As free agency is due to begin, let’s take a look at what will be the story of the offseason. Which franchise will Kirk Cousins play for in 2018 and beyond?
We will get into the potential teams later but first up, we need to talk about Kirk Cousins stats. There’s no question that he is a good Quarterback, however is he a great one? Last year was his 3rd successive season with over 4,000 passing yards. In 2017Cousins finished the year with 27 touchdowns (8th highest) and 14 interceptions (7th highest in the league). Cousins finished inside the top 10 in passer rating for the third consecutive season, which by all accounts is excellent. However the one thing that will go against him is he’s not a proven winner with a mediocre record of 26-31-1, and a postseason record of 0-1. I admit it’s a tad unfair to peg this all on him as the Redskins haven’t really been a great side over the last 4-5 years.
So with these impressive stats, what would Kirk Cousins be looking to get in his new contract? Well after Jimmy G received a whopping 139.5 million dollar contract, we can almost certainly rule out the 49ers as his new home. Other than ruling out the 49ers as a potential landing spot for Cousins, the Jimmy G move has also helped us work out what the base price for Cousins will be. If Garoppolo is on $27.5 million a year, its safe to say Cousins will be pushing 30million a year plus. That is a whole load of cash to be offering a QB with a losing record.
So the question is now, who can afford him?. I’ve narrowed this down to 4 teams that I think could afford him, the Browns, the Jets, the Vikings and the Broncos (Just).
My number one destination for Cousins is the Minnesota Vikings. Now, this option isn’t as highly discussed compared to the Browns, Jets and Broncos move. But it’s hard not to like this potential partnership. Minnesota has a fantastic defence which I imagine they will boost in the draft. Teddy Bridgwater is on his way out of Minnesota and how much will Case Keenum will ask for? Minnesota have the cap space and all the weapons Cousins will need to push Minnesota to the Super Bowl. You like that Minnesota! You like that!
The Browns are my second destination for Cousins, they have plenty of cap space to use after their failed attempts to lure Alex Smith. So we know they are already in the market for a QB. Signing Cousins makes a lot of sense. He’s a plug in and play QB. This will allow the Browns to use their two first-round picks on some new weapons for Kirk, perhaps taking Barkley with the first overall pick?.
The New York Jets are in at number three. After they cleared the decks in 2017 releasing high paid big named players, including Marshall, Mangold & Decker etc. The New York Jets have needed a franchise QB ever since Broadway Joe Namath hung up his cleats. After playing in Washington, Cousins could handle the pressure that comes with being a New York Quarterback. Cousins has been open about his admiration for the Jet offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. However I can’t see the Jets signing a veteran during a rebuild period. And particularly at that price Cousins will demand. The Jets Long wait for a franchise QB could be over, but you just know the Jets will do what the Jets do best… F**k it up.
Lastly, we have the Denver Broncos, Going to Denver would be tempting for Cousins with Thomas and Sanders both great assets for Cousins to succeed if they hang around that is. It’s a bit of a stretch for Kirk to end up with the Broncos. The team is desperate for a plug in and play QB whilst the Defence has some legs in them. A rebuild is probably the sensible option here, not blowing all your cap space on one player. But with the Defence on its last legs, Elway may just take a punt on Cousins before their Superbowl window shuts.