Extending Cousins would clear cap space
The Minnesota Vikings are 29th in projected cap space going into the 2022 season ($10 million over the cap), most of this largely because of Cousins’ contract. Kirk Cousins is due $45 million next year, because of his first extension, which is the third-highest cap hit of any quarterback in the league.
During Cousins’ first extension, he took a pay cut to allow the Vikings to maneuver in free agency with the idea that he would get that money at the end of his contract (end of 2022 season). It would be in the Vikings’ best interest to do the same again.
The Vikings need to make a decision this offseason, trade Cousins and move on now or extend him to reduce the cap hit. Minnesota simply cannot afford to pay close to 25% of their entire cap to one player.
Kirk Cousins deserves his money, one way or another. He is the only reason the Vikings are even a respectable team with a decent record at this point. If the Vikings decide to part ways with Cousins, it will be the biggest mistake the franchise has ever made.