O’Connell ‘anticipating’ Cousins to remain Vikes’ QB

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EAGAN, Minn. — Kirk Cousins is a part of the Minnesota Vikings‘ plans for the 2022 season. No less than for now.

Talking at his introductory information convention Thursday, 4 days after serving to lead the Los Angeles Rams to a win in Tremendous Bowl LVI, new Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell stated he anticipates Cousins will proceed to be the quarterback in Minnesota regardless of questions surrounding his future.

“Effectively, I do know he is below contract and I am excited to teach him,” O’Connell stated. “We have already began enthusiastic about how we will construct these techniques for him and our different quarterbacks and actually the super ability group that we now have, our guys up entrance. It takes all 11 to maneuver the soccer on offense, to run it, to throw it, to attain factors within the pink zone. However I am anticipating Kirk being part of what we do.”

Sitting beside O’Connell in the course of the information convention at staff headquarters, normal supervisor Kwesi Adofo-Mensah reiterated O’Connell’s stance.

“I am excited that he is excited to teach him and lead him, and we’re targeted on constructing the staff round him to set us as much as succeed the perfect we will,” Adofo-Mensah stated.

Cousins is coming into the ultimate 12 months of the $66 million extension he signed in 2020, which comes with a $45 million cap hit, the third-highest of any participant within the NFL. Hypothesis has been constructing that the Vikings might decide to maneuver on from the quarterback this offseason by way of a commerce due to the monetary restraints his contract places on Minnesota’s wage cap after the staff did not make the playoffs in back-to-back years.

The 33-year-old quarterback’s $35 million base wage for 2022 grew to become assured final March, three years after he signed a historic three-year, $84 million totally assured contract in Minnesota as a free agent.

If the Vikings resolve to maintain Cousins within the fold, they may look to increase him for a second time to decrease his cap quantity for 2022 or let him play out the ultimate 12 months of his contract as is.

Whereas he would not tackle specifics of Cousins’ contract, Vikings co-owner Mark Wilf reiterated his perception that Minnesota will probably be aggressive subsequent season with Cousins at quarterback.

“Kwesi and Kevin have spoken very extensively on it,” Wilf stated. “I actually do consider and much more so now that we have got our management right here in place that we’re constructed to achieve success straight away. We really feel very assured about that and such as you heard earlier than, we will work with Kirk as our quarterback and we’ll transfer ahead from there. However for 2022, for positive, we will be supercompetitive. Sustained success is the objective and I believe we now have it with this management.”

O’Connell, who spent the previous two seasons because the Rams’ offensive coordinator, was Cousins’ quarterbacks coach in Washington throughout 2017. Cousins threw for 4,093 yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions throughout his closing season in Washington, when the staff completed with a 7-9 report.

Throughout O’Connell’s interview with the Vikings, co-owner Zygi Wilf stated he was impressed by the coach’s background as a quarterback and believes “he’ll carry the perfect out of [Cousins] and he’ll increase the offense to a different stage.” O’Connell performed within the NFL from 2008 to ’12.

A part of O’Connell’s imaginative and prescient for the offense is rooted in amplifying Cousins’ ability set. When requested to check the Vikings quarterback to the Rams’ Matthew Stafford, O’Connell stated each are “elite throwers.” The coach stated Minnesota can “construct an offense to maximise what [Cousins] does greatest,” including that lots of the ideas “individuals have seen our offense do in L.A. [they] will completely see our offense do right here in Minnesota.”

“Kirk has performed at a really excessive stage and he is executed a number of actually good issues all through his profession,” O’Connell stated. “I do know who he’s as a participant and I do know what he is able to, and a part of our job as coaches is maximizing a participant’s potential to exit each single Sunday and have success.

“I really feel that is going to be a bonus for us as we construct our system offensively, be sure that we actually deal with the issues Kirk does properly, which I do assume are a number of features of taking part in the place, and assist him every day join along with his staff, lead us, be a very quiet-minded quarterback that may go play as a result of he is gifted sufficient to go try this, placing him in the absolute best conditions to have success.”

O’Connell stated he’ll name offensive performs in Minnesota. He final assumed playcalling duties in Washington after Jay Gruden was fired in the course of the 2019 season.

The Vikings are a projected $15.5 million over the wage cap for 2022. The brand new league 12 months and free company begins March 16 at 4 p.m. ET.

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