Cousins has one year remaining on the two-year, $66 million extension he signed in March 2020 that comes with a $45 million cap hit.
The Vikings extended Cousins in 2020 and created $10 million in cap relief by lowering his cap hit by 32%. If they followed the same method, it would save Minnesota $14.4 million, which barely gets the team into the black. Adofo-Mensah has to weigh whether keeping Cousins in the fold via an extension is putting a Band-Aid on an issue the team will inevitably have to deal with again in a few years, or if it is truly the right move for the health of the franchise. He’ll only be 28 next season and has been the catalyst of the Vikings’ pass rush when healthy, but do his injuries make Minnesota want to move on and not pay him in the range of the top pass rushers in the NFL? Would Hunter consider a more realistic salary around what he makes now – $14.4 million a year? Could they pick up his $18 million roster bonus and then trade him?
Additionally, does Adofo-Mensah want Dalvin Cook on the books with a $12 million cap hit? Cutting the running back with a post-June 1 designation – which allows the team to spread the remaining cap space over two years – would save Minnesota $9 million, but it would take away a staple of the offense.