Commentary: Vikings need to make a serious run at Kirk Cousins

His identify is Kirk Cousins.

Cousins, 29, is the gunslinger the Vikings have to make the offense nearly as good as its league-main protection, a 6-foot-three, 217-pound prototype who has averaged four,392 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions since turning into the Washington Redskins’ starter in 2015.

Vikings basic supervisor Rick Spielman has been aggressive on personnel strikes when the state of affairs requires it — most just lately sending a primary-spherical draft decide to Philadelphia for Bradford when Bridgewater was misplaced every week earlier than the 2016 season opener — and he’ll need to be if Minnesota needs to maneuver on Cousins.

Cousins handed for four,093 yards, 27 touchdowns and thirteen interceptions for Washington in 2017, which completed 7-9 due to a protection that gave up 24.three factors a recreation, twenty first amongst 32 NFL groups and roughly 9 factors greater than the Vikings’ prime-ranked protection. He is out there as a result of Washington, late to understand Cousins and unable to signal him long run, began its offseason this week by buying Alex Smith from the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs.

Cousins could have his decide of suitors, so Spielman’s mission — ought to he settle for it — is first to persuade Cousins the Vikings are one of the best match and his quickest experience to the Tremendous Bowl. Second, he’ll need to pay him some huge cash. Had Washington franchised Cousins this offseason, one thing they did in every of the previous two, they’d have needed to pay him $34.5 million for one further yr of service.

With greater than $50 million to spend beneath the projected 2018 wage cap of $178 million, Spielman and government vice chairman/capologist Rob Brzezinski have choices. They are going to be certainly one of solely two groups, together with the Tennessee Titans, to win a playoff recreation this season and begin the offseason among the many prime 10 in cap area.

“No matter who the quarterback is, we’ve got deliberate for this two years again,” Spielman stated Thursday. “We do not simply begin planning for this yr on our cap. There’s a course of in place, like every little thing we do, that is accomplished very completely, and it’s also searching into the longer term.”

If the Vikings determine Cousins is not the reply, will probably be as a result of they assume somebody already on the roster is.

Case Keenum, who signed a one-yr deal to be Bradford’s backup earlier than the season, revitalized a moribund profession by main the Vikings into the NFC title recreation for the primary time since 2009, throwing for three,547 yards, 22 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. However after plotzing at Philadelphia — 28 of forty eight for 271 yards with a…

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