NFL: four teams have a shot at landing Cousins



Kirk Cousins throws against the New York Giants.

JOSHUA DAUSENER, Copy Editor | [email protected]

NFL free agency kicks off next week on March 14. The leading storyline in this year’s free agency period is the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes.

A franchise quarterback hitting the open market is always bound to garner high attention and even higher paychecks.

According to a tweet from NFL analyst Adam Schefter, four teams remain in the running for Cousins: the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals.

Several reports have stirred speculation that New York is willing to cash out the most to land Cousins. NBC reported that the Jets will pay “whatever it takes” to sign Cousins at the end of February.

However, Cousins has suggested that he is willing to take less to win, and the Jets seem like their organization is at least several seasons away from being serious Super Bowl contenders.

If winning is what Cousins prioritizes, Minnesota seems like the most likely destination. The Vikings are coming off of an NFC title game appearance and have a championship caliber roster that may be a quarterback away from bringing Minnesota its first ever Lombardi trophy. Denver is another franchise that seems prime for a Super Bowl run if the team could at least get an above-average starter under center.

The wild card here seems to be Arizona. They likely aren’t willing to pay as much as the Jets. The Cardinals are a playoff caliber team but aren’t as talented as Minnesota or Denver. The departure of head coach Bruce Arians likely dampens the Cardinals’ chances as well.

That being said, other quarterback-needy teams, such as the Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills, aren’t on the final four, and Arizona is, so Cousins is clearly seriously considering the team.

It’s tricky to confidently predict where Cousins will sign. If he chooses to prioritize money over winning, he’ll become a Jet. If he prioritizes winning, the contest will come down to whether Minnesota or Denver offers a better contract. Arizona is a wildcard.

In the end, more cap space, fewer departing veterans, a better coaching staff and what seems like a longer championship window will give Minnesota the edge, and Kirk Cousins will become a Viking.