It appears as though the Minnesota Vikings have won the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes.
Cousins plans to sign a three-year, fully-guaranteed contract with the Vikings on Thursday, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter. The deal is worth $86 million and should be finalized shortly, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Cousins is set to have dinner with Vikings coaches and personnel Wednesday night once the 2018 league year has officially begun, sources told Rapaport, and will make his first visit to the team's facility Thursday.
The unprecedented guaranteed money featured in the contract is highly unique. In doing so, Cousins doesn't just take the mantle of the league's highest-paid player from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after about a month - he becomes the first player in NFL history to negotiate a fully-guaranteed contract.
The move comes almost immediately after it was reported that quarterback Case Keenum intends to sign with the Denver Broncos at the official beginning of free agency Wednesday. Cousins, widely regarded as the top quarterback on the free-agent market, was also being pursued by the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Broncos, among other suitors.
Cousins, who wasn't franchise tagged by the Washington Redskins after the team acquired Alex Smith in a blockbuster trade with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this offseason, had previously stated that winning a Super Bowl title was his priority over maximizing the dollar figure on a potential contract.
"Is money a part of it? Sure. Is it the only thing? No," Cousins told Pro Football Talk Live's Mike Florio a few weeks ago. "It is about winning, and that's what I want more than anything, so I'm going to be willing to make sacrifices or do what has to be done to make sure I'm in the best possible position to win, and that's what the focus is going to be."
Cousins has been a bright light for the Redskins since he was promoted to the starting quarterback role in 2015. He's quickly risen to elite status in the league, throwing for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. Captain Kirk has made just two playoff appearances in his career, though, failing to taste victory in both of those contests.
The Minnesota Vikings made huge strides forward last season, advancing all the way to the NFC title game. The addition of Cousins solidifies the team's position as Super Bowl contenders in 2018, with surely more firepower to be added via free agency and the draft.
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