Free Agency Roundup – Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings
Welcome to my first actual blog post. Feel like such a millennial (I hate it).
Thought that seeing as though my podcast will be back on the horizon in the very near future, I thought I would also get into writing some articles or blogs in to the current affairs in the NFL. Seems most suitable to get in to the swing of things now, seeing as the new NFL year started this week.
Thank you for taking the time to come to my blog, listen to my views and hopefully you will get involved with our Facebook and Twitter pages. I do not claim to know much about the NFL and all the finer details of it, but I do have opinions and love a discussion.
Where best to start that discussion than with the Free Agency frenzy that is still currently going on.
As I write this, the Colts and the Jets just completed a monster trade for the upcoming draft. The Jets getting fleeced to move from #6 to #3. No surprise on what the Jets will be drafting in the first round. Hopefully I will get around to doing a mock draft (and laughing at it due to my complete lack of College knowledge (is something I want to try and rectify going forward) so if you are interested in my rookie attempts at a mock draft, please head over to that page.
So, let’s start at the top; biggest move in Free Agency is most certainly Kirk Cousins heading over to the Vikings. Around about $84m FULLY GUARANTEED contract for Kirk Cousins, which never seemed in doubt. Have read that Kirk visited the complex during SuperBowl week and fell in love with the place. I personally thought that he would be more of a money grabber and go to the Jets. That’s £10 I’ll never see again.
So, what does this mean? Cousins walks into a SuperBowl ready team, who got to the Championship game with Case Keenum. Does this automatically make the Vikings a sure thing for the biggest show on turf this year? I don’t think so. I am not a big Kirk Cousins fan, let’s get that out there. He is a great fantasy football Quarterback, posting top 10 finishes in each of the last few seasons with somewhat questionable Washington Redskins team.
Let’s firstly remember at how great and (more importantly) efficient Case Keenum and Sam Bradford were last year. Sam Bradford put on an absolute show in demolishing the Saints in Week 1. Case Keenum on the season was 2nd only to Drew Brees in completion % (Brees set the record in completion % with 72%). Both QBS between them has 25TDs and 7INTs and would be in the top 2 cumulatively for passing yards. Helped with an efficient run game behind a good offensive line (without Dalvin Cook for the majority of the season).
I am not sure what extra Kirk Cousins does on top of the level of performances we saw from the Vikings’ QBs last year. Let’s not also forget that Kirk cousins doesn’t have a wealth of playoff experience. He laid a massive goose egg when they played the Giants with a playoff spot on the line in Week 17 and did his best Tony Romo in December impression. Whilst it’s obviously not all down to him (they allowed Orleans Darkwa to look like primetime Adrian Peterson), I am not fully sold on any extra ceiling he provides to this team. Maybe I am wrong and Kirk elevates this team to a 16-0 season next year, but I certainly think that he was a beneficiary of a poor FA class and was by far the best QB on there and was also helped by a supposed bidding war. Other QBs such as Rodgers and the like will be laughing all the way to the bank with Cousins’s nearly £30m a year deal as this high watermark will surely only raise in the years to come. That said, it is a very exciting time to be a Vikings fan, with Dalvin Cook coming back and hopefully getting a full year of playtime, Sheldon Richardson adding to an already beefed up defence.
They are certainly worthy of a favourites tag for the NFC, and I would probably take them to win the NFC North this year (yes even if Rodgers has a healthy season in Green Bay), but another thing to think of is that the 3-year deal that Cousins has with the Vikings, this is the management in Minnesota saying “this is our window”. They have a 3-year window in which to win it all. Granted, Cousins has found a little niche where he doesn’t actually have to do as much as he did in Washington, forcing the ball and often coming from behind. They have a defence that will allow Cousins to play with freedom, but it will be interesting to see how much freedom he gets in a defence first style offence. I guess we will find out in January 2019 whether Cousins has the cojones or whether he reverts to Washington type.
For Fantasy purposes, Captain Kirk may go quite high due to the name exposure this offseason and with the weapons he has. Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph will all continue to have production and you will want a part of this offence in 2018 for fantasy (gun to the head, I’d rather have Diggs, who is like to play second fiddle to Thielen in drafts). For me however, I’d rather Dalvin Cook (obviously dependant on ADP come draft time but I think it will be generous enough) in my teams for next year.
Bottom line (well, it was Stone Cold Steve Austin day yesterday #3:16), if they win the SuperBowl in the next 3 years, it won’t be because of the quarterback.