Kevin Seifert, ESPN Staff WriterJun 14, 2023, 04:21 PM ET
- Kevin Seifert is a staff writer who covers the Minnesota Vikings and the NFL at ESPN. Kevin has covered the NFL for over 20 years, joining ESPN in 2008. He was previously a beat reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Washington Times. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia. You can follow him via Twitter @SeifertESPN.
EAGAN, Minn. — Even as they tabled contract discussions this spring with quarterback Kirk Cousins, the Minnesota Vikings left open the possibility that talks could resume at any time. Cousins, however, said Wednesday that a resumption is not likely until after this season.
“I think we’ll probably talk about the contract next March,” Cousins said on the final day of the Vikings’ mandatory minicamp. “Until then, [we’ll] just focus on this season and the job to do right now.”
That answer solidified the widely held assumption that Cousins will play out the final year of his contract this season, during which he will earn $30 million. The deal will remain set to expire in March 2024. Neither side has indicated any acrimony in the discussions, but ultimately they decided to do a simple restructure of his deal this spring rather than extend it.
The Vikings did not acquire a potential long-term replacement for Cousins this offseason, although they did draft BYU’s Jaren Hall in the fifth round of April’s draft. Speaking after that pick, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said: “Sometimes you come to a place where you decide, ‘Hey, let’s talk later. This is a solution for now.’ That’s all that’s happened.”
Cousins, who will turn 35 during training camp, reiterated in May that he wants to finish his career in Minnesota, calling it “kind of a no-brainer.” But he said he felt he needed to earn that opportunity.
“In this league, there should never be entitlement,” Cousins said. “You’ve always got to go play, and teams can do whatever they want to do. That’s their prerogative. You just go to work. You do the best you can. I’m encouraged and excited because I do feel like I’ve got a lot of good football ahead of me.”
Meanwhile, Cousins paid tribute to longtime Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, whom the team released last week. While it appears the team has moved on to former backup Alexander Mattison as its top tailback, Cousins suggested it was possible that Cook could wind up back with the Vikings.
“I’m excited to see where he goes,” Cousins said. “I’ll always be pulling for him and I’m kind of optimistically hoping maybe we get him back. Who knows. Maybe there is an outside chance. We’ll see.”