The Minnesota Vikings expect quarterback Kirk Cousins to return in 2023, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah confirmed during a press conference alongside head coach Kevin O'Connell on Wednesday (January 18), three days after their 31-24 Wild Card Round elimination loss to the New York Giants.
“The expectation is that he will be our quarterback next season,” Adofo-Mensah said via Yahoo Sports.
Cousins is under contract for 2023 after signing a one-year extension last offseason. Adofo-Mensah -- who had publicly admitted to Cousins' shortcomings last offseason -- said the Vikings will look at options before deciding whether to offer another extension, which is hardly a public endorsement for a long-term future with the veteran quarterback.
O'Connell -- who had previously worked with Cousins as a quarterbacks coach in 2017 during their shared tenure with the now-Washington Commanders -- seemed more optimistic about Cousins and other players' progressions in 2023.
“I’m excited for, not only Kirk, but a lot of our players who will now have a year in the system and can really build off of that,” said O’Connell, who was hired last February, via Pro Football Talk.
Cousins finished Sunday's game with 273 yards and two touchdowns on 31 of 39 passing, as well as one rushing touchdown on a one-yard carry, but was scrutinized for throwing a pass on 4th and 8 that was well short of the first down marker and forced a turnover on downs with 1:44 remaining and no timeouts left. The 11-year veteran threw for 4,547 yards, 29 touchdowns and 14 interceptions on 424 of 643 passing, while leading the Vikings to a 13-4 record, during the 2022 regular season.