New Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell has said repeatedly he’s excited to work with quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2022. Now, the new front office has ensured he’ll get the chance, signing the veteran quarterback on Sunday to a one-year extension, according to NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero. Cousins was already under contract for 2022, albeit with a high salary cap figure that prompted speculation of a potential trade, but his new deal — a fully guaranteed $35 million pact — will keep him locked up through 2023.
In addition to guaranteeing $35M for Cousins in 2023, the QB’s extension includes a salary increase for 2022 — from $35M to $40M — and will lower Cousins’ 2022 cap hit from $45M to $31.25M, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, instantly saving Minnesota close to $15M this offseason. The Vikings were expected to shed salary in order to clear space for free agency, but a Cousins extension was also always a possibility, even though it would commit a new regime to the 33-year-old QB.
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Cousins is entering his fifth season with the Vikings, and now his third contract with the team. He originally signed a fully guaranteed three-year, $84M deal in 2017 free agency, then inked a two-year, $66M extension ahead of the 2020 season.