for less than that $40 million mark. The Vikings opted to go the other way.

Here’s what Andrew Krammer said on the Access Vikings Podcast, H/T Minnesota Sports Fan:

“I had also heard that he wasn’t asking for $40 [million]. He wasn’t asking for that much, in terms of what Daniel Jones got, who is obviously much younger but much less accomplished. Cousins’ camp was kind of surprised I guess, from what I heard, at the Vikings not jumping or at least accepting what they were asking for.”

Why wouldn’t they pick up the cheaper years?

Vikings appear poised to move on from Kirk Cousins in near future

Cousins wanted a guaranteed 2024 and 2025 from Minnesota, a hard sell for Cousins who will be 37 in the 2025 season.

It positions the Vikings for a new quarterback after what looks like it very well could be a final year with Cousins at the helm. Minnesota has gotten itself into a sticky situation since it’d like to secure Justin Jefferson for the future, who will be pricy. Saving on the quarterback position is an unfortunate need if Cousins was unwilling to make his contract just partially guaranteed.

It remains to be seen what direction Minnesota goes in 2024 if it is indeed moving on from Kirk Cousins, but that’s what it looks like Minnesota is setting up for now.

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