What is the value of Kirk Cousins and what would life be like without him?

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /
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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

The Minnesota Vikings have a tough task when it comes to dealing with quarterback Kirk Cousins this offseason.

If the Minnesota Vikings trade Kirk Cousins this offseason, the decision will not be an easy one. On the one hand, Kirk is a very good quarterback that can get his team into the playoffs if the rest of the pieces are there. On the other hand, however, he needs the perfect situation around him to have any chance at sniffing playoff success.

For a quarterback to take up $45 million against the cap, he better be able to carry a not-so-great roster into the playoffs. Since he arrived in Minnesota, that has not been the case for Kirk Cousins. He needs to show a lot more in order to justify his cap hit, but it appears he may have run his course with the franchise.

There is no denying that Kirk is a good quarterback – but GOOD isn’t enough for this team. Cousins could never get over the hump of a bad defense and struggling offensive line, something that the best quarterbacks in the league are supposed to do.

When he is making money that is on par with Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Tannehill, and Jimmy Garoppolo, his team better make the playoffs. There are no excuses as to why those three guys can consistently make the playoffs while Kirk and the Vikings cannot.

The easy argument to make would be that Kirk’s contract has kept the Vikings from adding enough pieces to compete defensively, which is pretty much true. The money has been spent on the defense but only for the high-end starters.

Minnesota has spent plenty of money on defensive starters over the years, including big-money extensions to Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith, and Danielle Hunter. They have also sought expensive free agents in Dalvin Tomlinson and Michael Pierce to clog the front line.

Now, the problem with spending all of your leftover cash on these guys is that they are either aging or battling injuries far too often. None of those players played in all 17 games in 2021. Danielle Hunter played in just seven games after missing the entire 2020 season, while Michael Pierce, who also missed 2020, only played eight times in 2021.

The Vikings lack depth on the defense and even at a few spots offensively. When the biggest excuse for Kirk Cousins has always been his lack of an offensive line, perhaps the money should go towards improving their options at right guard.

Oli Udoh and Mason Cole should not be the best options – and yet they were the ONLY options for the Vikings last season. Moving Kirk’s money would open the door for extra assets to be used at that spot during the offseason.