After the Minnesota Vikings’ most recent loss added to their underwhelming 6-6-1 record, most of the blame has fallen to their highly-paid, new QB Kirk Cousins.
Headlines stating that Cousins somehow is “robbing” his team of 84 million dollars and how his record against .500+ teams continues is handicapping the team’s success.
Even on Twitter, Vikings fans are ranting about how this is “not what we paid for” when bringing up his 2018 salary compared to their record. They’re even making claims that Cousins’ poor play is the main culprit for the team firing their OC earlier this week.
While the latter part of that sentiment may not be entirely false, I think everyone needs to take a second and shift their frustration from the quarterback to the front office.
Yes, Kirk is struggling to live up to the hype that everyone had for this talented offense coming into the season. Yes, I understand it’s frustrating to see him struggle while the likes of Phillip Rivers, Drew Brees, & Andrew Luck are putting up much better numbers with arguably equal or lesser talent around them.
But have you not realized that the Kirk Cousins the Vikings backed up the Brinks truck to is the same exact one who has spent the last three years being slightly above average in Washington on the franchise tag?
In this quarterback driven league where having a top guy at that position is vital to winning, why wouldn’t Washington pay the money to keep him unless they knew something we didn’t?
As great as he looked at times, and how much better of a QB he was than Robert Griffin III after returning from his injury, they still didn’t want to commit to him long-term.
Now we’re starting to see why.
He is a very good QB in the NFL, don’t get me wrong. But he is not going to be that guy that can throw the ball 30-40 times a game and lead you to victory, no matter who he’s passing to.
Currently, in the new offense with all those weapons around him, he’s still only on pace to only match his best year in Washington, which was 2015 when he completed nearly 70% of his throws for 4,166 yards, 29 TDs, & 11 INTs.
Through 13 games this year, while he’s still completing 70.6% of his passes, he’s only at 3,698 yards, 24 TDs, & 9 INTs. Nearly identical numbers, but with a much better team around him.
But somehow that new bump in pay was supposed to change something? At this point I don’t think I need to give the definition of insanity, because the Vikings have done a great job of showing us.
Kirk Cousins is Alex Smith 2.0 with a better arm & a little more willingness to throw it downfield. Ironically, Smith was Cousins replacement after leaving, so maybe Washington finally got the guy they were wanting before he got hurt.
Cousins should be looked at as game-manager, who like Smith, probably shouldn’t be put in the position to win every game with his arm but won’t hurt your chances with it either.
But we already knew that. We’ve been watching Cousins be a reliable, solid QB in this league since 2013 when he started the year over the injured RGIII and never looked back.
But, where the questions need to begin is, what was Minnesota’s front office watching during the last five seasons?
Because what they paid for is exactly what they got: Kirk Cousins.
Last time I checked, you’re worth what somebody is willing to pay you. I don’t necessarily think a Big Mac is worth $4, so I don’t get it. But there are people who do think that, so therefore it’s worth $4.
Where the Vikings went wrong is they were so focused on not being outbid, that they didn’t stop to think, “are we really getting an 84 million dollar QB?”
The answer is no.
So how can the blame be on a man for taking the money somebody offered him? Regardless if he himself even thinks he’s worth it.
If you’re reading this & you make $35,000 a year and a different company wants to hire you to do the exact same thing you do now, but for $80,000 a year, you would try to sign the contract before they could finish their sentence.
To loosely quote late former Vikings coach Dennis Green (who was coaching Arizona at the time), “He is, who we thought he was!”
Kirk Cousins did not rob the Vikings. The Vikings bet their money on the wrong horse & lost. Period.