What Does Cousins Contract Mean For The NFL


When Free Agency opened yesterday at 4pm, the biggest deal of the day came from the Minnesota Vikings making Kirk Cousins the highest paid QB in NFL history. Does he deserve to the highest paid NFL QB? Hell no. But neither did Jimmy Garoppolo who was the highest paid player before Kirk. This happens every few years. A team will overpay for a QB who is on the market because it’s the most important position in sports and without one your team is basically a dud. But what does it mean when the NFL keeps overpaying for guys like Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins? And perhaps even more important, Kirk just got a FULLY guaranteed contract for 84 million dollars.

Leading up to 4pm everyone around the NFL knew that Kirk Cousins had chosen the Minnesota Vikings as his new home. What people didn’t know was that it was gonna be for a fully guaranteed deal of 3 years 84 million. This is a historic contract for the NFL. You hear players all the time complain about how other sports like the NBA and MLB have fully guaranteed deals. This means that if you turn 30 a team can’t just cut you and not expect to pay the remainder of your contract. That’s not the story with the NFL. Player who sign contracts are only guaranteed signing bonuses. After that they are only paid if they are part of the team. It’s a concept that doesn’t make much sense for players but sound perfect for owners who want to lure a player with a big contract and then cut him at the end when he shows the slightest signs of regression. But when Kirk Cousins signed a 3 year 84 million dollar contract, the game changed. Players will now look to be paid in fully guaranteed deals rather than the deals that they have been signing. Of course it will start with the QBs first. It’ll be interesting to see what big names like Aaron Rodgers and MAtt Ryan ask for when their current deals are done. But we could see a change in the landscape of NFL free agency.

One obvious outlier to the Cousins deal is the short length in time. He only signed for three years which undoubtedly helped him land the fully guaranteed deal. But this is still impactful because more talented guys like Ryan and Rodgers will most likely draw more interest from teams and will therefore force teams to look into giving more years. Its a real swing in the players favor and something I’m sure will be discussed in the next CBA.

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