Kirk Cousins balked at the latest contract offer by Washington. In a rather passive aggressive manner through a public tweet sent by Washington’s brain trust clearly placing the blame on Cousins for not making a “long term” deal happen. This is shocking for two reasons. (1) Why would a team organization do such a thing? (2) You get the feeling that Washington has no clue how to manage Kirk Cousins and this situation. At first glance, the offer of $53 million guaranteed seems outright astronomical to many. Cousins is a good quarterback and I’m a fan. However, paying $53 million guaranteed to a quarterback who has never won a playoff game does not add up to me. With so many factors that playing into evaluating NFL quarterbacks, it’s basically impossible to attempt to say what one player is worth in comparison to another. Wins and stats can’t be the only metrics. Leadership, potential – the intangibles are major factors as well. It’s clear Washington executives don’t trust what they see in Cousins. It’s been clearly conveyed Cousins wants a long-term deal. I can only assume a contract more than two years since he already turned down a two-year deal. The argument has been made that there is no such thing as a guarantee in the NFL, as most contracts allow teams to cut players with little penalty and guaranteed money is the only real guarantee. It is obvious that Cousins wants a “statement on faith” in the form of a long-term contract. Not a just bunch of money thrown at his feet in a short-term deal. General manager Bruce Allen and owner Daniel Snyder cannot seem to commit that type of deal. Perhaps they still see a fourth-round pick or perhaps they don’t see a Super Bowl in his future. Whatever the reason it’s clear Cousins’ time is dwindling fast with Washington. It’s time to take a peek into next year and guess who will get Cousins on their roster in 2018!
San Francisco 49ers
Smart money says San Francisco is the most likely landing spot. The evidence seems to support all the talk of a Cousins to the 49ers. Joining up with coach Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco next year fits nicely on paper. First off, Shanahan who was Cousins’ offensive coordinator Washington in recent years has publicly stated he would love to have Cousins as his quarterback. San Francisco also did not draft a quarterback in this year’s draft. The 49ers are starting Brain Hoyer this year. Hoyer is a classic spot gap at quarterback and has never lived up to be more. To further this connection, Pierre Garcon, who played with Cousins the last few years, is now in San Francisco. I believe in the saying “where there is smoke there is fire” so unless Washington executives change their thinking about Cousins due to unforeseen Super Bowl run, his connection seems to be the most likely outcome. I see a 75 percent chance that this happens.
New York Jets
The Jets have had horrible luck with quarterback’s since … well forever! Nevertheless, I don’t see this one planning out. The Jets have already been in the news on record saying stink for Sam Darnold, the USC quarterback. Tanking a season is really what the Jets plan to do. They need to eventually get a stable quarterback if they ever want to be competitive. Kirk Cousins will be 29 next year and I highly doubt he will pick a team that is 4-5 years away from being competitive. However, If Darnold decides to stay in college, the Jets would have to look elsewhere. The Jets certainly would have the cap space to make a run for Cousins’ services. It is not unfathomable to think Jets may make a play if there are no better options in the draft next year. The likelihood of going to the Jets is 25 percent.
I grew up in Phoenix, so it’s fun to think that Cousins could end up in Phoenix (the city of … everything is burning hot). To this date, nothing much of anything has suggested he would join the Cardinals but this situation is fun to think about (especially if you’re a Cardinal fan). Arizona is preparing for a post-Larry Fitzgerald and Carson Palmer era after 2018. Fitzgerald has eluded to this being his last year. Palmer is still old, even more injury prone and continues to play poor in big games. Palmer’s production dropped drastically last year. Post retirement, Fitzgerald will get a large statue of himself in his honor in the middle city capital, as he should, and Palmer will be remembered for trying to throw five interceptions against Green bay in the NFC Wild Card game in 2015-16 season (that’s what I remember). Coach Bruce Arians needs a quarterback who can stand in the pocket take a hit to make a throw. That is how Arians’ deep passing offense works. I think Cousins would fit well in Arians’ offense. The likelihood he signs with the Cardinals is 15 percent.