Kirk Cousins is the most polarizing athlete in the state of Minnesota right now. Whether you love him or hate him, you have an opinion on the $84 million Vikings quarterback.

After losing 38-7 in the 2017 NFC Championship game, the Vikings decided to make Cousins the highest-paid quarterback in the history of the NFL at that time. I believe it was a signing they had to make. A quarterback is the most critical position in sports, and the Vikings got the best available guy.

After going 8-7-1 in 2018 and a horrific 2-2 start, the Vikings faithful were calling for Cousins' head. I was one of them. If I'm being honest, I've been out on him since he laid an egg in the final game of the 2018 regular season against the Chicago Bears.

In the last five games, not only have the Vikings gone 4-1, but Cousins has looked more than capable. He's been very good. Some would say he's been great. It's put fans like myself in a predicament. After five weeks of figuring out which quarterback to draft in the first round, I'm now sitting here wondering if Cousins will get a contract extension at the end of next year.

The October NFC player of the month is stating his case to get paid. Through nine games, he has a 6-3 record with a 68.8 completion percentage. He's thrown 16 touchdowns and three interceptions. He's 13th in the league in passing yards with a team that runs the third-most in the league.

That being said, he's not the guy.

Let me preface this by saying I am a Cousins hater. I convinced myself that rolling the $84 million dice would be a good idea. I believe we lost.

We are halfway through the three-year contract, and I have yet to see the Vikings beat a Super Bowl contender at that time. The first win he had in purple and gold against a winning team was the Philadelphia Eagles in week six. The Eagles have given up the ninth-most passing yards in the NFL this year.

This year, Cousins has beaten the Raiders, Giants, Lions, Eagles, Falcons and Redskins. Those opponents have a combined record of 16-34-1. The Vikings have beaten nobody worth bragging about.

Let us look at their three losses. Against the Packers, Cousins decided to throw off his back foot towards the end zone into triple coverage that resulted in an interception in the fourth quarter.

Against the Bears, Cousins completed 16 of 27 passes for 233 yards. Not bad, right? The Vikings didn't score a point until 3:02 left in the game.

Last Sunday in Kansas City, Cousins had the ball in his hands two separate times to try and put the game away. The Vikings went three-and-out both drives.

You can blame the offensive line or the play calling, but at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself one question. Can you see Kirk Cousins hoisting the Lombardi trophy over his head within the next two years? I can’t.

There are plenty of quarterbacks that are worse than Cousins that have won a title: Joe Flacco, Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson and Peyton Manning with the Broncos. Sub-par quarterbacks rarely win championships. I could bog you down with more stats, but the fact of the matter is that Kirk Cousins is a sub-par quarterback.

• • •

“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.