MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s official: Kirk Cousins is the new quarterback of the Minnesota Vikings.
The team announced the move on Thursday. A source told WCCO’s Mark Rosen on Tuesday that the seven-year veteran would sign on for $28 million a year. Exact details of the deal are not yet known.
Cousins made his debut Thursday afternoon at the Vikings new facility in Eagan.
“It is a long list — there are many, many positives — but ultimately the pitch is ‘Will we win football games,’ and the answere here is, I believe we will,” Cousins told reporters at a news conference. “It’s not going to come just by signing a contract. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I believe the pieces are in place. And if we stay humble and hungry, I’m really excited about the potential that exists here.”
Cousins landed in the Twin Cities Wednesday night and had dinner with Vikings executives at the Capital Grille in Minneapolis.
At 29, Cousins joins the team after playing six years with the Washington Redskins. In 2015, Cousins led the NFL with a 69.8 completion percentage, and led Washington to an NFC East title.
“I have always felt a little bit underrated, a little bit overlooked. If you go back and research my story, that’s certainly an element there, so as a result, there is a fire there,” Cousins said. “It’s a balance, as a quarterback. I want to stay within myself and never get too high or too low, but I believe there’s a healthy passion and fire there that can help bring out the best in me as a player.”
During the last three seasons, the Michigan native started all 16 games, passed for over 4,000 yards and completed more than 25 touchdowns. Cousins made the Pro Bowl following the 2016 season.
The news of Cousins’ signing was met with excitement by Vikings fans we talked with. They said they’re happy that the team seems to have made a big upgrade at the position.
“I think he’s going to bring a new level of quarterback play too, not that Case [Keenum] did a bad job,” Brian Sheeley of Plymouth said. “Probably make that jump, get over the hump and maybe make it to the Super Bowl this year.”
“I think he’s shown that he’s a good QB over the last three years,” Isaac Dolan of Rochester said. “Gave him a lot of money for it, but we obviously want to win right now and I’m a fan of the move, but it’s sad to see Keenum go, too.”
“Just to have a stable, good quarterback coming into the team we have already is huge — very big,” TJ Zubrzycki of Fridley said.
Cousins was drafted by Washington in 2012 – the same year they took Robert Griffin III second overall. When injuries and other factors led to Griffin leaving Washington, Cousins became the full-time starter.