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Vikings Agree in Principle to Contract Extension with QB Kirk Cousins

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have entered a new era with a new general manager and new head coach.

But there won't be a change at the quarterback position.

The Vikings confirmed Sunday that they have agreed in principle to a one-year contract extension with Kirk Cousins that will tie the quarterback to the Vikings through at least the 2023 season.

"Kirk was one of the first players I called when I joined the Vikings, and it was immediately clear how much he cares about this organization and about winning" said General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Menshah. "High-level quarterback play is a prerequisite to building a championship team, and we are confident Kirk will continue along that path."

Cousins, who had the 2022 season remaining on his current contract, was set to count for $45 million against the salary cap this upcoming season. The league announced last week that the 2022 cap will be $208.8 million.

Cousins' agent Mike McCartney tweeted about the deal on Sunday evening.

After retweeting that, Cousins later tweeted:

While the team didn't announce the terms, the contract extension presumably lowers his 2022 cap hit. It also lengthens the Cousins era in Minnesota, which began in March 2018 with a three-year deal as he signed with the Vikings in March of 2018 as a free agent. He and the previous leadership of the team agreed on two-year extension in March 2020.

Cousins will get a chance to work with Vikings Head Coach Kevin O'Connell, an offensive-minded coach who was hired in February. The two were together in Washington in 2017, when O'Connell was Washington's quarterbacks coach.

Cousins threw for 4,091 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his lone season with O'Connell.

"I am thrilled for the opportunity to play for Kevin and could not be more excited about the direction of our team," Cousins said. "As soon as we return to TCO Performance Center next month, we will begin working toward our collective goal of bringing a championship to Vikings fans."

Cousins, a four-time team captain, will now lead an offense that has many critical pieces in place, including Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, Dalvin Cook, Brian O'Neill and Irv Smith, Jr. Smith missed the entire 2021 season with a knee injury.

Over the past four seasons, Cousins has thrown for 16,387 with 124 touchdowns and 36 interceptions in Purple, with a total passer rating of 103.5.

He has thrown for 300-plus yards in 20 total games, a Vikings franchise record, and compiled 34 games with a passer rating of 100 or higher in his 63 regular-season starts.

The 33-year-old Cousins has posted an overall record of 33-29-1 in Purple in those contests, and he is an even 59-59-2 in 120 career starts with Washington and Minnesota.

Cousins, however, has played some of the best football of his career in Minnesota, as he played in a pair of Pro Bowls in a four-year span and routinely posted statistics that landed him in the top-10 of numerous rankings.

He has thrown for 4,000-plus yards with at least 30 touchdowns in three of his four seasons with the Vikings, and he has also been one of the league's most accurate quarterbacks over the past decade or so.

Cousins has also thrown 10 or fewer interceptions in three of his four seasons as Minnesota's quarterback.

The Holland, Michigan, native has also been one of the most effective downfield throwers, compiling a 114.7 passer rating on attempts with at least 20 air yards, according to Next Gen Stats, trailing only Aaron Rodgers (117.4), Russell Wilson (115.2) and Kyler Murray (114.7) among all passers with 100 such attempts since 2018.