EAGAN, Minn. —This is part of Plans for the 2022 season. At least right now.
Four days after he was appointed as the leader of the inauguration news conference, he spoke at it on Thursday.Kevin O'Connell, the new Vikings coach said that Cousins would continue to be the Minnesota quarterback after a victory in Super Bowl LVI.
O'Connell explained, “Well I know he's on contract and I'm thrilled to coach him.” “We've already begun thinking about how to build those systems, for him and our other QBs. And really, the amazing skill set that our front-line guys have. All 11 are needed to move the football offensively, to run it, and to throw it. Kirk will be a part, however, of what we do.
Kwesi Adomo-Mensah, general manager, sat next to O'Connell during Thursday's team headquarters news conference. He reiterated O'Connell's stance.
Adofo Mensah expressed excitement that he is eager to coach and lead him. He said, “We're focused to build the team around us to make sure we succeed the most we can,”
Cousins enters the final year for the $66million extension he signed in 2020. This includes a $45million cap hit which is the third highest among NFL players. There has been speculation that the Vikings might trade Cousins this offseason due to the financial constraints Cousins' contract places on Minnesota's salary cap. This is after Cousins failed to make the playoffs in two consecutive years.
The $35 million base salary of the 33-year-old quarterback for the 2022 season was guaranteed last March. This three years after Cousins, a free agent, signed an historic $84 million, three-year contract in Minnesota.
Cousins may be kept by the Vikings if they decide to reduce his cap number to 2022. Or, they might let him finish the last year of his current contract.
Although he didn't discuss specifics about Cousins’ contract, Vikings coowner Mark Wilf stated that Minnesota with Cousins as quarterback will be a strong team.
Wilf spoke highly of Cousins, saying that Kevin and Kwasi have discussed it extensively. “I believe, and more so now that our leadership is in place, that we are ready to succeed right away. We feel confident about this and, as you've heard, we'll work with Kirk our quarterback and move forward. We will be very competitive in 2022. With this leadership, sustained success is our goal.
O'Connell was the Rams' offensive coordinator for the past two seasons. He also served as Cousins' quarterbacks coach during the 2017 season. Cousins was a quarterback for the Washington Football Team, throwing for 4,093 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Zygi Wif, co-owner and O'Connell's interview at the Vikings', stated that he was impressed with O'Connell's history as a quarterback coach and believes “he'll make the best of it.” [Cousins]And he'll help take the offense up a notch.” O'Connell was a player in the NFL between 2008 and 2012.
O'Connell's vision of the offense rests on enhancing Cousins' skillset. When O'Connell is asked to compare Vikings quarterback to Rams, he replies:O'Connell stated that both were “elite throwers.” According to O'Connell, Minnesota has the ability to “build an offense that maximizes what is possible.” [Cousins]does the best,” and many of the concepts that “people have seen our offense in LA will definitely see our offense here in Minnesota.”
O'Connell stated that Kirk has played at a high level and has done many great things in his career.” I know his character as a player. I also know his capabilities. Part of my job as a coach is to maximize the potential of a player to be successful every Sunday.
“I think that's going to benefit us as we build out our system offensively. We need to make sure we focus on Kirk's strengths which, I do believe, are a lot more aspects of the position. And help him on daily basis to connect with his teammates, lead us…putting him in the most favorable situations to achieve success.”
O'Connell indicated that he would call offensive plays for Minnesota. After Jay Gruden was fired in 2019, O'Connell took over play-calling duties at Washington.
The projected salary cap for 2022 for the Vikings is $15.5million. March 16th, at 4 p.m., marks the start of the new league year. ET.