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March Mania

With two more years on contract, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins ready to ‘bring a championship home’

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (left) celebrates with teammates after defeating the New Orleans Saints in overtime of a NFC Wild Card game Sunday, Jan. 5, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Derick Hingle / USA TODAY Sports

EAGAN, Minn. -- Kirk Cousins got a two-year extension on his goal to bring the Vikings their first Super Bowl win.

The 31-year-old quarterback agreed to a two-year, $66 million contract extension Monday, keeping him with Minnesota through the 2022 season. The Vikings officially announced the agreement Tuesday and provided a statement from Cousins.

“(My wife) Julie and I are thrilled to be staying in Minnesota for the next several years,” Cousins said. “People have embraced us and treated our family incredibly well. We also believe we are building something special at the Vikings. We know how much this team means to the fans and the state, and we want to do everything we can to help this team bring a championship home.”

In a statement, general manager Rick Spielman also talked about bringing a title to Minnesota.

“Kirk has proven he’s one of the top quarterbacks in this league and has continued to improve and progress each day since he arrived here,” Spielman said. “It means a lot to have such upstanding individuals like Kirk and Julie committed to not only our team success, but also to our community with all the exemplary work they’ve done in that arena. Our collective goal is to bring a championship to Minnesota, and we will do whatever it takes.”

Cousins signed a fully guaranteed three-year contract for $84 million in 2018. His extension includes $61 million of guaranteed money and a $30 million signing bonus.

His base salary remains $29.5 million for 2020 but his salary-cap number was dropped from $31 million to $21 million with the extension. Cousins will have cap numbers of $31 million in 2021 and $45 million in 2022.

On Monday, hours after Cousins agreed to his extension, the Vikings agreed to trade disgruntled receiver Stefon Diggs to Buffalo along with a seventh-round pick in 2020. In the deal, which will become official Wednesday, Minnesota will receive 2020 picks in the first (No. 22 overall), fifth and sixth rounds and a 2021 fourth-round selection.

The Vikings on Tuesday also officially announced Monday’s moves of signing safety Anthony Harris to the franchise tag ($11.441 million), re-signing fullback C.J. Ham (four years for $12 million) and punter Britton Colquitt (three years for $9 million) and putting a second-round tender on restricted free-agent linebacker Eric Wilson ($3.259 million).

Will their next big move involve re-signing free-agent defensive end Everson Griffen? Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said last month he expected Griffen to return, but the defensive end declined comment Tuesday on his situation.

With Cousins locked up, the next Vikings player to get a significant extension could be running back Dalvin Cook, who will make a base salary of $1.331 million in the final year of his contract. Sources said there have been some talks about a possible extension for Cook, and that those talks will ramp up after the Vikings get through free agency.

A source said Tuesday the Vikings are continuing to try to re-sign reserve center Brett Jones, although he is looking to find a team that would allow him to compete for a starting job. Jones hopes to resolve his situation before he gets married March 28 in his native Saskatchewan.

Free agency got underway Monday with the legal tampering period, when teams could begin talking to representatives of free agents on other teams. The first day of the new league year is Wednesday, when all players can sign new contracts.