Inside Kirk Cousins' historic contract with Minnesota Vikings

Mar 15, 2018 | by Ian Rapoport, nfl.com

When Kirk Cousins agreed to terms to become the Minnesota Vikings' new quarterback, he did more than simply conclude the biggest storyline in free agency. He also put his name on a record-setting, paradigm-shifting, tradition-exploding contract.

Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million deal that is fully guaranteed, sources say. It not only makes him the highest paid player in football history, but he's also the first quarterback to sign a multi-year, fully guaranteed deal. With all the leverage in the world, Cousins and agent Mike McCartney of Priority Sports became pioneers. Only time will tell if they will become trend-setters.

Once it became clear Cousins would sign with Minnesota, sources informed of the specifics took us inside this history contract:

Cousins receives a $3 million signing bonus. His base salaries are $22.5 million for 2018, $27.5 million for 2019 and $29.5 million for 2020. In each year, he gets a $500,000 workout bonus. That's $84 million. So it's $26 million in Year 1, $28 million in Year 2, $30 million in Year 3, a top 5 cash flow. There is no hefty signing bonus, but the fully guaranteed $84 million is far more than the previous high of $60 million.

In addition, Cousins has $2 million worth of upside potential in each year tied to Super Bowl-related incentives involving several factors. If his team wins the Super Bowl every year and the rest of the parameters are reached, the deal can be three years, $90 million.

Cousins also has a no-trade provision and a no transition tag provision.

Cousins made $44 million over the past two years with his franchise tags. That means he'll make $128 million over five seasons.

Consider the fact that before he signed his first franchise tag, Cousins made a contract counteroffer to the Redskins that was a three-year, $58.5 million offer that was fully guaranteed. They quickly turned it down.

Safe to say, Cousins has done better for himself since then.