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Garoppolo contract sets the price tag if Vikings want Kirk Cousins

The San Francisco 49ers have set the market for the rest of the NFL’s quarterbacks.

On Thursday, the 49ers agreed to a five-year, $137.5 million deal with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who they acquired in a trade with the New England Patriots last year. The deal gives him the highest average annual salary in the NFL. That is, until the next QB signs.

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will hit the free agent market at the beginning of the year as long as the team doesn’t franchise tag him and look for a trade. They dealt for Alex Smith earlier this offseason and signed him to a deal worth a reported $94 million with $71 million guaranteed.

With Cousins squarely in his prime – and after three strong years as Washington’s starter – there’s a good chance someone will pony up top dollar. Garoppolo won all five of his starts last year and posted a 96.2 rating. Over the last three years, Cousins has a 97.5 rating.

The Minnesota Vikings are in the mix for Cousins. All three of their quarterbacks – Teddy Bridgewater, Case Keenum and Sam Bradford – are set to be free agents when the new league year begins. The question is not so much whether the Vikings could fit a huge contract for Cousins under their cap, but whether they would want to invest that much into him as their franchise QB.

The Vikings can afford Kirk Cousins

  • Gordon Guffey

    Give me Case and Sam and let them fight it out ~ Teddy would be fine if not for the crazies starting to rant if the starter had a bad game ~ Just to much baggage ~ A healthy Teddy is a different story ~ But is Teddy healthy and is he still the same player ~ ????

    I dont know if this is the year to draft a QB but if one falls ((( worth the BPA tag ))) I wouldn’t be upset if they grabbed him in rounds 1 or 2 ~ These QB contracts are getting ugly ~ And then there is Case and Foles ~ Are they what they seemed ~ ????

  • Bob T.

    Everybody might as well get used to it. $40 mil a year is right around the corner. I would venture to say before Jimmy’s big contract is up. Hmmmm

  • Cman

    I think the NFL is supposed to increase the cap space this year quite a bit if I remember correctly. So signing a franchise QB to a 30-35 mil a year contract won’t be that bad in a year or two, just don’t know which ones out there are worth it.

  • Andre Esters

    Whew… nearly 28 million a year, that’s some serious mulla. If Minnesota could offer a little less in the millions and years department, I wouldn’t hate them for offering that to Cousins.
    But now the real question… is Keenum, Teddy, or Bradford anywhere near Jimmy G worth?!

  • linus

    I’ll be curious to see how Garoppolo’s deal is structured. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that the headline numbers (i.e., 5 years, $137.5 million) are kinda meaningless. Even “guaranteed” money doesn’t really mean anything because it might only be for injury, or the team may have a week to release the player before the guarantee kicks in.

  • Topgunn

    Plenty of cap room and the cap increasing…get me Cousins !! Signing Cousins insures your team has a GOOD QB for several years and does not necessarily mean you have to lose players like Kendricks and Diggs. Instead, you cut ties with players like Tom Johnson, Shamar Stephen etc… (and give a younger, cheaper player like Jaleel Johnson from Iowa or Harris at safety a chance to play. In today’s NFL 30-40 million per year for a QB is coming. DON’T pinch pennies! Bridgewater will never be what he was. Keenum MIGHT be a one-year wonder. Bradford’s knees are just not reliable. Cousins WANTS to come here. $25 million per year for 5-6 years will end up being a bargain. If cousins works out and Sloter develops, you have leverage and options going forward.

    • Drediock

      Cept it won’t be for $25 mil a year. It would be more like $30-35+ mil a year. Whole the cap is expected go go up. Dont expect it to be a windfall.
      Just a few of the names the vikes are going to have to deal with within the next few years including this one
      Hunter, Diggs, Barr, Munnerlin, McKinnon this year if we want to keep a 3 headed monster which given who we just hired as OC is not that far fetched. A few more that Im not remembering ow and camt look up because Im not in my office. Then we have free agents for depth they might want.
      All that is going to cost significant money

      • Cody Anderson

        munnerlin??? lol

        • Drediock

          I agree. and I said last week that i thought it was time for Munnerlin to join Zim on the sideline with a coaches hat.
          However. We currently do not have anyone even his equal to replace him. Which means he’s either going to have to be resigned or replaced with a quality player. Either is going to cost money. Unless you are comfortable with throwing just about anyone out there.

  • Jeeves

    That is just crazy for a man with 7 starts. Maybe he’ll be worth it to them….but I have to believe they could have gotten him for less.

    • TBIloveyou2018

      The eye-test. He looks good. He might actually deserve to be anointed the franchise QB the way many anointed Teddy the franchise.

      • Jeeves

        It seems like a splashy, statement signing.

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  • MarkSP18

    Vikings can easily afford Cousins and keep their free agents. Here is a sample deal.

    5 year 140.5 mil with a 35 mil signing bonus, 62 mil guaranteed at signing, another 35 mil guaranteed for injury. After 2020 they can cut him and save 20 mil in cap space.

    Year Base Salary Signing Roster Workout Cap Hit
    2018 $10,000,000 $7,000,000 $10,000,000 $100,000 $27,100,000
    2019 $7,000,000 $7,000,000 $0 $100,000 $14,100,000
    2020 $15,000,000 $7,000,000 $10,000,000 $100,000 $32,100,000
    2021 $16,000,000 $7,000,000 $10,000,000 $100,000 $33,100,000
    2022 $17,000,000 $7,000,000 $10,000,000 $100,000 $34,100,000
    Total $65,000,000 $35,000,000 $40,000,000 $500,000 $140,500,000

    The hand wringing and worry over not being able to sign other top free agents is silly. What free agents should they try to sign this year? Andrew Norwell made All Pro last year so Carolina is going to figure out how to keep him. Give Norwell a 12 mil signing bonus and 1 mil salary on a 5 year deal and his first year cap hit is 3.4 mil. Next year Ryan Kalil and his 9.6 mil cap number are retiring and he may get cut his year since he missed 18 games the last two years. They save 6.875 mil if they just let him retire early. That easily lets them keep Norwell on a 5 yr 60 mil deal.

    Should the Vikings go after Justin Pugh? Sheldon Richardson?

    Even if they go with Case or Teddy or Sam and get them to sign a reasonable or discounted deal that would only be for one year. After one year all 3 would want to get paid north of 20 mil.

    It is amazing that there is a really good QB without any injury concerns sitting there for the Vikings to sign (and he said he wants to come here too) and people would rather try to get a discount in case they MAY sign some high priced free agents.

    According to spotrac the Vikings are carrying over 18 mil in cap space for last year. Why didn’t they use that space to sign more high priced free agents? They did sign two.

    Get the QB first and then worry about the rest.

  • Rod Morgan

    I’ve been waiting for a Super Bowl since 1976/77… We finally look to have a well coached team with a SB roster that can give us a 5 year window of contention. PLEASE PLEASE NOT sign Keenum to be there starter… it would almost kill me. to tie the best overall roster we have had since the mid 70’s to a journeyman backup who literally cannot throw the ball more than 15 yards with accuracy would be so depressing I might have to give up on football.


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