After breaking the bank for Kirk Cousins, the Minnesota Vikings failed to make the playoffs in 2018. They need to redeem themselves next season.
The Minnesota Vikings had pretty simple expectations coming into the 2018 NFL season: Super Bowl or bust.
Just one year earlier, they were almost there. They made it to the NFC Championship Game before losing to the eventual-champion Philadelphia Eagles. With one of the most talented rosters in the league, they made one final upgrade: bringing quarterback Kirk Cousins to Minnesota on a three-year deal worth $84 million.
At this point, there shouldn’t have been anything holding them back. While Cousins looked just fine on the stat sheet (over 4,000 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions), the Vikings stumbled along to a disappointing 8-7-1 record and missed the playoffs.
On paper, this Vikings team was a legitimate title contender. On the field, Cousins couldn’t make the talent around him translate into wins, despite being blessed with top tier receivers Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, a suburb running back in Dalvin Cook and a defense that came into the season ranked as one of the NFL’s best.
Cousins knows that the Vikings underachieved in a big way last season, and he knows that the 2019 season has to be significantly better. He will once again be making $28 million next year, and the only acceptable outcome will be a Super Bowl championship.
That’s why Minnesota made Cousins one of the highest paid quarterbacks in history. He’s here to win them a title.
After what can basically be considered a lost season and a missed opportunity, the expectations will be even higher for Cousins next year. Luckily for the Vikings, he’s ready for it.
“I wish the 2019 season started tomorrow,” Cousins said, via the Star Tribune. “I’m ready to go and make amends for 2018. It’s been frustrating to know I have to sit here for whatever it is, seven or eight months before we get back at it.”
The Vikings have a lot to make up for in 2019, and Cousins has to prove that he is indeed worth that $84 million. The pressure is on.