Kirk Cousins contract, explained: How Vikings QB cashed in on historic NFL contract

Kirk Cousins is making family bread in 2021.

The Vikings quarterback cashed in on a big-money deal in 2018, signing an NFL first fully guaranteed contract, which turned out to be less of an indicator of the future of NFL business.

Now, Cousins’ contract remains something of an anomaly across the league, even though he set a very interesting precedent for his deal. Since then, quarterbacks have gotten paid, but not to Cousins’ level.

Here’s everything you need to know about Cousins’ contract:

How much does Kirk Cousins make?

Cousins signed a contract extension in March 2020, keeping him pinned in Minnesota through the end of the 2022 season.

The contract Cousins signed was worth $66 million total over two years.

Cousins signed with the Vikings prior to the start of the 2018 NFL season after spending the first six years of his career with Washington. During free agency, he was down to two teams: The Vikings and Jets. 

The Jets reportedly offered Cousins a three-year, $90 million contract, which was also fully guaranteed. Cousins would elect to sign with the Vikings for a lesser contract.

Kirk Cousins contract

In March 2018, Cousins signed a three-year deal worth a total of $84 million. While the yearly rate isn’t exceptional for a QB, it was the NFL’s first ever fully guaranteed contract, making the deal historic.

Prior to the expiration of Cousins’ contract in 2020, he signed a contract extension in March 2020, keeping him locked in Minnesota through the 2022 season. The extension was also fully guaranteed and gave him a bit of a bump. 

Here are Cousins’ yearly salaries courtesy of OverTheCap:

The contract also comes with some incentives, per Spotrac:

— Win Super Bowl: $500,000

— Win Super Bowl and rank in top eight in points: $1 million

— Win Super Bowl and rank in top five in points: $1.5 million

— Win Super Bowl and rank in top three in points: $2 million

NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks

There was a time when the Vikings passer was among the highest paid in the NFL, but now, Cousins, maybe surprisingly, actually doesn’t rank in the top 5 of NFL quarterbacks and their contracts.

Here’s the highest paid QBs by AAV:

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