Tuesday was an interesting day for Vikings fans, starting with Minnesota general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah glowing about Kirk Cousins while noting the QB's ability to win "when the odds are shifted in his favor."
But later in the day, during a press scrum with Minnesota media members at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Adofo-Mensah didn't have a definitive answer when asked whether Cousins could play out his $45 million cap hit next season if he doesn't reach an agreement on a new contract.
"I wish I could tell you for certain anything," Adofo-Mensah said via The Athletic's Chad Graff. "Everything's in play and I hate to be that general, but everything's in play [with Cousins]."
What the Vikings will decide to do with Cousins remains the biggest question of the offseason. With Minnesota currently $14.7 million over the salary cap, their quarterback's massive cap hit could hinder their ability to retain their own free agents and improve the team via free agency.
Jordan Schultz of Yahoo Sports! reported last month that Cousins has no intention of taking a pay cut. He also stated that Cousins could ask for an extension that pays him an average of $40 million per season.
With the Vikings needing to get under the cap by the start of the league year on March 15, they have a two-week window to make a decision on Cousins. Graff reports Adofo-Mensah had dinner with Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney, to discuss a deal but did not mention if there was any progress.
Even if Adofo-Mensah didn't confirm if negotiations on a new deal were going well, there are other tea leaves that fans can pick up during the combine.
One observation is how the Vikings treat this class of rookie quarterbacks. The consensus opinion is that this year's class isn't as strong as the 2020 (Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert) or 2021 (Trevor Lawrence, Mac Jones) classes but Adofo-Mensah appeared willing to hold his judgment heading into this weekend's combine.
With Graff reporting the Vikings have already begun meeting with quarterbacks at the combine, the Cousins discussions will be the underlying headline in Indianapolis.
"We will do whatever's best for the Minnesota Vikings and Kirk will do what's best for Kirk," Adofo-Mensah said via SI's Will Ragatz. "But I think there's a lot of middle ground for us to work well together."