Charley Walters: Expect Kirk Cousins to be a Viking again next season

Charley Walters: Expect Kirk Cousins to be a Viking again next season

Updated: 2 months, 15 days, 16 hours, 51 minutes, 8 seconds ago

Kirk Cousins, guaranteed $30 million next year, is virtually certain to be the Vikings’ starting quarterback next season.

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - DECEMBER 17: Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates on the field after defeating the Indianapolis Colts at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 17, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Whether Cousins, 34, gets a contact extension, though, could depend on how he plays in the playoffs, which begin Sunday against the New York Giants in Minneapolis. In Cousins’ four career playoff games — two for Washington and two for the Vikings — his record is 1-3.

—Not only did Vikings rookie coach Kevin O’Connell bring out the best in wide receiver Justin Jefferson this season, but the same with Cousins, who was at a disconnect under Mike Zimmer.

—It’s astonishing that the Vikings have won 13 games this season despite an overall minus-point differential.

—Getting by the Giants on Sunday would mean the Vikings probably had gotten as far this season as their talent would allow.

—A defeat Sunday would leave the Vikings drafting in the No. 22 range overall in April.

—It’s fairly clear the Vikings will use their first-round draft pick on defense.

—The Vikings’ 13 victories were 3.5 more than their preseason projection total by

—Vikings players will get $42,500 for their playoff appearance against the Giants.

—Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, 32, who is a zero-handicap golfer, said he’s “for sure” serious about trying to qualify for the PGA Tour “when I finally decide to retire.”

—The Vikings’ Dalvin Cook’s 2015 Florida State Rose Bowl ring has sold via online auction for $1,932.

—Twin Carlos Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, gets $10 million for negotiating the shortstop’s $200 million deal.

—Technically, 6-foot-11 sophomore Dawson Garcia, the star in the Gophers’ upset at Ohio State on Thursday, could play for Minnesota for three more seasons after this one if he were to use his COVID year exemption.

—Ex-Viking Cordarelle Patterson, 31, despite missing four games for Atlanta this season, finished with eight rushing touchdowns.

—Ex-Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon of the Chiefs, after anterior cruciate ligament surgery four years ago, has been named AFC player of the month.

—Former Gophers-Packers star Jim Carter, 74, who resides in Long Lake, Minn., was honorary captain for the Packers-Lions game last Sunday at Lambeau Field.

—New Denver Broncos interim head coach is Jerry Rosberg, a 1974 Fairmont (Minn.) High grad.

—Stillwater grad Sara Scalia, the Gophers women’s basketball leading scorer last season (17.9 points) before transferring to Indiana, is averaging 9.9 points for the 15-1 Hoosiers this season.

—It appears the Gophers’ Bob Motzko is headed for a third Big Ten hockey coach of the year honor in five years.

—Kelly Boe, the former men’s basketball coach at Concordia-St. Paul, begins Tuesday as interim athletics director at Briar Cliff (Iowa) University.

—QB David Blough, recently claimed off the Vikings’ practice squad by Arizona, started a second straight game for the Cardinals in their 38-13 loss to the 49ers last weekend.

—If the season ended today, the Wild would open the playoffs against the Jets in Winnipeg.

—Vermillion Community College in Ely, Minn., finished 0-24 in men’s basketball last season before coach Dan Tharp decided to recruit players from Minneapolis, Sweden, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon to produce a 7-6 start this season.

—Tre Holloman, the Michigan State freshman guard from Cretin-Derham Hall, is averaging 1.6 points and 10.4 minutes in all 17 games for the 12-5 Spartans, who host the Gophers on Feb. 15.

—That was St. Paul’s “Hondo the Magician,” at the request of head coach Fred Hoiberg, performing for the Nebraska men’s basketball team at the Minneapolis Renaissance Depot the night before the Huskers defeated the Gophers 81-79 in overtime at Williams Arena.

—Twins pitcher Louie Varland from St. Paul, Dan Gladden, Dave St. Peter, Thad Levine, Kris Atteberry, Jerry Bell, Jim Rantz, Derek Sharrer and John Anderson headline the Old Timers Hot Stove League banquet Jan. 23 at Southview Country Club.

—Twins manager Rocco Baldelli speaks at a Dunkers breakfast on Jan. 26 at Interlachen Country Club.

—Baseball’s best radio play-by-play voice, Cory Provus of the Twins, named Minnesota sportscaster of the year last week, soon will be featured on local cable TV outlets via “Behind the Game” with Patrick Klinger and Billy Robertson.

—Football’s best radio play-by-play voice, Kevin Harlan, makes the Vikings-Giants playoff call Sunday afternoon for Westwood One.

—Cretin grad Steve Walsh, who quarterbacked No. 1 Miami, and St. Thomas Academy grad Pat Eilers, a wide receiver for No. 4 Notre Dame in the famous 1988 “Catholics vs. Convicts” game won 31-30 by the Irish, will be featured speakers at the Nativity church’s men’s club stag on Feb. 10.

— Bill Davis, who starred for the Gophers in basketball and baseball
and was living in Edina, died Saturday from cancer.

— Augsburg’s 1978-1981-1982 national championship men’s hockey teams will hold a reunion Feb. 4 at the university’s Hagfors Center.

—Entering this season, Simley grad Michael Busch is the Los Angeles Dodgers’ No. 4 minor league prospect.

—The Twins have a new spring training meal deal for games in Fort Myers, Fla.: a grandstand ticket, hot dog and soda for $12.

—Texas Christian University linebacker Ben Reppenhagen from St. Thomas Academy is the grandson of late St. Thomas Academy and former Gophers football captain Mike Wright.

—Mike Tressel, 49, the new defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, is the son of longtime former Hamline football coach Dick Tressel.

—Roseville High hockey twins: Landon Steffen has 21 goals and 21 assists in 14 games, while Luke Steffen has 18 goals and 21 assists.

—St. Paul’s Nora McGuire, who 40 years ago became Minnesota’s first female head club golf professional at Phalen, will be honored at the National Girls and Women in Sports Day on Feb. 1 at the Minnesota History Center.

—On a recent TV “Antiques Roadshow” from Palm Springs, Calif., a satin Brooklyn Dodgers jersey worn by late St. Paul native Howie Schultz was valued at $5,000.

—St. Paul’s Joe Gallagher, who oversaw the outstanding opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National, will work this year’s Ryder Cup in Guidonia Montecelio, Italy — his 10th Ryder Cup — Sept. 29-Oct. 1.

—After 37 seasons not missing a North Stars or Wild game (that’s 1,739 games), Apple Valley’s Barry Fritz, who turns 77 next month, will retire as a NHL crew supervisor at the end of the season.

—Happy birthday: Gerry Brown, the hall of fame former St. Thomas Academy football coach, turned 82 the other day.

—Congratulations to the Pioneer Press’ Andy Greder, with the Star Tribune’s Patrick Reusse, on being named Minnesota sportswriters of the year.

—That was local sports author Ross Bernstein visiting Fiji with his wife and daughter this month.

—Sportscaster Lea B. Olsen hosts a Big Ten women’s basketball tournament tip-off on Jan. 24 at Tom’s Watch Bar in downtown Minneapolis.

—At one point in time, the Benilde-St. Margaret’s basketball team had Riley Miller, now at the University of St. Thomas; Gopher Jamison Battle before he transferred to De La Salle, and Myles Stute, who’s averaging 10.4 points for Vanderbilt.

—Ex-Gophers 7-footer Liam Robbins is Vanderbilt’s leading scorer, averaging 12.9 points, leading rebounder (6 per game) and top shot blocker (2.9 per game).

—Incoming 7-foot Gopher Dennis Evans is averaging 15.1 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.7 blocks per game for Hillcrest High (9-11) in Riverside Calif.

—For a name, image and likeness (NIL) donation of $5,500 a year, Gophers rooters can get a personalized video from an athlete.

—Kate Smith, the five-time Minnesota girls state high school golf champion at Detroit Lakes and then the Big Ten champion at Nebraska, shot 83 in cold, rain and wind in Venice, Fla., recently missing advancement to final stage LPGA qualifying by nine strokes.

Don’t print that

—Don’t think Carlos Correa, 28, considering New York’s vast Latin population, marketing opportunities and the Mets’ competitive future under owner Steve Cohen, wouldn’t have preferred signing with the Mets.

Carlos Correa ended up with the same team he played on last season (Abbie Parr, AP)

—The three contracts that Correa agreed to sign beginning on Dec. 13 with the Giants, then the Mets on Dec. 21 and finally with the Twins last week total $865 million over 31 years
—It seems unlikely that the Vikings, considering the anticipated new $150 million deal for wide receiver Justin Jefferson, will be able to afford a new contract for center Garrett Bradbury, who turns 28 in June and becomes a free agent after the season.

—Vikings tight end T.J. Hockenson, 25, is guaranteed $9.4 million next season, and has a market value of $14.4 million, per

—As much as the Vikings hope offensive lineman Brian O’Neill’s partially torn Achilles’ tendon will heal by next September, there’s no guarantee.

—Playoff problem: The Vikings’ defensive line isn’t nearly on par with other NFC contenders Philadelphia, Dallas and San Francisco.

—QB Brock Purdy, 23, playing so well for the 49ers could mean Trey Lance, 22, becomes tradable in the offseason.

—Look for the Vikings to give up a game in Minneapolis in 2024 to play in either Canada or England — the two countries the NFL has quietly given them rights to market a game that year.

—Despite the Vikings’ success in coach Kevin O’Connell’s first season, it’s still too early to consider a contract extension on his estimated $18 million, four-year deal.

—Ex-Vikings COO Kevin Warren leaving as Big Ten commissioner to become Chicago Bears president sure looks like he’s a good bet to succeed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, whose salary reportedly is $64 million a year through March 2024.

—It’s hard to believe QB Aaron Rodgers, 39, would walk away from nearly $60 million he’s guaranteed from the Green Bay Packers next season.

—Mock draft: The Vikings will draft No. 27 overall in April and take cornerback Clark Phillips from Utah, Fox Sports projected last week.

—The Twins probably could get Miami starter Pablo Lopez (10-10, 3.75 ERA last season) and former Gophers starter Max Meyer from Woodbury for Luis Arraez and Max Kepler.

—The only pick the Timberwolves own in this summer’s NBA draft is the New York Knicks’ second-round pick, probably in the No. 50 range.

—Intriguing: Timberwolf Karl-Anthony Towns, 27, is from New Jersey, is under contract for $62 million in 2027, and the Knicks own nine future first-round draft picks.

Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns (32) reacts after fouling out in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies Friday, Nov. 11, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)

—Marcus Carr, who scored 41 points for the Gophers against Nebraska in 2021, the other day scored 41 points for Texas against Texas A&M to become the first college player in history to score more than 40 points for two different schools.

—The Gophers football team is 200-1 odds to win next season’s NCAA championship, per

—The Arizona Coyotes, who drafted Gophers star Logan Cooley No. 3 overall last year, are expected to try to sign the 18-year old center after the season.

—It seems the only difference between the Gophers men’s basketball team and the University of St. Thomas is height disparity.

—Long-hitting former state girls golf champion Reese McCauley from Simley will join sister Bella McCauley, also a former state champion from Simley, with the Gophers in two years.

—With the Mets having lost Correa to the Twins, ex-Twin Eduardo Escobar could be the Mets’ third baseman, the position Correa was to play.

—On, 51.1 percent of bettors pick the Giants, who are three-point underdogs to the Vikings.

—Baseball’s new labor agreement requires a 20 percent luxury tax on team payrolls between $230 and $250 million, meaning the Twins won’t have to worry.

—Joe Mauer, the three-time former Twins batting champion, becomes first-time eligible for baseball’s hall of fame voting for 2024 with cinch electee Adrian Beltre.

—Timberwolves investor Alex Rodriguez hit 696 home runs and had 3,115 hits, and still won’t get into the hall of fame this year due to admitted steroid use.

—Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck makes $6 million a season; Kirby Smart, coach of back-to-back national champion Georgia, makes $10.5 million.

—Murray Warmath, who coached the Gophers to two straight Rose Bowls, had a career-high salary of $37,500.

—The Twins’ Byron Buxton ranks No. 2 behind the Angels’ Mike Trout on MLB Network’s’ top-10 center-fielders in baseball.

—The Twins’ Jhoan Duran ranks No. 5, just ahead of the Astros’ Ryan Pressly, on MLB Network’s top-10 relievers.

—For the first time in four years, golf rounds in Minnesota were down 5.4 percent from the previous year, probably due to unfavorable weather.

—The Gophers, trying to find a way to pay off their massive Athletes Village debt, are asking supporters to buy customized bricks for the village’s courtyard at prices from $600 to $2,500, depending on size.

—If the NCAA expands its Division I basketball tournament from 68 to 90 teams, as it is considering, a Big Ten record of .500 eventually could include the Gophers.

—Despite missing this season at Connecticut due to a knee injury, among a myriad of online souvenirs featuring women’s basketball star Paige Bueckers from Hopkins are iPhone cases at a cost of $33.34.

—The Gophers women’s basketball team, which hosts Illinois on Sunday afternoon, has lost its last four Big Ten games.


—Former Giants QB Phil Simms of “Inside the NFL,” on Sunday’s Vikings-Giants matchup: “Kirk Cousins is tough as hell. … I hate doing this, but I’m going to take the Minnesota Vikings.”

CBS Sports announcers Jim Nantz, left, and Phil Simms pose on stage at a Super Bowl XLVII Broadcasters Press Conference at the New Orleans Convention Center on January 29, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)