What they don’t want you to know about Kirk Cousins’ contract

(Photo by Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Kirk Cousins /

A bit of misleading information was spreading around on Friday about Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Back in 2018, the Minnesota Vikings gave Kirk Cousins a historic contract that featured the most fully guaranteed money in NFL history. Last offseason, the Vikings gave Cousins a two-year extension worth $66 million that included another $61 million in fully guaranteed money.

On Friday, his $35 million base salary for the 2022 season became fully guaranteed. The thing to pay attention to here is the fact that his base salary is now fully guaranteed and not the $45 million cap hit that is irresponsibly being thrown around by a number of people who cover Minnesota sports.

The Vikings can easily lower Cousins‘ $45 million cap hit before the 2022 season begins. But sharing this info with the public might ruin certain narratives that some people are trying to currently spread about the Minnesota quarterback.

How can the Minnesota Vikings lower the cap hit of Kirk Cousins for 2022?

Over the years, the Vikings have been praised for their ability to constantly manipulate the salary cap. If this is true, then why are some worried about the $45 million cap hit in 2022 actually going into action?

Minnesota never had any intention of Cousins actually taking up $45 million of their salary cap in 2022. His extension was just backloaded and his largest cap hit was placed at the end with the intention of renegotiating his contract or trading him in 2022.

This is something the Vikings have done numerous times in the recent past, so why would they decide to change their strategy with their roster’s most expensive player all of the sudden?

Remember last offseason when Minnesota gave Cousins an extension that lowered his 2020 cap hit from $31 million to $21 million? The Vikings would probably attempt to do something similar in 2022 if they try to sign him to another extension.

If Minnesota doesn’t extend Cousins in 2022, another way they can avoid the $45 million cap hit is by trading him. The Vikings would free up $35 million in cap space if they were able to agree to a trade in 2022.

So while his current cap hit for 2022 is $45 million, Minnesota’s contract habits from the recent past make it hard to believe that this cap hit is going to remain the same for the 2022 season.