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Ahead of free agency, Kirk Cousins says he expects to play several more years

Cousins discussed his desire to play longer and his pending free agency during an interview with Pro Football Talk.
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Kirk Cousins continued to make the rounds at the Super Bowl's Media Row on Friday and with K.J. Osborn by his side, Cousins declared that he plans to play several more years ahead of his pending free agency this spring.

Cousins made the comments to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio and Chris Simms in an interview along with Vikings receiver Osborn on Friday afternoon.

While Cousins admitted he doesn't know where free agency will take him, he left little doubt about how long he wants to continue to play in the NFL.

"I think Tom Brady changed the conversation around," Cousins said. "He did a lot of quarterbacks a service by playing as well as he did at 45. Drew Brees did the same with a surgically repaired shoulder playing as long as he did after that. I just think it changed the conversation in the game as a quarterback is so much up here."

Cousins was having one of the best years of his career before suffering a torn Achilles in an Oct. 29 win over the Green Bay Packers, throwing for 2,331 yards, 18 touchdowns and five interceptions in the first eight games of the season. While Cousins's play reached a new level under head coach Kevin O'Connell, the longevity of his career is a question entering his age 36 season.

"Certainly, the physical [side] matters, but this has to come with it," Cousins continued. "As you play longer, this gets stronger and stronger and stronger. So if you have this 'Yeah, you're a much better quarterback at 36 than at 26' because of this, I think it bodes well for you to be able to play quite a while longer. I never want to take years for granted or assume things, so I do always kind of take a year-to-year mindset but I see myself playing several more [years]."

The question now is how long he will Cousins playing in Minnesota, after the Vikings failed to reach a contract extension with Cousins after the 2022 season.

With Cousins's performance in a Week 7 win over the San Francisco 49ers the week before the injury, that performance and the "What if?" potential of the 2023 Vikings continues to hang in the air as he enters negotiations.

"We had an ascending football team," Cousins said. "That game...I just felt like we were finding something here. We're an ascending team and then obviously I didn't get to be a part of it after that and that's the way it works. You guys live it. You never know what the next weekend is going to bring, which is why there's so much excitement from Sunday to Sunday."

While Cousins is one item on the Vikings' offseason to-do list, he also acknowledged some of the other items such as potential extensions for Justin Jefferson and Christian Darrisaw, as well as additions that could upgrade the roster.

"I think the beauty of these are good problems to have when you draft well," Cousins said. "When you have a stable that's full, you're always going to have to compensate the question of how do we divvy up the cap? Who do we keep? You'd much rather be having those conversations than saying, "OK, who do we draft? Who do we go find because we don't have a stable that has players in it?' So if you're going to live in one world or the other, I'd much rather live in the world of how do we keep people?"

Cousins reiterated that most of the progress on a new deal won't take place until March and that like most people, he's waiting to see what the Vikings decide.

"That's kind of our attitude," Cousins said. "We do have a lot of work to do between September and February and when it gets to February and March, now we kind of are past it and it's like, all right, we hired an agent. The team has its role. Let's just see what happens and we kind of become like everybody else."

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins