Welcome back SFE fans!
Last time I discussed the QB drama revolving the Buffalo Bills and New York Giants. While those two organizations have had their fair share of drama at the quarterback position, they both fall short of the main event. In our nation’s capital, a storm is brewing, and I’m not referring to the recent cold front out on the east coast.
The Kirk Cousins sweepstakes is finally upon us, and there will be plenty of suitors to lure the Redskins’ franchise signal caller out of D.C.
There is still the possibility a long-term deal for Cousins could be reached with Washington without much turmoil, but where is the fun in predicting that? You can never have too much drama in the NFL, and a QB controversy is as good as it gets.
To start things off, lets quickly scan through each NFL division to eliminate any teams who aren’t a potential match:
New England Patriots – Tom Brady
Buffalo Bills – Tyrod Taylor???
Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill???
New York Jets – OPEN
Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger
Baltimore Ravens – Joe Flacco
Cincinnati Bengals – Andy Dalton
Cleveland Browns – OPEN
Jacksonville Jaguars – Blake Bortles???
Tennessee Titans – Marcus Mariota
Houston Texans – Deshaun Watson
Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck???
Kansas City Chiefs – Alex Smith???
Los Angeles Chargers – Philip Rivers
Oakland Raiders – Derek Carr
Denver Broncos – OPEN
Philadelphia Eagles – Carson Wentz
Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott
Washington Redskins – Kirk Cousins
New York Giants – Eli Manning???
Minnesota Vikings – Case Keenum???
Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford
Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
Chicago Bears – Mitch Trubisky
New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees???
Carolina Panthers – Cam Newton
Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jameis Winston
Los Angeles Rams – Jared Goff
Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson
Arizona Cardinals – OPEN
San Francisco 49ers – Jimmy Garoppolo
Since Kirk Cousins would naturally want to be the starting QB wherever he ends up, each team with their starter already in place is easily crossed off. Every quarterback with question marks after their name is presumably going to be the starter for their respective team. The odds are not 100% however, so they shouldn’t be dismissed so quickly. For this simple exercise, we will just focus on the OPEN spots, if only to keep our imaginations under control.
Now we are left with 5 remaining teams, including Cousins’ current squad in the Redskins. The Jets, Browns, Broncos, and Cardinals are all obvious outside locations that have a glaring need at the quarterback position. Are any of them attractive enough to persuade a change in uniform for #8?
New York Jets
It’s not too often you see a team finish with a 5-11 record and greatly exceed their expectations. The Jets were suppose to be 0-16 bad, but another team sadly beat them too it. Despite the lack of talent on offense, journeyman QB Josh McCown kept New York competitive and relevant as a likable underdog. With Kirk Cousins at the helm next season, it is realistic to expect the Jets to contend for a winning record. Unfortunately, the Jets just don’t have enough talent to peak Cousin’s interest for a rebuild.
Kirk Cousins Chances: Low
Speaking of 0-16 bad, the Browns certainly wouldn’t mind the help of an above average quarterback. It’s not like they can get any worse right? By signing Kirk Cousins, the Browns could even use their top draft picks to put weapons around the new face of the franchise. Pairing Cousins with RB Saquon Barkley and a top lineman prospect would be intriguing. For all we know, however, the Browns could draft the Alabama kicker and Larry the Dr. Pepper guy instead.
Kirk Cousins Chances: Even Lower
Remember the Jets exceeding expectations with a 5-11 record? Yeah, well the Broncos finished 5-11 as well, and the two couldn’t be any more different. After starting the season 3-1, the Broncos had the makings of a playoff team. Then came 8 straight losses and hello offseason! General Manager John Elway has some explaining to do, and what better way to speak up than with some action. The Broncos could be an enticing destination for Kirk Cousins. With weapons such as Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders, and CJ Anderson at his disposal, Cousins could thrive here. Having a proven defense and a Peyton Manning track record doesn’t hurt either.
Kirk Cousins Chances: Real
Last but certainly not least (cough cough 0-16) are the Cardinals. This is a big offseason for Arizona, with head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Carson Palmer both calling it quits. With hall of fame WR Larry Fitzgerald’s future also in question, the Cardinals are desperate for some stability. Kirk Cousins could be “the guy” for Arizona, especially when paired with a stud running back like David Johnson. If it’s warmer weather that’s on Cousins’ mind, then this is the place to be. Otherwise, winning football games might come faster somewhere else.
Kirk Cousins Chances: Higher than low, but lower than high
If Kirk Cousins does end up leaving the Redskins, he will most likely go to the Denver Broncos. In Denver, he will have a decent supporting cast, a defense he can lean on, and a winning culture right away. The other quarterback barren teams would be wise to look towards the draft to steal the next Kirk Cousins in the making.
Nothing is set in stone in the NFL however. Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, and Eli Manning could all retire, leaving plenty of new doors for Cousins to explore. But at the end of the day the NFL is a business. If the Redskins finally break out the checkbook, all of DC will come together as one and proclaim, “YOU LIKE THAT!”