The Minnesota Vikings are risking it all by signing free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins to a 3-year, $84-million contract that is fully guaranteed, no matter how he plays. This is the largest contract in NFL history. Now the largest question that’s burning in everyone around the world’s minds right now: is Kirk Cousins worth it?
Cousins was drafted in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins as a back-up for fellow rookie Robert Griffin III, who was drafted by the Skins in the 1st round with the 2nd overall pick. When the RG3 experiment ended in disastrous fashion, it was Cousins who took the helm as the franchise QB. Cousins was extremely underwhelming in his first few years in the league not even breaking 1,000 passing yards until his 3rd year in the league in 2014. He also sported a QBR of 41.7 in 2013 which was among one of the lowest QBRs in the league.
It wasn’t until 2015 that Cousins finally broke through and showed why he was a franchise QB. Since 2015, Cousins is the only quarterback in the league to compile 3-straight 4,000+ passing yards seasons. There is no question that Cousins has what it takes to be a starter in the league, but was he worth the gamble? Since 2015, Cousins’ QBR has dropped from a modest 71.7 to 50.5 in 2017. While Cousins’ arm is nothing to question, his accuracy and decision-making is suspect.
Case Keenum had a breakout year in 2017 after getting the starting job for the Vikings when Sam Bradford was sidelined with a knee injury. After taking the reigns, the Vikings never looked back as Keenum lead the Vikings to a 13-3 regular season record, the Vikings best record in decades, and an appearance in the NFC Championship game. Keenum threw for just 5 less touchdowns than Cousins (Keenum: 22, Cousins: 27) in 2017 but also threw for almost half as many interceptions (Keenum: 7, Cousins: 13). Keenum also sported a higher completion percentage (67.7) than Cousins (64.3) and had a higher QBR (Keenum: 71.3, Cousins: 50.5). With that being said, it makes you wonder what the Vikings thought when signing Cousins over Keenum. What they probably saw was a guy who has proven himself as a starter in the league versus Keenum who could possibly be a one-hit wonder. Only time will tell, but bottom line is: the Vikings better be sure Cousins can deliver.