Monday, October 3, 2022

NFL analyst defends Vikings’ Kirk Cousins ​​in Lamar-Jackson debate

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Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins’ image in the NFL media landscape is cemented amid his 12th season in the league.

He was a quarterback who, despite good numbers, didn’t get the job done — an argument that won’t rest until he does just that.

But despite his lack of playoff success, Cousins ​​has found himself talking to some of the league’s top quarterbacks.

Most recently, ESPN’s Chris Russo defended Cousins ​​in a debate involving 2018 NFL MVP and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

in one September 14 broadcast by ESPNs First takeChirs Russo and Stephen A. Smith were embattled in a heated debate over whether to take Cousins ​​or Jackson.

Smith was appalled that Cousins’ name was spoken even in the same breath as Jackson, but Russo didn’t back down from his stance on taking Cousins.

“What great moments did Kirk Cousins ​​have,” Smith pleaded.

“He won a playoff game against Drew Brees,” Russo replied. “You go crazy over Lamar Jackson – he’s the greatest thing since sliced ​​bread – how many playoff games he’s won on the road. … How come Cousins ​​gets hit when he is [only] won one too?”

“Cousins ​​is underrated, he’s way better than people think he is,” Russo added.

Russo’s case carries some weight considering both Cousins ​​and Jackson each have a playoff win.

But while Jackson falls into a quarterback category where he elevates the figures around him, Cousins ​​was largely a quarterback who represents the sum total of the talent surrounding him. Jackson didn’t have nearly the same talent in Baltimore but has a 38-12 record in the regular season.

Cousins, on the other hand, has a career 60-59-2 regular season record and a 34-29-1 regular season record since arriving in Minnesota in 2018.

Both Cousins ​​and Jackson are at a similar crossroads in their careers despite being nine years old. The Ravens chose not to come to an agreement in contract extension talks with Jackson, who will play a fifth and final year on his rookie contract in a Proof-It season.

Meanwhile, the new Viking regime under General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah carefully calculates its future, namely what to do with Cousins.

The Vikings have signed Cousins ​​on a one-year contract extension that will keep him under team control through the 2023 season. It also includes a no trade clause.

However, the decision was largely to lower Cousins’ cap hit, which would have been the highest in the league at $45 million in 2022. The no-trade clause isn’t absolute either, and can be maneuvered around with Cousins’ approval.

That’s a conversation that may never surface when Cousins ​​brings the best version of himself onto the field with head coach Kevin O’Connell in his ear.

After years of being known as a quarterback who gives up under pressure, Cousins ​​broke with that form, completing 23 of 32 pass attempts (71.9%) for 277 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Week 1. He showed composure, though he was pressured by 42%. of his dropbacks and posted a 116.2 passer rating under pressure.

He posted a 72.5 passer rating under pressure last season Paul Hodowanic of WCCO.

However, the decision was largely to lower Cousins’ cap hit, which would have been the highest in the league at $45 million in 2022. The no-trade clause isn’t absolute either, and can be maneuvered around with Cousins’ approval.



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