Kirk Cousins was ‘very confident’ he’d be staying with Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) makes a pass during the third quarter of a game between the Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks on on September 26, 2021, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. ((Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images))

Kirk Cousins made his first public comments on Tuesday since agreeing in principle Sunday night to a one-year contract extension with the Minnesota Vikings.

Cousins called into KFAN Radio, the Viking’s broadcast partner. He was due to make $45 million against the Vikings’ salary cap in 2022, fueling speculation that the front office might trade him to a team willing to take on his contract.

The end result was a new contract for Cousins, where he’ll make $40 million this season and $35 million in 2023. The Vikings reduced his cap hit for 2022 to $31.25 million, saving nearly $14 million.

The deal will likely become official when free agency starts on Wednesday.

"It was a positive back and forth over a few days. Kwesi (Adofo-Mensah) was outstanding, was really strong communicating to me, Kevin (O’Connell) as well, just being up front, proactive. Just kind of getting on the same page, I thought, was really healthy," Cousins told KFAN Radio.

Did Cousins ever let the thought of being traded enter his mind? He said he didn’t rule anything out, but was confident he was staying with the Vikings.

"I was very confident that I was going to be a Minnesota Viking. My wife would ask me what do you think? This league is crazy, anything can happen. I’ve watched it too many times to believe otherwise," Cousins said. "But if I’m a betting man, I expect to be back with the Vikings, expect to be back not only for the coming season but for a long time. That’s where my mind was."

Cousins and the Vikings made the extension official Tuesday night via social media.

Cousins threw for more than 4,200 yards, 33 touchdowns and seven interceptions last season. But the Vikings finished 8-9, missed the playoffs for the third time in Cousins’ four seasons and the ownership group fired Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer after the season.

Cousins said the Vikings will convene starting April 11 for offseason workouts, earlier than normal with a new coaching staff in place. They get two months between organized team activities and minicamp to learn a new offense before training camp starts in August.

"We have to get what’s new to become familiar and instinctual as quickly as possible. Come September, nobody is giving you a free pass because it’s a new coach," Cousins said. "You have to be on the same page as if you’ve been working together for a decade."