The Minnesota Vikings are set to make Kevin O’Connell their next head coach, just as soon as the Rams’ offensive coordinator ties up his responsibilities at the Super Bowl. Replacing Mike Zimmer in Minnesota will be no easy task, but the Vikings seem confident that O’Connell is the right man to lead the team into the new era. One of the key decisions awaiting O’Connell in Minnesota will be Kirk Cousins’ future with the franchise, and recent reports suggest that the Vikings QB isn’t going anywhere. Per Jeremy Fowler, O’Connell is reportedly a firm believer in Cousins and holds the 33-year-old in high regard.
Soon-to-be Vikings HC Kevin O'Connell conveyed a firm belief in Kirk Cousins during the interview process, I'm told. He's high on him. The front office must decide on Cousins' future due to his $45M cap hit, but many coaches interviewing for job liked Cousins, O'Connell included
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) February 7, 2022
Cousins has endured an up-and-down tenure in Minnesota, with his performances varying from elite to borderline unwatchable. Despite his inconsistency, Cousins has managed to impress his soon-to-be head coach, enough so that the Vikings are expected to eat the $45 million cap hit the team will incur if they stick with him.
Cousins is due to make a staggering $35 million in base salary, in addition to $10 million in bonuses. Despite the lofty cap hit, O’Connell feels the former Michigan State QB is the right guy to lead the Vikings’ offense.
In 2021, Cousins and the Vikings logged a 8-9 record. The team was 8-8 in games Cousins started. Across his 16 games, Cousins threw 33 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions, completing 66.3% of his pass attempts for 4,221 yards. It was the sixth time in seven seasons that Cousins surpassed the 4,000 passing yard threshold, and was his third time in four seasons that he threw at least 30 touchdown passes.