Minnesota Vikings Owner Addresses Kirk Cousins' Future With Team

By Jason Hall

August 9, 2023

Minnesota Vikings v Buffalo Bills
Photo: Getty Images

Minnesota Vikings owner Mark Wilf said the team's "real focus" is on the upcoming season when asked about quarterback Kirk Cousins' impending free agency.

Wilf told ESPN that the franchise would let general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O'Connell make a decision on Cousins' future at a later date.

"We'll leave that to Kwesi and Coach to work through those discussions," Wilf said. "There's always conversations on that. But our real focus is 100% on 2023 and getting where we need to be, and where I know we can be."

Cousins, who turns 35 in September, had previously said that he didn't expect negotiations on a new deal to take place until next March.

"I think we'll probably talk about the contract next March and until then just focus on this season and the job to do right now," Cousins said at the Vikings' minicamp session on June 15 via NFL.com.

In May, Cousins said he wanted to "earn the right" to continue his career with the franchise as he enters the final year of his contract.

"I want to be in Minnesota. That's kind of a no-brainer," Cousins told reporters on May 3 via NFL.com. "So, hopefully, we can earn the right to do that."

Cousins enters his sixth season with the Vikings after spending his first six with the now-Washington Commanders. The 34-year-old reiterated that he's more focused on preparation for the upcoming season, rather than dwelling on his potential free agency.

"I don't think you go there," Cousins said when asked about 2023 potentially being his last season in Minnesota. "I think it's healthiest to be present. To be focused on Phase 2, Wednesday, and live right now in the moment. And again, when you do that, you just do it day after day, and you get to next February, and you say, 'Everything will work out.' It's just best to stay in the present to have March go the way you want it to go."

The Vikings were reported to be "doing a cap conversion on" Cousins' contract in an effort to create "additional salary cap room," a source with knowledge of the situation told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport on March 14.

Cousins finished the Wild Card Round loss to the Giants with 273 yards and two touchdowns on 31 of 39 passing, as well as one rushing touchdown on a one-yard carry, but was scrutinized for throwing a pass on 4th and 8 that was well short of the first down marker and forced a turnover on downs with 1:44 remaining and no timeouts left. The 11-year veteran threw for 4,547 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 424 of 643 passing, while leading the Vikings to a 13-4 record, during the 2022 regular season.

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