What do you give the quarterback who has $84 million guaranteed? Another potential top-flight receiver for years to come.
Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was understandably pleased with receiver Stefon Diggs’ new five-year, $72 million contract extension signed Tuesday, just days into Cousins’ first training camp in Minnesota.
“What I most like is he loves football and loves to come and work, because as a quarterback it can be miserable if you’re out here with someone who is here to just get a paycheck and leave,” Cousins said during a press conference on Tuesday. “He wants to work. He’s excited to practice.”
Cousins, who turns 30 next month, spent a tumultuous six seasons in Washington including three years as a starter in which the Redskins had a different leading receiver and leading rusher every season.
Now Cousins is equipped with a guaranteed $84 million over three years, in which both Diggs and receiver Adam Thielen are also signed through. Diggs’ new deal carries him through the 2023 season while Thielen is up after 2020.
“I love it,” Cousins said. “Continuity, to me, is very important. And it’s not a luxury we have in the NFL these days. There is a lot of change year in and year out, so I’ve come to expect that and understand you can’t use that as an excuse. You have to, as the new players come in, we have to learn quickly and get caught up to speed and go.
“Now we have to stay healthy and keep those guys on the field.”
Diggs, Cousins and the Vikings offense still have a lot of work to do regarding their own timing and chemistry. But he’s already come away impressed with the dedication shown by key players like Diggs.
“We were here until 9:15 last night doing install,” Cousins said. “I’ve been apart of some locker rooms where by 9 o’clock, some of your guys are sleeping in the back row; not taking notes, not paying attention. They’re basically checked out, texting or whatever. That’s not him. That’s not these guys.”
Diggs has yet to have a 100-catch or 1,000-yard season, but his potential has been on display since he was drafted in the fifth round. Cousins will be also be Diggs’ fifth starting quarterback in his fourth NFL season with the Vikings.
So they’re hoping for continuity both ways.
“He can do just about everything and that’s what you want in a receiver,” Cousins said. “He doesn’t give you limitations.”