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5 Things to Know About New Vikings QB Kirk Cousins

Posted Mar 15, 2018

The Vikings on Thursday announced the signing of free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins.

A fourth-round draft pick in 2012, Cousins spent his first six pro seasons with Washington. In 2017, he was 347-of-540 passing for 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a passer rating of 93.9.

Cousins played 62 games for the Redskins, including 48 consecutive starts dating back to Week 1 of the 2015 season. He totaled 16,206 passing yards, 99 touchdowns and an overall passer rating of 93.7.

Here are five things to know about the Vikings new quarterback:

1. Flinging it for 4,000

Since becoming the Redskins full-time starter in 2015, Cousins has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.

During each season of that span, Cousins has posted a completion percentage of 64 percent or higher, a passer rating of at least 93.9 and ranked in the top 10 in the NFL for passing yards. In 2015, he recorded a career-high passer rating of 101.6. After his performance in 2016, in which he racked up 4,917 passing yards, Cousins received his first career Pro Bowl nod.

2. Making it back to the Midwest

Cousins was born in Barrington, Illinois, and later attended Holland Christian High School in Holland, Michigan, where he was a three-sport star in football, baseball and basketball.

The quarterback stayed near home for college, playing for Michigan State under Head Coach Mark Dantonio. After six seasons on the East Coast, Cousins will return to the Midwest to continue his pro career.

3. Spartan standout

After redshirting as a freshman in 2007, Cousins spent his first active season for the Spartans as a backup to Brian Hoyer, who went on to sign with New England in 2009 as an undrafted free agent and spend nine-plus seasons in the NFL.

Cousins became the starting quarterback at Michigan State in 2009 and impressed early on, finishing his sophomore campaign with 2,680 passing yards and 19 touchdowns with just nine interceptions. Over his final three seasons with Michigan State, Cousins was 691-of-1,085 passing for 8,821 yards and 64 touchdowns.

As a senior in 2011, Cousins led the Spartans to an 11-3 regular-season and their first-ever appearance in the Big Ten championship game. In his final collegiate game, Cousins helped Michigan State defeat Georgia in the Outback Bowl.

Cousins will be the second Spartans alum on Minnesota’s current roster, joining cornerback Trae Waynes.

4. Reuniting with rookie classmates

Cousins, selected 102nd overall by Washington in 2012, is among a handful of players on Minnesota's current roster who were part of the 2012 rookie class, including two originally drafted by the Vikings.

Safety Harrison Smith and receiver Jarius Wright, picked 29th and 118th overall, respectively, have played for the Vikings the entirety of their careers.

5. A sucker for Shake Shack

Cousins first discovered the popular fast-food chain, Shake Shack, when he attended Super Bowl XLVIII in New York/New Jersey. The burger-and-shakes joint started in New York and opened its first Minnesota location at the Mall of America in 2016.

According to ESPN’s John Keim, it became a post-win ritual for Cousins to stop at a Shake Shack in the D.C. area for a burger.

When Cousins traveled to Minneapolis in February for Super Bowl LII, he was spotted at the Mall of America – in line for Shake Shack, of course.