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Kirk Cousins Expected to Stay in Minnesota With Kevin O‘Connell as Coach

One day after the Vikings announced Kevin O‘Connell as their new coach, NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that quarterback Kirk Cousins is expected to stay with the team in 2022.

“It seems that the hire of Kevin O‘Connell was very good news for Kirk Cousins,” Rapoport said Thursday. “They have a familiarity. They were actually together in Washington. Kevin O‘Connell has spent a bunch of time with Kyle Shanahan, knows the system, obviously has been with [Sean] McVay. So much of what Kirk Cousins did, especially in the beginning of his career, was thanks in part to Kyle Shanahan. There‘s some shared mindset there with O‘Connell and with Shanahan.”

O'Connell said that he expects Cousins to be with the team moving forward as well, per Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer.

Cousins is entering the final year of his contract with the Vikings, which guarantees $35 million base salary. With such a significant salary, it seemed unlikely that the Vikings would cut Cousins heading into the 2022 season despite who bringing in a new head coach.

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Rapoport noted Thursday that the Vikings may look to rework Cousins‘s salary cap amount, but that hasn‘t been decided yet.

“It seems to me that this Minnesota Vikings coaching staff is committed to Kirk Cousins,” Rapoport said. “There is potentially a contract issue, maybe they need to try to work on a deal to lower his cap number. All of that could be coming, definitely on the radar.”

O‘Connell and Cousins previously worked together for one year while Cousins was the quarterback for Washington in 2017. That season marked the first year that O‘Connell worked as the quarterbacks coach in Washington.

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