The Kirk Cousins saga ended in the midst of numerous deals around the NFL on Tuesday, as the Minnesota Vikings landed the quarterback with a three-year, $84 million deal. The eye-opening part of this contract is that all of it is guaranteed, as the Vikings wanted to lock their new man in after losing Case Keenum to the Denver Broncos and Teddy Bridgewater to the New York Jets. The deal makes Cousins the highest-paid quarterback in the league, and the individual stats may point to him deserving that. The 29-year-old ranks fourth in passing yards, sixth in passer rating, seventh in total QBR, and eighth in touchdown passes since becoming a regular starter three years ago. He is coming off his third consecutive 4,000-yard season, as he had 4,093 passing yards, 27 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in 2017. He did finish with a total QBR of 52.3, which is the lowest of his career. His most notable year was when he took over for Robert Griffin III in 2015 and had 23 touchdowns and three interceptions in the final 10 games to lead Washington to the NFC East Title. He finished that season with a franchise-record 4,166 yards. Many believe that the Vikings were a quarterback away from reaching the Super Bowl this past season, and they now rank second in the NFC as favorites to go to the big game next season, and third in the NFL.
Westbrook's Triple-Double Makes History
It has turned in to the norm for Russell Westbrook to record a triple-double in a game, but there was a little more emphasis on Tuesday's feat. Westbrook had 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 119-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. The performance makes him the fourth player in NBA history to reach 100 career triple-doubles, The Thunder were still stuck in a tight matchup with the lowly Hawks, as Taurean Prince tied the game with a three-pointer with 5:15 to play. From there, the Thunder used a 16-0 run the rest of the way to pull away for good. Westbrook became the third-fastest player to reach the triple-double plateau, as he joined Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Jason Kidd. Only Johnson and Roberton reached the feat quicker. Elsewhere, Carmelo Anthony chipped in 21 points, while Jerami Grant added 20 for OKC, who lost Paul George to a groin injury. Prince had 25 points in a losing effort for the Hawks, who are an Eastern Conference-worst 20-48. Oklahoma City will come off Westbrook's historic night to play host to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday night. The Hawks will be off until Thursday night, when they stay home to play host to the Charlotte Hornets.
Radford, St. Bonaventure Get in With First Four Wins
The NCAA Tournament unofficially got underway on Tuesday night with the First Four, featuring a 16-seeded matchup and an 11-seeded matchup. First, Radford cemented their spot as the 16-seed in the East Region with a 71-61 win over LIU Brooklyn in Dayton. Travis Fields Jr. and Ed Polite Jr. had 13 points apiece in what was the Highlanders' first NCAA Tournament win in program history. Carlik Jones also had a big night with 12 points and career highs 11 rebounds and seven assists. The win moves Radford on to take on the top-seeded Villanova Wildcats on Thursday night. Meanwhile, the 11-seed in the East Region will be held by St. Bonaventure following a 65-58 win over the UCLA Bruins. The win is the Bonnies' first NCAA Tournament win in 48 years, as they were led by Courtney Stockard's 26 points in his return. Jaylen Adams was big at the free throw line down the stretch, as the Bonnies earned their first win in the tournament since 1970. They also forced a season-high 20 turnovers from the Bruins, who were playing in their first First Four matchup in school history. With the win, St. Bonaventure moves on to take on the sixth-seeded Florida Gators on Thursday night.