Salary cap relief
Giving Kirk Cousins an extension was mutually beneficial and it gave the Vikings some additional salary cap space to work with.
Minnesota secured $10 million in savings for 2020 by tying up their quarterback for another two years. This gives the front office some extra breathing room to make additional moves that should do their chances of a postseason return no harm at all.
Make no mistake, franchising star safety Anthony Harris does not happen if Minnesota cannot work out a new deal with Cousins. It appeared unlikely the Vikings would have been able to afford the $11.44 million needed to keep Harris on the roster for another season while they work out a possible multi-year deal down the line.
This was a surprising move, but one that helps the Vikings tremendously. There was speculation Cousins had turned down a series of offers just hours before news of his contract began to emerge.
One would think this was not a money-motivated agreement like the one that tempted him away from the Washington Redskins. The extra guarantee is great for the quarterback, but what is sure to be equally as important are the chances of winning and leaving a legacy beyond productive numbers over a consistent period.
That is something Cousins deserves an enormous amount of credit for. The Vikings may also be thanking him if they emerge from this critical period of the offseason with a leading chance of winning the NFC North.