Over the next few weeks, free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins will likely be the biggest topic of discussion around the Jets and with good reason. Rich Cimini reports the Jets are ready to go all in to try and land the quarterback.
The Jets want him badly, and sources say they’re willing to pay whatever it takes -- unless the Washington Redskins decide to tag him for a third time (unlikely). Money aside, the Jets hope to convince him he’ll have a chance to win in New York. Because of obvious deficiencies on the current roster, they must sell him a championship vision. Their recruiting pitch also will stress his familiarity with the offensive system. In addition to making Cousins wildly rich, the Jets want to let him know he’ll be comfortable with the scheme and coaches.
How badly do the Jets want Cousins? Mike Florio reported earlier in the weekend that the team was weighing an unheard of contract structure to entice the quarterback.
With Cousins rocketing toward the open market (efforts by his current team to conjure up a way to trade him notwithstanding), the question becomes whether the next contract he signs will be fully guaranteed, for the full duration of its four, five, or six years.
One team already is being pegged in league circles as having the willingness to do it: The Jets. If the Jets will do it, other suitors for Cousins may have no choice but to follow suit.
Usually on multi-year free agent contracts, teams build some leeway into the deals that allow them to financially escape after two to three years.
Over the last few weeks as I have read discussions on this player, one question has come into my mind. When did Kirk Cousins turn into Peyton Manning?
I think Cousins is a starting level quarterback in this league. If a team puts the right cast around him and puts him into the right system, he’s good enough to win with.
What I don’t understand is how Cousins is now being spoken about as a franchise savior. Why isn’t there a discussion of a reasonable price?
Does merely putting Cousins on a team give it a good chance of making the Playoffs? No.
If you give Cousins a decent supporting cast, are you automatically a legitimate Super Bowl contender? No.
Does Cousins provide so much value that you can live with him eating up 15-20% of the salary cap? Is what he provides worth living with the glaring weaknesses the resulting cap crunch will require? No.
Cousins makes sense at a certain price. This is not a back up the truck with money situation. This is not a “no bid is too high” situation. This is not a franchise-altering player. There has to be some degree of fiscal discipline here.