Cousins is signing a two-year contract extension, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Cousins signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $84 million contract during the 2018 offseason, and the Vikings have seen enough to know that they want him around past 2020. The 31-year-old quarterback has completed 69.7 percent of his passes for 7.5 yards per attempt in a Minnesota uniform, tossing 56 touchdowns against 16 interceptions in 31 regular-season games. Cousins will work with a new offensive coordinator in 2020, as the Vikings have promoted Gary Kubiak to replace Kevin Stefanski.
Cousins completed 21 of 29 passes for 172 yards and a touchdown with one interception in Saturday's 27-10 loss to the 49ers in the NFC divisional round. The Minnesota offense couldn't get much going either on the ground or through the air against one of the league's elite defenses, and while Cousins was accurate, he had little luck stretching the field aside from a 41-yard TD strike to Stefon Diggs in the first quarter. The 31-year-old QB finished his second regular season with the Vikings having completed 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,603 yards and a sharp 26:6 TD:INT through 15 games, as well as an 8.1 YPA that was a full yard better than last year's performance. Dalvin Cook figures to be the focal point of the team's attack again in 2020 barring a major shakeup in the coaching staff, but Cousins demonstrated this season that he's more effective when he isn't called upon to carry the offense himself.
Cousins completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for 242 yards and a touchdown during Sunday's 26-20 wild-card win over the Saints. Cousins struggled in the early going, taking a back seat as the rushing attack carried the team. He was pressed into action in the second half and in overtime, when he led the team down the field before completing the game-winning touchdown to Kyle Rudolph. The veteran primarily connected with Adam Thielen, who broke off several big gains while piling up 129 yards. Although Cousins came out on top in this one, he didn't exactly light up the scoreboard and could be hard-pressed to do so again in next Saturday's divisional-round matchup with the 49ers.
Cousins is active for Sunday's game against the Bears but is expected to serve as the backup to Sean Mannion, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports. The Vikings haven't officially confirmed that Cousins won't start like he usually does, but with Minnesota already locked in as the NFC's No. 6 seed entering Sunday, there's little incentive for the team to exposing its top quarterback to a potential injury in a meaningless season finale. As Cronin notes, the fact the Vikings have made both of their starting offensive tackles (Riley Reiff and Brian O'Neill) healthy inactives is a sign Cousins will only play in an emergency.
Cousins and other Vikings starters are expected to be held out of Sunday's game against the Bears, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com reports. The Vikings haven't finalized their plans but are reportedly leaning in this direction. Other candidates for rest and/or limited snaps include Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph, along with banged-up running backs Dalvin Cook (shoulder) and Alexander Mattison (ankle). Sean Mannion is next up at quarterback, while Mike Boone, Ameer Abdullah, Bisi Johnson and Laquon Treadwell are the best bets to take on the vacated carries and targets.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/13||Green Bay Packers||3||14.33|
|8||11/01||@Green Bay Packers||3||14.33|
|14||12/13||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||23||22.13|
|16||12/25||@New Orleans Saints||20||20.18|
|3 Year Avg||67.9||3998||28||10||122||2||323|