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jetskid007

Why I believe Kirk Cousins will be a New York Jet

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What has gone on in Washington is akin to the Ndamukong Suh-Detroit Lions divorce a few years ago. Egos were bruised and at the end of the day, Detroit let one of the best defensive players in all of football walk. It is pretty clear that Kirk Cousins does not want to be a part of the Redskins future if he has a say in the matter, and Bruce Allen isn’t the type who will let a player, even a franchise QB, push him around. He may be as eager to move on from the quarterback as well. There have been excellent articles from notable publications like The Washington Post and Yahoo (Charles Robinson) that shed light on Kirk’s relationship with upper management- despite his professionalism and love for his coaches and teammates, his inner feelings are probably not too positive regarding Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen. The most telling sign of this can be depicted in this quote recently published by SI:

Quote

 

Cousins won’t say it outright, but there’s a part of him—maybe a big part—that feels disrespected by the team that drafted him. Last spring he forsook a long-term deal for a one-year franchise tag, and while pundits can frame that decision as a calculated risk, Cousins notes that he’s not a risk-taker, not “the guy who wants to open my parachute at the last minute.” Asked about reports that Washington last summer offered him a record-setting guarantee, he squirms. But this much is clear: He didn’t decline that deal to make more money. He said no—in a way that no other QB has ever said no to a long-term deal—because he didn’t feel “at peace,” he says, with “my situation.”

“They could have made him the highest-paid player in NFL history, and he wouldn’t have signed,” Don says. “People say, Well, he’s making $24 million. Fact is, he could have gotten a whole lot more.”

 

 

The bridges between the 3 parties has been burned, and if it is Kirk’s decision, he’ll likely look to choose an organization that he can call his own.

The Redskins are due to have somewhere between $50-60 million in cap space. Sure, they can elect to franchise Kirk and continue to play “tag”, but at one point or another Washington will have to accept that Kirk will not be signing a long-term deal with them. Bruce Allen went as far to release a statement regarding their negotiations, where he claims to have offered contract with a record-breaking guarantee ($53 million) and a total compensation that would’ve made him the second highest player in league history (prior to Stafford’s extension), but Kirk declined. Now, apparently they’re “evaluating” the final games of the season to determine if he’s worthy of being paid the way he wants to be, which in it of itself is pretty ridiculous. If you’re Washington, do you fork over another $35 million knowing that it’s a distinct possibility that he’ll walk the following year? Likely not. While they could tag him with the transition tag (projected $28.75 million), other teams will be permitted to frontload his contract to prevent Washington from matching. If such happened, they would receive no compensation.

The tag-and-trade option has to be on the table, but what if there are no buyers? Kirk would have to OK any deal for a team to make an offer, and his agents would be granted permission to negotiate with teams. Or, being that he’ll only be 31 (which is now considered young for a QB in the NFL), a team who truly feels he can be their franchise QB may opt to wait one year and sign him then. For these reasons, I think the divorce is inevitable, and Kirk Cousins will become the best player/QB to reach free agency since Peyton Manning.

 

Without a doubt, Kirk will delicately evaluate all of his options. There will be plenty…

The Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, and your New York Jets.
The Cardinals, Broncos, and Giants do not have as flush of a financial situation as the rest of the teams on this list. Also, the Cardinals and Giants are very much a team in limbo, and Denver is a team that has exited its window.

The Browns, Bills, Dolphins, Jaguars, and Jets may not have the history or recent success of some of the teams mentioned above, but they are arguably more well off in the short- and long-term future. All are flush with money, enough to easily make Cousins the highest-paid QB in the league without batting an eye.

  • The Browns have the most draft picks, but if you’re Kirk Cousins, you’re probably trying to avoid the Browns.
  • The Dolphins are in an interesting situation. They have Tannehill under contract at an affordable price, and quite honestly, when you factor in all the things that he's had to go through in Miami, you have to defend him a bit. He's an efficient QB with plenty of talent and many had felt he was poised to breakout prior to getting injured this offseason. If you follow PFF, he's graded an 80.9 or higher in all 5 of his seasons, which is considered "above average-high quality." Both he and Cousins are the same age, and with Tannehill being the more naturally gifted, I can see the team opting to stick with him under the cheaper contract (they've already paid out his guaranteed money) while drafting a QB in the 2nd-3rd round instead of signing Cousins and ditching Tannehill. 
  • Jacksonville is arguably the most talented team in the league outside QB and should certainly consider making a full-court press on Cousins, but they also have another option: Eli Manning. Tom Coughlin’s relationship with the Giants’ quarterback can’t be understated, and although he’s not as good as he used to be, he still has plenty left in the tank. He’ll be 37, but should easily be able to play out his contract (expires 2020) and then some if he chooses to. The Giants have close to zero leverage: Eli can choose to retire and they’d still be on the hook for his contract. If they cut him, they’ll absorb a significant cap hit. If they trade him, they’ll save a lot of money. Giants ownership is one of the most well respected in the business, and my guess is they will grant Eli’s request to trade him, especially if it’s to a team outside of their division and conference- they won’t get much for him, but they’ll save a lot of money. On the other hand, Jacksonville can get a borderline HOF-QB with Championship pedigree for 2 years, $33 million and a mid-round draft pick and allow him to be the game manager for arguably the most talented team in the league. For Jacksonville, that’s a slam dunk deal as it allows them to reserve their money for all the talented defenders that are going to require record-breaking contracts, and they can draft their successor and develop him on the fly.

That leaves the Bills and Jets. Both teams are arguably in the same neighborhood in terms of talent. While the Bills have more draft capital, the Jets have more money. Both organizations would be attractive to Kirk from the standpoint that they would embrace him, have young budding talent, offenses that fit his skill set, and the kind of culture that Kirk buys into. However, there is one material thing that the Jets have which the Bills, nor any other team on this list, don’t: Marketability.

 

Kirk is not the type of guy who seeks the spotlight, but he’s well aware of his earnings potential. Kirk Cousins in Buffalo is no different than Kirk Cousins in DC: he’s a fan favorite and local media magnet, but not much more. Kirk Cousins in New York is an outright star. The endorsement gap in New York vs Buffalo is enormous, and the amount of national attention he would receive is unprecedented. Also, when you consider the quality of living, the state-of-the-art facility and the accommodations the Jets can make for him (he has his own office in DC, but it’s more like a closet… you can be sure the Jets would provide him with something spectacular). When considering that the teams are very similarly built with a similar history and current talent level, it kind of teeters the odds in the Jets’ favor.

 

In regards to why I think the Jets would be interested…

  • Cousins is a safer bet than a draft pick. He’s proven to be an above average-arguably elite-quarterback over the past 3 seasons. Maccagnan has spent 2 draft picks at the position since 2015, and neither have proven to be “the guy.” If he signs McCown in 2018 and he falters (a la 2016 Ryan Fitzpatrick), he’s likely to be fired as well. Maccagnan needs to be bold, whether it be acquiring a proven QB or drafting one in the 1st, but if he drafts a QB and that player fails, he’ll lose his job as well. Kirk Cousins would be the type of investment all three pillars of the organization (owner, front office, coaching staff) would be on board with.
  • In 2015, Mike Maccagnan was interested in trading for Kirk after Geno was knocked out in training camp. Considering his background as a scout, Maccagnan’s likely had a strong opinion in Cousins to want to trade for him, and surely, his expectations have been surpassed.
  • Maccagnan also comes from a tree of executives who haven’t acquired QBs using high draft picks. Instead, they have used free agency, trades, or mid-to-late round picks. Signing Cousins allows the Jets to have a “franchise QB” now, while also continuing to develop for the future.
  • Cousins seamlessly fits right into the mold and culture that this Jets administration is striving for.

 

If such a situation where the Redskins decide to let him walk, tag-and-trade him, or transition tag him, I do believe the Jets have a huge shot at landing him. Whether or not that would be the right move is hard to say, but Kirk Cousins provides Mike Maccagnan a dream scenario where he can nab his franchise QB without investing significant draft capital in an unproven player. It also allows the team to properly evaluate Bowles and the coaching staff with a top-tier QB in place, and if they were not to succeed, becomes one of the most attractive head coaching situations in 2019. Sure, there are concerns, but it allows Maccagnan to spend premium draft picks on positional players while drafting and developing QBs in the middle rounds with minimal expectations. While free agent acquisitions are always risky, trading up for a QB is riskier.

 

 

Looking forward to this discussion. 

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Great write up as always!!!

im all for bringing in Cousins. I think he has good football left in him. He’s really in his prime years not for the next 3-5yrs or so. What I don’t want us to do, is think just adding him will fix this offense. Like you stated... there are several other teams that are intriguing for him to go to. If we don’t upgrade the talent that will be around him on offense, I could see him going elsewhere. OLine I’m sure will be a priority for him. Especially after Washington’s OLine play this season. He will need to stay upright to have a long career. I also think he will want a legit run game. He hasn’t had that in Washington. Not sure Powell and McGuire cut it as a great run game. Powell is only getting older and has a very cuttable contract. I think it’s 100% Forte gets cut, that’s why I don’t include him. I also think an upgrade at WR will help entice him. There’s a good 5-10 really good young FA options hitting the FA market. Targeting one of them along with what we have, certainly won’t hurt enticing him. Lastly if we keep Morton I think that intrigued him too.

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Eli is crushed in WCO environment so why on earth will he go to Jaguars (other WCO version team).  Jaguars will have 2 games played in London until 2020. I am not sure if it is 2 home games or one per venue but I don't think Cousins would appreciate 2 home games subtracting from Florida for tax strategy.

 

Why no Jets for Cousins?

1. Cousins should know that his skill set will deteriorate as he ages so how will he handle the sensitive media for his poor performance.

2. High living price. Not easy to "cover" his luxury expense when you have salary cap to monitor.

3. Todd Bowles, who prefers a veteran for qb job, has one season left on contract. What happens if he is fired or let go. Acquiring him in 2015 would make more sense than signing him after this season.

4. Phoenix is the perfect place for Cousins' personality and money. Signing with Cardinals will flush Palmer out easily.

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47 minutes ago, JetsandI said:

Eli is crushed in WCO environment so why on earth will he go to Jaguars (other WCO version team).  Jaguars will have 2 games played in London until 2020. I am not sure if it is 2 home games or one per venue but I don't think Cousins would appreciate 2 home games subtracting from Florida for tax strategy.

 

Why no Jets for Cousins?

1. Cousins should know that his skill set will deteriorate as he ages so how will he handle the sensitive media for his poor performance.

2. High living price. Not easy to "cover" his luxury expense when you have salary cap to monitor.

3. Todd Bowles, who prefers a veteran for qb job, has one season left on contract. What happens if he is fired or let go. Acquiring him in 2015 would make more sense than signing him after this season.

4. Phoenix is the perfect place for Cousins' personality and money. Signing with Cardinals will flush Palmer out easily.

 

As far as why Eli would go to Jacksonville: Tom Coughlin, the overall talent level on their defense (best in NFL) and on offense. Comparing scheme's is not a valid argument. The Giants have one of the worst offensive line and run game I've seen in the past 5 years. Jacksonville has a competent offensive line with  with an above average offensive line. Sure they may have to travel to London, but Eli is going to pick his next team based on who has the best chance to win a Super Bowl. Of the list of teams who will be in the market for a QB, Jacksonville is the clear spot. The question becomes whether the feeling is mutual, which I believe it will be. 

 

In regards to your other points: 

1) Kirk's game isn't predicated on sheer talent- it's about precision passing, accuracy, and intelligence. As we've seen with the likes of Brady, Brees, and McCown, those traits can lead you to be successful well into your late 30s if you play in the right offense. This is exactly why the Bruce Arians' led Cardinals would be a horrible fit for him, because it's all about play-action passing and consistently stretching the ball down field. 

2) I know all about cost of living and it's a valid argument in terms of comparing cities for maximizing income on his NFL contract, but you cannot factor in the marketability aspect in the cost of living calculation. Endorsement deals are not often publicized, but it's pretty much common sense that endorsement earnings in New York City would be far greater than that anywhere else in the country. The amount he can make would outweigh those concerns and then some. Use Eli as an example. He earns over $8 million annually in endorsement money per year. In June 2017, it was publicized that he was the 3rd highest in terms of endorsement earnings in the NFL- second to Drew Brees and Cam Newton (who's figure will drop significantly after he was dropped form many endorsement deals). Rodgers was 4th ($7.5 million per year), and then the drop off became significant (Andrew Luck $3 million). I'm not arguing that Cousins would make $8 million in the New York market just because Eli did, but I'm confident that he would be in the $4-8 million range in the largest media market in the world WITHOUT Eli Manning to compete with. He's already become a "meme" sensation with the "YOU LIKE THAT" and "OOOOOWEEEE" celebrations, has a good personality, and is a good looking guy. Heck even Sanchez still makes $1 million per year in his endorsement contract that he signed back when he was with the Jets (there's no reported info when or if that contract will/has expire). 

https://books.google.com/books?id=pwrMCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=mark+sanchez+endorsement+earnings&source=bl&ots=C2Z_00SG2X&sig=4MecN2-8IZOV7oTllclV6D3Y_KY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwitvr2NguzXAhXDmeAKHZr_CCMQ6AEIZTAL#v=onepage&q=mark sanchez endorsement earnings&f=false

3) I believe Todd Bowles will be extended this year. Despite the 4 win record, we've become a respectable, competitive team and he's leading the charge in the Jets' desire to change the culture and perception of the organization. I don't think that would protect him a year or 2 from now if expectations are raised, but I don't think they'll allow him to enter next year as a lame-duck coach. 

4) Even if Arizona gets rid of Palmer, they'll only be around $45 million under the cap. They have a lot of holes on the offensive line and Larry Fitzgerald will be a free agent. Their coach may retire at any moment. They're not that desirable. 

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Cut Mo, Ijalana, Skrine, Smith, Forte

Cap $90M

resign Claiborne, ASJ, Davis, Ealy, Enunwa, & Catanzaro: cost roughly $35-40M (I believe that is even a high estimate) save $10M for draft and in season moves

Cap $40-45M

make Cousins the highest paid QB in NFL history at an average of $28M per season and $65-70M guaranteed (Stanford got $60.5) all guaranteed money come in the first 2 years

Year 1 - $40M

Year 2 - $35M

Year 3 - $24M

Year 4 - $23M

Year 5 - $23M

Year 6 - $23M

(he'll be 35 when this deal expires)

He'd be vastly over paid for the first 2 years but in the event he falls off a cliff you could cut him after 2 years. Once you get to year 3 he'd be the 5th highest paid QB, that will be further down once Winston/Mariota and other QBs are up for their contracts. The only down side to this would be no big FAs in 2019.

**One thing to add to Jetskid's reasons to come here is Brady is getting older so there still is a chance he could decline in the coming years. Big Ben will likely retire after this season so given the state of the AFC it makes a ton of sense to come here over an NFC team.**

Any players we want to retain won't need big contracts until 2020 (the start of year 3) that would be Williams, Anderson, and Jenkins. The only players we may lose after next season would be Kearse (hope would be Enunwa/Stewart/Hansen/Rookie could replace or provide similar production) and Powell who will be on the wrong side of 30 and we'd have 2 drafts to find an additional RB to pair with McGuire.

Roll into the 2018 draft with a top 10 pick. QBs will fly off the board leaving some really good talent for us. We can take the player or trade down with a team looking to move up for a QB. Let's say we don't trade down (worst case scenario)

1) Chubb - beast Pass Rusher 

2a) Price - our new starting center

2b) best available LT or CB

3) best available LT or CB (opposite of 2b)

4) best available RB

 

I'm 110% on board for this decision. I think it's a no brainer for both sides. Normally I would say no to a FA QB but I'd be all for signing a healthy top 5 or top 10 QB that wouldn't hold us back with his contract.

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Its just an insane amount of money for a 30 year old QB who hasn't won anything and really wont make us significantly better enough to justify that money. Its a HARD pass for me. great write up, really it is, but whats the point of purging the roster just to poison it with over-priced veterans AGAIN. 

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2 hours ago, ekill08x said:

Its just an insane amount of money for a 30 year old QB who hasn't won anything and really wont make us significantly better enough to justify that money. Its a HARD pass for me. great write up, really it is, but whats the point of purging the roster just to poison it with over-priced veterans AGAIN. 

30 years old isn't really old for a QB who doesn't rely on arm strength or speed. Unfortunately unless you plan on drafting a QB every 4-5 years you are going to need to pay a good QB at some point. I think it makes more sense to pay it at a time that won't effect us long term. You may get lucky with a QB in the draft but if you miss then you waste any good players primes as opposed to signing a good QB before players hit their primes.

Wilson is the only QB on a rookie deal to take his team to a SB so I think it's slightly overrated.

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9 hours ago, ekill08x said:

Its just an insane amount of money for a 30 year old QB who hasn't won anything and really wont make us significantly better enough to justify that money. Its a HARD pass for me. great write up, really it is, but whats the point of purging the roster just to poison it with over-priced veterans AGAIN. 

Agreed. Franchise quarterbacks are acquired via the draft only.

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4 hours ago, GangGreen420 said:

Agreed. Franchise quarterbacks are acquired via the draft only.

Ya Drew Brees sucks.

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IFFF we can get him for a relatively cheap deal then ok but I really want to draft a franchise QB not buy a 30 year old who obviously isn't a franchise QB and never elevated Washington enough.

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35 minutes ago, jetsfan4life51 said:

He left SD at like 24.

27 actually and Cousins is 29.

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5 hours ago, GangGreen420 said:

Agreed. Franchise quarterbacks are acquired via the draft only.

I'd say you are correct but I don't think we've ever seen a healthy top 10 QB hit FA. This is such a unique situation it's hard to lump Cousins into the Glennon/McCown/Flynn type of QB conversation that you normally see. The closest comparison in Peyton who went to 2 SBs but he was coming off an injury where he needed to miss a season and was even older.

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2 minutes ago, rdelaney89 said:

I'd say you are correct but I don't think we've ever seen a healthy top 10 QB hit FA. This is such a unique situation it's hard to lump Cousins into the Glennon/McCown/Flynn type of QB conversation that you normally see. The closest comparison in Peyton who went to 2 SBs but he was coming off an injury where he needed to miss a season and was even older.

Cousins is 29, Peyton was 36 when he went to Denver. Peyton also had a skill set that will deteriorate over time (neck injury and poor arm strength). Cousins has a skill set that’s built to last. Good arm strength and accuracy and rarely gets injured. There’s no reason he can’t play for another 7-10 years. So he’s not a vet stop gap. He’s a franchise QB. 

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