Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Cousins likely to sign 3-year deal with Vikings

Cousins likely to sign 3-year deal with Vikings

Covered the 49ers, Raiders and Warriors for the San Jose Mercury News.

Minnesota doesn't have any major needs this offseason. One game shy of reaching Super Bowl LII two months ago, the Vikings appear to have pulled the ultimate franchise power move, clearing the decks of their quarterbacks by going after and apparently landing the most coveted free agent on the open market.

With free agency set to open Wednesday morning, it would seem that former Washington Redskins' quarterback Kirk Cousins has found his new home.

When Bridgwater was last seen in significant action, he completed over 65 percent of his passes with 14 touchdowns as the Minnesota Vikings won the NFC North and almost (should have?) won a playoff game in 2015.

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But I believe Kirk Cousins will go to Minnesota because they afford him the best opportunity to win, and that's how he wants to be known.

Donovan McNabb is the classic example: The quarterback signed a massive five-year, $78 million contract with the Washington Redskins in 2010 - and only saw $8 million of it after being traded to the Vikings and released in December 2011.

The proof lies in the numbers for one of the most consistent passers over the past three seasons.

The Vikings will likely be top contenders in the NFC North next season with Cousins at quarterback. During that time, he's ranked fourth in passing yards, sixth in passer rating, seventh in Total QBR and eighth in touchdown passes.

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Keenum, at 30 years old, is in the prime of his career.

The contract is the main sticking point among Vikings fans.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the first visit Cousins will make will be the Minnesota Vikings, not the Arizona Cardinals. With a new offensive coordinator in John DeFillipo, the quarterbacks coach for Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, the Vikings can reset their scheme to the preferences and strengths of Cousins.

That led to yet another franchise tag, as Cousins told the Redskins he wasn't ready to commit long term and wanted to gauge the direction of the franchise. He has started 49 consecutive games, including his lone playoff start where he threw for 329 yards, but was sacked six times, in a 35-18 NFC wild-card loss to Green Bay after the 2015 season.

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Cousins would find himself throwing at a strong wide receiver corps including Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, plus tight end Kyle Rudolph, and they will also have running back Dalvin Cook back after injury brought an early end to his very promising rookie campaign.

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