Vikings GM on Kirk Cousins: ‘It’s certainly my intention to have him back here’

Minnesota Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah made it clear Wednesday afternoon he hopes he hasn’t seen the last of quarterback Kirk Cousins in Minnesota.

Adofo-Mensah and head coach Kevin O’Connell wrapped up the 2023 season with a news conference at TCO Performance Center. Their message has been consistent in that they want No. 8 back for the 2024 season.

Cousins has played six seasons in Minnesota, and is eligible to become a free agent in March if the two sides can’t work out a new contract. Adofo-Mensah hopes it doesn’t come to that.

"Yeah, I think I’ve been pretty consistent with that. Kirk the player is somebody that as we saw what he does to this team, I thought we were playing really good football before he got injured," Adofo-Mensah said. "It’s the most important position in sports, ultimately it always comes down to can you find an agreement that works for both sides? As a player, It’s certainly my intention to have him back here."

Cousins has been to three Pro Bowls with the Vikings, leading the franchise to one division title and one playoff victory. He was playing arguably the best football of his career when he went down Week 8 with a torn Achilles at Lambeau Field. His 2,331 passing yards and 18 touchdowns led the NFL at the time.

It’s one of Adofo-Mensah’s biggest decisions in the offseason as the Vikings also have the No. 11 pick in the NFL Draft, one they could use to find their next quarterback. Cousins likely wants more than one year guaranteed as he’ll turn 36 next August. The Vikings, at some point, also have to find their next quarterback.

"These aren’t new conversations we’re having. Each side kind of understands the other, we’re going to go have those conversations and see where we end up," Adofo-Mensah said.

The Vikings finished 7-10, losing four straight and six of their past seven to miss out on the NFC Playoffs for the first time under O’Connell and Adofo-Mensah. Ultimately, Cousins and others going down with injuries and some inconsistencies on defense were too much to overcome.

"We faced a lot of adversity this season, but you want to get to a point in your program where you can overcome that adversity and still get into the tournament," Adofo-Mensah said. "Obviously we didn’t meet that, and we’re going spend this offseason working our butts off to get there. It doesn’t feel good to be up here and not playing."

"Although we came up short of the goals we had for our season and our team this year, it was a joy to coach this team this year even in the face of some of the adversity we tried to meet head-on," O’Connell said. "That locker room was as strong as ever in those moments of adversity."


Adofo-Mensah said he spoke with the representation for star receiver Justin Jefferson Wednesday morning. The Vikings and Jefferson tried to get a long-term extension done before the 2023 season, but it didn’t happen.

Jefferson finished with 68 catches for 1,074 yards and five touchdowns despite missing seven games with a hamstring injury. He joins Michael Thomas, Mike Evans, A.J. Green and Randy Moss as receivers with four straight 1,000-yard seasons to start their careers.

"The good part is we have a shared history now, we did a lot of the work last season. We talked and said let’s plan to talk again soon. I’m always optimistic about those things. Obviously we have to address that and a bunch of other things," Adofo-Mensah said.


After two years marred by injuries, Danielle Hunter has a combined 26.5 sacks the last two seasons on the Vikings’ defensive line. He’s due for a payday in March, but will it be with the Vikings? That’s a decision for Adofo-Mensah.

"He had a really great year. In the two years I’ve been around him, he’s been super productive. we had a great exit meeting. Just a great dude, great player and we’ll look forward to those conversations," Adofo-Mensah said.

Hunter said he wants to be back, and knows it’s a business.

"It was not lost on Danielle being voted a captain and what that looked like, what his teammates look at him like. I saw some tremendous growth from Danielle to go along with the production on the field," O’Connell said.

Next up for the Vikings is the pre-draft process, free agency in March and the offseason workout program after April’s NFL Draft.