Mar 11, 2024 - Sports

The Kirk Cousins era is over in Minnesota

Kirk Cousins walks off the field waving to fans

Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings waves to fans after the game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Kirk Cousins has signed a contract with the Atlanta Falcons, ending a six-year run as quarterback of the Vikings.

Why it matters: The departure of Cousins marks the start of a new era in Minnesota and puts pressure on the team to select a quarterback of the future in April's NFL Draft.

Driving the news: Cousins is signing a four-year, $180 million deal with the Falcons, with $100 million guaranteed at signing, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.

  • The Vikings, according to local beat reporters, had resisted committing to long-term deal with the 35-year-old who is rehabbing from an Achilles injury.

Between the lines: Not having to pay a quarterback $45 million a year is going to make building a more complete roster easier for Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah.

  • The Vikings on Monday morning reached an agreement to sign young and promising pass rusher Jonathan Greenard away from the Houston Texans for four years and $76 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
  • They're also adding former Dolphins outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel to a two-year, $20 million deal, per Schefter.

What's next: The Vikings will have salary cap space left over to extend star wide receiver Justin Jefferson.

Yes, but: But the franchise's future depends on finding a new quarterback. They'll likely want to sign a veteran as a bridge while a rookie signal caller learns the ropes.

  • Some potential fits: Ryan Tannehill, Sam Darnold, Gardner Minshew, and Jacoby Brissett.

The bottom line: Kirk's final stats in Minnesota, and franchise ranks:

  • 50-37-1 regular season record (third-most wins)
  • 1 playoff win (tied for sixth)
  • 23,265 yards (third)
  • 171 touchdowns (second)
  • $185 million in earnings (first)

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include contract details and more Vikings' signings.

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