We need to have an important discussion about Kirk Cousins

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

After five seasons with Kirk Cousins as their starting quarterback, the Minnesota Vikings have one playoff win. It’s time to plan for the future.

Around this time five years ago, the Minnesota Vikings thought they were adding the final piece to their championship puzzle when they landed quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency.

Cousins wasn’t brought in to put the team on his back, but the Vikings thought his talent would get them closer to winning a Super Bowl than if they were to bring back Case Keenum, who helped them reach the NFC Championship in 2017.

Well, five seasons later, Cousins and Keenum have won the same amount of Super Bowls (zero), and Minnesota is left wondering how much longer they should wait until they begin to search for a new possible solution at the quarterback position.

The Minnesota Vikings need to begin their final chapter with Kirk Cousins

During his five years with the Vikings, Cousins has put up some impressive numbers on his stat sheet. Whenever his time ends with Minnesota, his name is going to be at the top, or near the top, of several franchise passing records.

But for whatever reason, Cousins’ performance in the box score has rarely translated to success on the field for the Vikings.

In their five seasons with him as their starting quarterback, Minnesota has just one playoff victory in three postseason games. For a guy that was brought in to help the Vikings win a championship in 2018, one playoff win in five years is unacceptable.

Has Cousins been handed perfect circumstances during his tenure in Minnesota? Of course not. He’s dealt with a head coach who despised him, offensive linemen that couldn’t block for more than half of a second, the defense regressing significantly, and his teammates suffering countless injuries that always seemed to come at the absolute worst time.

To be fair though, these events aren’t really that unique in the NFL. Every franchise deals with adversity, but the best players and teams are the ones that are able to overcome these obstacles. The greatest players in the history of the league became great by conquering tasks that many of their peers viewed as insurmountable.

Cousins has been a good quarterback during his time with the Vikings, but he has never been great. At times during the 2022 season, it felt like Minnesota head coach Kevin O’Connell was steering Cousins towards greatness, but some of the quarterback’s old habits couldn’t help but reappear.

With one year left on his current contract and a 35th birthday coming up in August, the time has come for the Vikings to begin the process of finding a replacement for Cousins. Whether their solution involves drafting a young quarterback in 2023 or 2024, making a trade, or signing another free agent, plans for the future need to be made this offseason.

This isn’t a knock on Cousins. The guy has tried as hard as he could for Minnesota during the last five seasons. The Vikings took a chance in 2018 by bringing Cousins in, and it just hasn’t worked out.

Cousins was viewed by some as a savior for the franchise when he arrived in Minnesota five years ago. Now it’s time for the Vikings to find someone else to try to lead them to the top of the championship mountain that they’ve never been able to reach.

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