Vikings

Vikings Fans May Not Be Able To Handle Kirk Cousins Anymore

Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn (USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL’s free-agency period doesn’t begin until March 11. But as Kirk Cousins has mentioned, the official conversations will take place a few days earlier when the calendar turns to March, and the NFL Combine takes place in Indianapolis.

While general managers will talk about their free agents at St. Elmo’s Steak House before going a few blocks to scout their replacement at Lucas Oil Stadium, Cousins’ conversations could take place at a more quaint location.

It’s a place called The Lonely Shoe, where Cousins unveils his new alter ego, “Magic Kirko.” Appearing on stage wearing nothing but a chain (and some pants – this is a family website), Cousins turns around, points to his Achilles, and gives a big thumbs up.

Mesmerized by the beat of Genuwine’s “Pony,” Mark Wilf, Zygi Wilf, and Kevin O’Connell are front row center, tossing out every dollar they can find. The problem is they’re not alone. Several general managers are right there with them, looking at everything Cousins can provide.

One general manager got weird and screamed, “THREE YEARS, FULLY GUARANTEED!!!” while Kwesi Adofo-Mensah was in the back of the establishment, burying his face in his palms and ready to have another shrimp cocktail with enough horseradish to make his nostrils bleed.

The cocktail is a metaphor for what Cousins has become. Yeah, he’s a good quarterback. But he also has moments that break your brain and make your eyes water. He’s the definition of too much of a good thing, and Minnesota Vikings fans may not be able to handle it anymore.

The last few months have proven this theory. While Cousins has patiently waited to negotiate a new deal, his agent, Mike McCartney, has been working behind the scenes.

The head of the negotiation table, McCartney, is like Paul Heyman to Kirk’s Roman Reigns. It’s easy for some people to see him picking up his phone and screaming, “CALL KIRK COUSINS!” to discuss a deal he dislikes.

Cousins wants to be acknowledged. It’s a path he’s followed throughout his career. Washington disrespected him by selecting him three rounds after taking Robert Griffin III second overall in the 2012 draft. His first head coach, Jay Gruden, didn’t seem to like him. Washington disrespected him when it wouldn’t give him a fully guaranteed contract, ultimately landing him in Minnesota.

Minnesota felt like the perfect place for Cousins due to its history with quarterbacks. Fran Tarkenton and the Purple People Eaters ruled in the 1970s, but the Vikings have ridden the carousel ever since. They watched as Daunte Culpepper and Teddy Bridgewater injured their knees, and Christian Ponder and Tarvaris Jackson became busts.

Minnesota’s best seasons in the last century have come with a 40-year-old Brett Favre and journeyman Case Keenum. Having a quarterback like Cousins sign with them in free agency couldn’t have been more suitable if AI generated it. Cousins has done his part, at least statistically, throwing for over 4,000 yards four times and 30 or more touchdowns three times in his six seasons with the Vikings.

From that perspective, we should herald Cousins as one of the greatest Vikings quarterbacks ever. In turn, he should look at the Vikings as the team that’s given him the proper respect in his career. But like many things with this franchise, it’s too good to be true.

The Achilles’ heel is the perfect analogy for Cousins’ time in Minnesota. While he looked the part of a franchise quarterback, there was always an unforeseen problem that brought him down.

  • In 2018, it was John DiFillippo and the lack of codewords.
  • A year later, it was the offensive line. It was the defense in 2020.
  • In 2021, it was mean ol’ Mike Zimmer.
  • It was double coverage for Justin Jefferson on a fourth-and-eight in 2022.
  • And last year, it was his injury that some fans believed deprived the Vikings of a Super Bowl run.

With two sides begging to be loved by one another, it’s created a polarizing debate. One that has reached a fever pitch as Cousins heads toward free agency.

Turn on any podcast, and you can hear both sides of the argument. With the right splits, we could put Cousins in the same class as some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. However, we can also tear him apart about a fourth down in the playoffs. He could film the most heartwarming documentary you’ve ever seen, and people will still rip him for going to a Twins playoff game on a Tuesday during the season.

Cousins could go to a team function hobbling around on one leg, and fans would talk about his passer rating under pressure. Some believe Cousins’ contract numbers prevent the Vikings from creating a championship roster, while others believe the front office has let him down.

It’s an endless cycle that has taken place over the past six years. It’s created a keyboard war online where the only way to solve it is by handing Cousins another fully guaranteed contract or letting him walk away for nothing.

At this point, it’s almost best to set Cousins free, if only to preserve Vikings fans’ sanity. This is nothing against Cousins, but there are some things that people just can’t handle.

Six-year-olds can’t handle Mountain Dew. Your college friend can’t drink Fireball. Dogs can’t eat chocolate.

Vikings fans can’t handle Kirk Cousins.

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