When money talks Kirk Cousins and the Vikings lose. At least that’s what one prominent NFL columnist says.
“I don’t think Kirk Cousins is worth the money,” CBS Sports’ senior NFL columnist Pete Prisco said on his “Pick Six Podcast.” “[$84 million] guaranteed is a lot. If your name isn’t Brady, Rodgers or Brees or Rivers, that’s a little rich for my blood.”
Just how much doesn’t Prisco like Cousins’ three-year $84 million contract? He said that “dollars for dollars” he would rather have Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles and his three-year, $54 million contract than Cousins’.
“Bortles has more playoff wins than Kirk Cousins. … And he played big in the big moments in that Pittsburgh game [in last year’s playoffs],” Prisco said. “Kirk Cousins hasn’t played big in a big moment late in the season.”
But when it gets down to equal money, Prisco has less interest in Bortles.
“He’s not [better than Cousins],” Prisco said.
And Prisco’s projections reflect that: Cousins he predicts will throw for 27 touchdowns, 4,200 yards and 13 interceptions; Bortles he has at 25 touchdowns, 3,900 yards and 12 interceptions.
Now, what dragged Cousins into a conversation with Bortles?
First, it was amid chatter that the Jaguars should acquire Teddy Bridgewater as insurance for Bortles – much like our columnist Jim Souhan suggested. Prisco shot down that idea, saying Bridgewater isn’t as good as Bortles.
Secondly, it was that the Jaguars and Vikings played in Week 2 of the preseason Saturday – with the Jaguars winning 14-10.
In the process, neither quarterback set the world on fire: Bortles finished 12-for-20 for 159 yards and an interception; Cousins was 3-for-8 for 12 yards.
In a game featuring two of the league’s best defenses, Cousins’ day left a bigger mark on Prisco.
“As somebody said to me when I was in Jacksonville: If they had Kirk Cousins and he [played like he did Saturday], how bad would they be getting lit up?” Prisco said. “Was Blake Bortles the worst quarterback on the field on Saturday? No. … He threw a terrible interception to Harrison Smith. … But Kirk Cousins was dreadful. And yet you go on Twitter and all of it is on Blake Bortles, Blake Bortles, Blake Bortles. Hey, Kirk Cousins makes [$84] million in guaranteed money. You gotta be better than that. That was awful.”
Rest assured, though, Prisco said the Vikings should be a good offense but that Cousins just wasn’t right Saturday.
“All the reports are that he’s been very, very good,” Prisco said of Cousins in training camp. “So I don’t know what it was. But he was bad. Even when guys were open, he was 10 yards over their heads. It was terrible.”