Why the Vikings might give Kirk Cousins another extension this year

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

To clear some much-needed cap space, the Minnesota Vikings might look to extend Kirk Cousins for the second-straight year.

When it comes to finding ways to generate more salary cap space, the Minnesota Vikings are one of the most creative teams in the NFL.

Heading into the last few offseasons, it’s felt like the Vikings were barely going to be able to sign their rookie class with the lack of spending money they were expected to have. But then Minnesota went out and signed free agents like Michael Pierce and Sheldon Richardson, retained players such as Anthony Barr and Anthony Harris, and extended others like Dalvin Cook and Adam Thielen.

With the Vikings expected to not have a ton of cash again this offseason, they will need to continue being creative if they want to add any notable veteran players to their roster.

How are the Minnesota Vikings going to create cap space this year?

Last March, Minnesota made the decision to extend quarterback Kirk Cousins, so now he’s under contract with the team until 2023. Thanks to the extension for Cousins, the Vikings were able to clear $10 million in cap space.

In an effort to clear space this offseason, there’s obviously the possibility of Minnesota just releasing some of their highest-paid players like Kyle Rudolph and Riley Reiff. But the Vikings could also consider another short extension for Cousins to generate more spending money just like they did last offseason.

On the latest episode of “The Viking Age Podcast“, I asked The Athletic’s Chad Graff what he thought about this theory that is currently floating around about Minnesota extending Cousins for the second year in a row to clear more cap space.

Graff told me “it’s an interesting idea,” because it could create more cap space and possibly make Minnesota “better in the short term.” But since it would also add more money to the high amount that the Vikings already owe to someone who they might want to move on from after 2021, Graff says he “would be surprised,” if the team extended Cousins again this offseason.

His full answer begins at the 11:37 mark of the podcast for those curious to hear the expanded version of his thoughts on this theory.

It’s quite the out-of-the-box theory to begin with, so it’s not surprising that plenty of people don’t think it’s something that will actually happen.

At the same time, however, no one should underestimate the tricks that Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman and executive vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski have up their sleeve to clear cap space.

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