Vikings GM commits to Kirk Cousins as starting QB

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Last month, Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer hit out at any rumors linking starting quarterback Kirk Cousins with an offseason exit from the organization via a trade. 

Minnesota general manager Rick Spielman echoed Zimmer’s words while speaking with reporters on Wednesday, via Courtney Cronin of ESPN:

“I think Coach [Zimmer] put that to bed when he spoke after the season. Kirk Cousins is our quarterback. I know there’s a lot of rumors floating around out there, but Kirk Cousins is our quarterback. We felt that he played very well, probably the best that he’s ever played, down that stretch last year.

“Kirk is our quarterback going forward, and I look forward to him [having] another year in this system. I’m excited for him and what he’s going to bring to our team next year.”

Cousins tossed a career-best 35 touchdown passes in 2020 but hasn’t yet silenced those who doubt he can routinely win on pro football’s biggest stages either with Washington or Minnesota. The 32-year-old is signed through 2022, and the $35 million base salary for the final season on his contract becomes fully guaranteed if he’s still with the Vikings on March 19. 

“I still think Kirk right now is still in the prime of his career, at 32,” Spielman added. “And he’s got a lot of good football left in him. But we’ll always look at the different options and if there is anything in the draft as well.” 

Wantaway Houston Texans signal-caller Deshaun Watson and unsettled Seattle Seahawks starter Russell Wilson may or may not be available in trade discussions, per the latest rumors on those subjects, but Spielman seems set on sticking with and continuing to build around Cousins.