Wait and see
Should Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer decide to opt for a wait and see approach regarding an extension for their current quarterback, then Kirk Cousins will have to play his way into a new deal next season.
If Cousins leaves absolutely no doubt with his level of consistency and production in the final year of his current contract, then it is a win-win situation for the Vikings, who can look at their quarterback as a solid foundation from which to build in the seasons to come.
Should Cousins fall into his old habits and become riddled with errors and inability to win on the big stage, then Minnesota’s front office can move in a direction without any further financial commitment and salary cap concerns regarding the quarterback.
The last thing the Vikings will want is to be committed long-term to an under-performing passer. So examining how Cousins can build off arguably the finest season of his career in a contract year will tell those making the decisions all they need to know about how likely they are to achieve success with this quarterback going forward.