Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Vikings sign Cousins to record contract

Seahawks reported bringing in veteran DT Tom Johnson for a visit as Vikings continue to woo Sheldon Richardson What a statement for the Vikes this offseason
Melody Ballard | 19 March, 2018, 12:46

Drafted No. 13 overall in 2013, Richardson went on to win NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors followed by a Pro Bowl selection in his second season.

The deal is reportedly worth $8 million, with the chance to earn an extra $3 million in incentives.

With Tom Johnson, a starter past year, and top reserve Shamar Stephen both free agents, the Vikings are looking for help on the interior defensive line.

The Vikings already had a top-tier defense.

His agent, Mike McCartney, began talking to Cousins about the potential for such a groundbreaking deal more than two years ago with the assumption he'd eventually arrive at free agency because of the noncommittal Redskins.

Richardson spent the first four seasons of his career with the Jets before being traded to Seattle just before the start of the 2017 season.

The Vikings had $51.78 million of salary-cap room entering free agency, but are taking a cap hit of $24 million on Cousins and $1.92 million on recently acquired backup quarterback Trevor Siemian, leaving them with just under $26 million of cap room remaining. He was moved all over defensive line for the Jets, and then played exclusively at defensive tackle when he joined the Seahawks last season.

Sharrif Floyd was the starter in 2015, Stephen in 2016 and Johnson in 2017.

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The 30-year-old is not the only quarterback that will leave Minnesota this month, with Sam Bradford on the verge of signing for the Arizona Cardinals. He could simultaneously be the riskiest signing and the best signing.

At his introductory press conference, Richardson made it no secret on why he signed with the Vikings. "But with the resources provided by the Wilf family, I know that it's going to give us an opportunity at least to go out there and be competitive week-in and week-out".

Richardson's visit was expected to continue through Friday.

"I would be here a long time if I were to read off the grocery list of reasons why this is the right fit", Cousins said Thursday at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Just when I thought a Minnesota professional sports franchise couldn't do anything more to surprise me, there's the Minnesota Vikings.

"It took a great player to come to the market, and it's not easy to get to the market with great players", McCartney said.

As a low draft pick who was forced to work his way up the depth chart and has never won a postseason game, Cousins represented an unlikely candidate to set the precedent.

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