Why Kirk Cousins does not deserve another raise from the Vikings in 2023

(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins
(Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

Kirk Cousins still has plenty to prove to the Minnesota Vikings if he wants to continue on as one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL after the 2023 season.

Since 2019, Russell Wilson is the only quarterback in the NFL to earn more money than current Minnesota Vikings starting signal-caller Kirk Cousins. Coincidentally, Wilson and Cousins have also led their respective teams to the exact same record in the playoffs (1-2) since 2019.

Minnesota’s starting quarterback is currently in the final year of his contract, and many are wondering if he’s going to get another extension this offseason from the Vikings.

Typically, extensions in the NFL, especially for quarterbacks, come with an increase in pay. But what has Cousins helped Minnesota accomplish during his tenure with the team to deserve another raise from the franchise?

Minnesota Vikings should force Kirk Cousins to prove himself in 2023

Since joining the Vikings in 2018, Cousins has been the poster boy for statistical consistency. In four of his five seasons with Minnesota, he’s thrown for at least 4,200 yards and 29 touchdowns.

These are solid numbers, and no one is denying that. But they haven’t resulted in anything remotely successful for the Vikings during Cousins’ time with the franchise.

After he was signed as the potential missing piece for a Super Bowl contender in 2018, the veteran quarterback has helped Minnesota get to the playoffs twice in his five years in purple and gold, and the team has only a single postseason victory with him starting under center.

It’s great that the Vikings can rely on Cousins to put up consistent stats year in and year out. But if these numbers don’t result in playoff wins, then what is the point of the team paying him like he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL?

If Cousins wants a new multi-year contract from Minnesota that includes an increase in his pay, then he needs to do more than just fill the stat sheet.

He needs to lead the team to road wins against the top contenders in the league while under the national spotlight. He needs to lead Minnesota to a top seed in the NFC playoff standings. He needs to lead the Vikings to more than just one playoff win. He needs to lead Minnesota to their first NFC Championship appearance since 2017.

These are all things that should be required of a top quarterback in the NFL if they want to get paid a top-five salary. This may not be the standard for other franchises, but it should be the standard for the Vikings if they ever want to win a Super Bowl.

So if Cousins is truly looking for a new multi-year contract from Minnesota this offseason, the team should let him just play out the final season of his deal, and if the team succeeds in 2023 like they never have before with him starting under center, then they should go right ahead and reward him in 2024.

And if the team continues to not achieve any sort of legitimate success with Cousins as their starter next season, then they can officially move on from him in 2023, and they will have a bunch of money to spend on either their next veteran signal-caller or on building a roster around a young quarterback.

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