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Report: Vikings 'have their limits' to a Kirk Cousins extension

If true, will Cousins hold firm on his alleged price point?
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The Minnesota Vikings continue to negotiate with pending free agent Kirk Cousins but according to reports from ESPN's Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler there may be a gap between what Cousins wants and what the Vikings are offering. 

"The sense I'm getting is Minnesota still wants Cousins to return, but Cousins has a very specific idea in mind for what he wants in a new contract and the Vikings so far have not made an offer that matches it," Graziano reported Sunday. "The ball might be in the team's court at this point. Cousins and his family like Minnesota and would be happy to stay and finish his career there, but it doesn't sound like he's willing to offer the team a hometown discount."

Fowler echoed Graziano's report during a Sunday appearance on SportsCenter, saying the Vikings have their limits in a new deal.

"The feeling around the league is that Minnesota is hopeful, they want to do a deal with Cousins but they're not going to live and die by it," Fowler said. "They're going to have limits here. Those limits are probably pertaining to the guaranteed money in the contract."

This is a similar situation to when the Vikings sat down to discuss a contract extension with Cousins after the 2022 season. While Cousins was willing to take less money overall, the Star Tribune's Andrew Krammer and Ben Goessling reported that Cousins wanted a three-year, fully guaranteed deal while the Vikings didn't want to commit to him through the 2025 season.

"The sense I've gotten is that they didn't want to commit as long as what he was looking for," Goessling said. "It seemed like they were almost moving in different directions. They wanted something shorter, he wanted something longer. My understanding is that 2025 was the issue."

It could be why Adofo-Mensah stated that both sides needed to "meet in the middle" when discussing Cousins's pending free agency this week.

"Had a great conversation with him a few days ago," Adofo-Mensah explained. "At the end of the day, we have our interests, he has his and we get to the table and see if we can figure out a creative solution and how to meet in the middle. That's what every contract negotiation is."

If the Vikings are unwilling to get to Cousins' alleged desired price point, it appears the Falcons could go the extra mile as Graziano believes that Cousins is Atlanta's top priority over trading for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields. Fowler also pointed out that one NFL executive believes Cousins and the Falcons are "probably one of the best overall free agent fits out there."

Cousins is set to become a free agent on Mar. 11 and the Vikings will incur $28.5 million in dead money in 2024 if he does not agree to a contract by then. With the days ticking down, it's unclear whether both sides will meet in the middle and whether Cousins' days in Minnesota are numbered.

Kirk Cousins

Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks on during the second quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium.