Published: Tue, March 06, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Jets fear Kirk Cousins has already decided on Vikings

Jets fear Kirk Cousins has already decided on Vikings

But Cousins, a 29-year-old former Pro Bowler, will demand a lot of money, and the Cardinals have less money to spend on free agents than most National Football League teams do.

It was reported Saturday that there are four teams - New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals - who are finalists for the veteran quarterback's services.

The Cardinals have made it clear they intend to be aggressive in pursuing a top-tier quarterback, whether via free agency, a trade or the NFL Draft. We are talking about the kind of financial commitment that will have enormous impact on whichever team lands him, as well as those that covet him but lose out. But they are far from the only ones. This is all happening in real time, for the player and those teams, and this is not a negotiating vacuum. There are several starting quarterbacks who could change teams on March 14, including #Kirk Cousins, #Case Keenum, Sam Bradford and #Teddy Bridgewater. It's possible all four teams target a signal-caller if Cousins is elsewhere. It won't make sense for Cousins to spend a day-and-a-half at four different teams and then make a decision a week into free agency.

"That's a unsafe thing to do if you don't have another quarterback", said one league source, "unless you know you're about to get one".

Technically they can't know, because it would be considered tampering if they've had any conversations with Cousins or his agent, Mike McCartney. They're just not sure that money will be all that matters to Cousins. Never underestimate it's impact. Supposedly, the Jets are willing to dish out a ton of guaranteed money. It blows my mind that the Broncos - or any team - would be eliminated from Cousins' options unless they were deliberately telling his agent they were going to low-ball him on an offer.

Perhaps the Jets are the only leverage he needs with the Vikings, but it would seem like the Broncos would be better leverage given they have a better roster situation.

If I'm making two visits, it's the Jets and Vikings. And as they say, "where there's smoke, there's fire". Even if that's something you want to laugh at right now.

Why would Cousins eliminate any of his leverage in contract talks?

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