Most of the stories about the National Football League this year have focused on the growing polarization between the National Anthem protestors and the legions of fans who are displeased with the political pregame antics. That may make this story even more surprising. This is about an NFL quarterback who still lives in his parent’s basement.
Kirk Cousins is the quarterback for the Washington Redskins. Like every other NFL quarterback, Cousins makes a good living throwing a ball. He brought home $19.9 million last year, and is slated to earn $23.9 million this year.
With that kind of money, it is safe to say he’s probably paid off any extraneous student loan debt. So why, as GQ reports, does Cousins still live in his parent’s basement during the summer?
“…for a good portion of the offseason,” GQ writes, “the eminently practical Cousins holes up beneath the floorboards of his teenage home in Holland, Michigan—a white, clapboard split-level on a street that ends in a cul de sac. He shares the space with his wife, Julie, who’s pregnant with their first child, a boy. The early months of the year are spent in a warmer climate: the basement of Julie’s parents’ place, just northeast of Atlanta.”
“It works well,” Cousins told the magazine. “We don’t pay rent.”
True enough. He works out there, at home. The year-to-year nature of his contract with the Redskins has meant a bit of uncertainty about where to live, but there’s more to his connection to home than that. Those who know him say he’s unusually practical, and very connected to friends and family.
“When I was in college,” he told GQ, “[if] someone had said, ‘You’re going to play six seasons in the NFL, and you’re going to be able to earn a good living where you can take care of your family,’ I would’ve said, ‘That’s good enough. I’m good. I can die a happy man,’” he says. “Now I’m here. And you’re looking for more. You’re chasing more.”
“We’re all going to have to give an account for what we did with what we were given. In this contract negotiation, if I just roll over and die, that’s not being a good steward of what God has given me.”
So what does that say about his plans? “Okay, [I’ve] started a couple of years. The guys [I’m] chasing have done it for a decade, they’re throwing 4,000 yards every single year, they’re staying healthy, they’re gonna win double-digit games, they’re gonna go to the playoffs. And that’s certainly not where people are pegging me as a quarterback. But that’s the next mountain to climb.”