The Vikings officially signed Cousins to a three-year contract Thursday. With a fully guaranteed deal worth $84 million, Cousins has inked the largest one on a per-year basis in NFL history, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. There's a chance he won't hold the crown long due to the likelihood the division-rival Packers sign Aaron Rodgers to a significant extension this offseason. Nevertheless, Cousins' arrival rounds out a stacked roster on both sides of the ball. Upon stepping on the field in the fall, he'll have at his disposal a 1,000-yard wide receiver (Adam Thielen), another explosive option (Stefon Diggs) and a reliable tight end (Kyle Rudolph). Plus, running back Dalvin Cook, a 2017 second-round pick, will be looking to bounce back from a torn ACL. Cousins could soon be working with the best supporting cast of his career.
Cousins plans to sign a three-year, fully-guaranteed contract with the Vikings on Thursday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Cousins is scheduled for a Wednesday-Thursday visit to Minnesota, where he already has a three-year offer for approximately $84 million on the table. It seems to be a mere formality, but he at least wants to talk with the team and see the Vikings' new facilities before putting pen to paper. A three-year deal would allow him to test free agency again or sign an extension in 2021 when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will begin. Barring a last-minute change of heart, the 29-year-old quarterback will direct an offense featuring Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Dalvin Cook (knee) and Kyle Rudolph (ankle). It's one of the better supporting casts in the NFL, backed by a defense that led the league in both points and yards allowed last season. The offensive line isn't great, but it's plenty good enough to get by on a team with so much other talent.
Cousins will start free agency with a visit to Minnesota, where he already has a three-year, $84 million offer on the table, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. Cousins may actually prefer a three-year contract to a longer deal, potentially allowing him to hit the open market (or sign an extension) in 2021 when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement will begin. The Vikings have emerged as a clear favorite to sign him, boasting what's easily the best roster among quarterback-needy teams. The Jets might be willing to pay Cousins more, but he'd have a tough time reaching the playoffs in New York this upcoming season. In addition to an excellent defense, Minnesota offers a potent offensive skill-position core of Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Dalvin Cook (knee) and Kyle Rudolph. The 29-year-old quarterback would be well positioned to win games and pile up stats.
The Redskins didn't use the franchise tag on Cousins this offseason, Matthew Paras of The Washington Times reports. On Tuesday, the deadline came and went for the Redskins to tab Cousins with the franchise tag for a third consecutive year. Ultimately, the $34.5 million cap hit was too much for the team to stomach and likely spurred its front office to agree to terms on a trade Jan. 30 to bring Alex Smith into the fold as the starting quarterback moving forward. Cousins will thus have the pick of the litter regarding his next home. QB-needy teams like the Vikings, Broncos, Jets and Cardinals have all been linked as possible suitors for Cousins, who passed for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in three seasons as the full-time starter in Washington.
Cousins isn't expected to receive the franchise tag, Kimberley A. Martin of The Washington Post reports. Redskins senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams said that Cousins is "a free agent for sure." There was some thought the team might use the franchise tag and then work out a trade, but such a move would severely restrict Washington's flexibility in the early stages of the free agency period. The Redskins and Chiefs have agreed on a trade for Alex Smith, who should take over as Washington's starting quarterback once the transaction becomes official at the start of the new league year March 14. Cousins will have a shot at the largest contract in NFL history, with the Vikings, Broncos and Jets likely at the front of the line for his services.
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