And now the NFL world waits.
Day 1 of the free-agency negotiating period did not produce much news on free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins and where he might play in 2018. The Jets are one of the top suitors for Cousins, ready to break the bank for the 29-year-old, but they have competition from the Vikings, Broncos and Cardinals.
The news everyone is waiting for now is which team Cousins will visit when the new league year starts Wednesday at 4 p.m. That team has to be considered the favorite to land Cousins and the visit could just be a formality to make sure he feels comfortable with the coaching staff and his new surroundings before finalizing a deal.
The Vikings are widely considered to be the favorite to land Cousins because they went to the NFC Championship game last season and have a roster that is ready to win immediately. The Jets have about $90 million in salary-cap space and can throw the most money at Cousins, hoping to sway him to come to New Jersey.
On Monday, the NFL Network reported that at least two teams are prepared to offer Cousins a three-year, fully guaranteed contract and one other team is willing to come close to a fully guaranteed deal. That would be unheard of in the NFL where teams usually guarantee the first two or three years of a deal for top free agents, but then tack on more unguaranteed years to the deal that act essentially as team options.
Teams were permitted to contact Cousins’ agent Mike McCartney on Monday. He cannot sign anywhere officially until 4 p.m. Wednesday. Cousins surely was sifting through the offers from teams Monday, trying to figure out what his first choice would be. He is the biggest quarterback domino that the NFL is waiting to fall. Once he indicates where he likely is heading, other quarterbacks, such as Case Keenum, A.J. McCarron and Teddy Bridgewater can start finding homes.
The Jets could turn back to Josh McCown, last year’s starter, if Cousins goes elsewhere. They also could then draft a quarterback in the first round and have McCown serve as a mentor to the rookie and a starter until that player is ready.
Cousins posted a goodbye to the Redskins on his website on Monday. Initially, the post had “Vikings” and “Jets” tags at the bottom of it. Some saw this as a possible clue to the leaders for his services, but it could have just been someone at his website getting a little ahead of themselves. The tags were later removed.
“As I’m about to make one of the bigger decisions of my life, I’ll be saying goodbye to my familiar life as a Redskin,” Cousins wrote. “After calling Washington home for the past six years, the team has decided to move on to another option and, in turn, my family and I will be moving on as well.”