Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins spoke to the media on Tuesday for the first time this offseason, addressing many topics as the Vikings prepare to overhaul their roster in the NFL Draft.
The call, which took place via conference call, began with Cousins discussing his decision to remain in Minnesota by signing a two-year, $66 million contract extension that will have him under contract until the 2023 season.
"I think the Vikings did a great job of finding a way to make it a win-win," Cousins said. "It’s great to be able to create some cap space for this year and to be able to solidify that I and my family can be back in Minnesota for another couple of seasons and hopefully beyond that."
Cousins also touched on the trade that sent Stefon Diggs to Buffalo. While there were some that believed that Diggs and Cousins had differences, Cousins returned the favor that Diggs sent in his article for The Players Tribune.
"It's a unique dynamic," Cousins said. "It became apparent that he wanted to play elsewhere, and I think it was smart of the Vikings to grant him that opportunity. I think it wasn't a mystery, and that's OK. I wish him really well."
Cousins also went onto say that while Diggs was a special player, the Vikings will try to move on using "a variety of players" to replace him. That will take place under Gary Kubiak, who will take over the offense, but leave the same system in place that was run under Kevin Stefanski.
"I'm thrilled to have Coach Kubiak back as the O.C.," Cousins said. "He's a great coach and I think that was the natural hire. Whenever we get back to work, I'm looking to hit the ground running with him and with a similar playbook to what we've had, but knowing there will be a few adjustments as well."
When Cousins gets back to work will is unknown as the coronavirus pandemic continues to have an effect on the landscape of the NFL. Teams will have a "virtual offseason" to help comply with social distancing guidelines and that could bleed into the regular season with games in empty stadiums.
"OTA practices don’t have a lot of pomp and circumstance to them," Cousins said of the changes. "Honestly to go out and just play the game would kind of be refreshing, a breath of fresh air, to just let us know that we don’t have to have all the smoke and the fire, we can just play football."
When the Vikings do get on the field, Cousins reiterated that the team's goal to win a championship remains the same.
"We know how much this team means to the fan base, to the people of Minnesota and we’re going to do all we can to deliver a championship," Cousins said. "I do know that whoever the quarterback is that delivers a world championship to the Minnesota Vikings is going to be welcome in the state of Minnesota for the rest of their lives. "
"I certainly want to be that quarterback and we’re working really hard to do that. "