“QB-Derby-Here Come the Bids”
The NFL is a quarterback driven league.
If you’ve got a good one, you need to keep him standing. If you don’t have one, you better find a way to get one.
Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Cam Newton, Eli Manning, Russell Wilson and the bunch are among the elite ones in the NFL.
Enter Kirk Cousins, the high priced, big passing star of the Washington Redskins.
The Wednesday trade that saw Kansas City ship star QB-Alex Smith to Washington, cleared the way for the Chiefs to elevate young first round pick Patrick Mahomes to the starter’s job.
The Redskins acquisition, and four yer extension of Smith’s contract, cleared a potential 34M-off the salary cap books in Washington. That was what it would have cost Washington to re-sign Cousins, who had been franchise tagged two years in a row.
Cousins is a big time thrower, having thrown for over 12,000-yards, 81-TDs and 36-picks the last three seasons at Fed Ex Field. But Washington never went anywhere in the playoffs.
So they get Smith, who was just (1-4) in KC in post season under Andy Reid, but they do get cap relief. But Washington gave up top young DB-Kendall Fuller and a 3rd run pick in the trade, so did they really come out the better, by acquiring the 34-year old Smith.
The Chiefs cleared 20-M cap space with the Smith trade, got another young DB to add to the stockpile of young talent on defense, and landed an additional 3rd round pick.
Look around the NFL road map, and you will see red-flags everywhere, teams with QB problems.
Denver has three quarterbacks in Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler, plus injured rookie, the untried Chad Kelly. Jon Elway may be the best QB in the building, and he’s the GM. They could be the front runner for Cousins.
Arizona is going thru a coaching change, has lost Carson Palmer to retirement via injuries, and is a seemingly older team.
The Jets are in the media capital of the world, don’t have much skill talent, and must not believe Christian Hackenberg is the future, for Cousins name is being thrown out everywhere.
Jacksonville has a 19M-decision to make on the erratic Blake Bortels, but has skill everywhere and a superb defense, and could be the dark horse in all this.
Minnesota has 3-quarterbacks heading to free agency, two of them coming off serious knee injuries, but they have players, and that defense is superb, and could be a player in all this. Cousins is better than Sam Bradford-Ted Bridgewater and this year’s wonder Case Keenum.
Buffalo has a cap decision on Tyrod Taylor, but does Cousins want to play in the real cold and the wind on the Niagra Frontier on a team with such a poor decade plus of records?
And then there is Cleveland, which has employed 29-different starting QBs since 1999, when the franchise brought back. Cleveland has the first pick in the draft, 5-picks in two rounds, and some 100M in cap space to spend on free agents. But if Cousins had a tough time with losses piling up in Washington, how does he sell himself about the Browns, who are (1-31) the last two years, big payday not withstanding?
Yes the coming month will have lots of dialogue about Baker Mayfield-Oklahoma….Josh Rosen-UCLA….Sam Darnold-USC…Mason Rudolph-Oklahoma State…Luke Falk-Washington State and Lamar Jackson-Louisville, but they are all going to be rookies and unproven.
Kirk Cousins, surrounded by a better team than he had in Washington, has a chance to not just get a big payday, but go play for someone really good.
Let the bidding begin for NFL teams will pay handsomely for the right quarterback in a QB league, and Cousins is the right quarterback.