Posted on January 31, 2018, by Bryan Zarpentine
With the news that Alex Smith is being traded to the Washington Redskins, Kirk Cousins is officially on the open market. After playing under the franchise tag the past two seasons, there’s now no chance Cousins stays in Washington. Instead, he figures to be the most sought after quarterback on the free agent market this summer. He may also end up being the highest paid player in league history in the process. It’s too early to know where he’ll end up, but it’s not too early to take a look at each team’s odds of ending up with Cousins as their quarterback in 2018.
Bills – 10%
Even though Tyrod Taylor just led the Bills to the playoffs, Buffalo could still seek an upgrade at quarterback. Taylor was benched for rookie Nathan Peterman at one point this past season, so clearly the Bills brass isn’t all that high on him. If nothing else, Buffalo will kick the tires on signing Cousins. For Cousins, joining a team that just made the playoffs and has plenty of draft picks to use on young talent could be appealing.
Broncos – 25%
Multiple Broncos have already spoken out in favor of the team signing Cousins. The defense that won a Super Bowl for Denver just two years ago is still largely intact, and there is a belief that the right quarterback can get them back to the top of the AFC. When John Elway wants something, he usually finds a way to get it. The only question is whether he wants Cousins bad enough.
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Browns – 10%
The Browns were in contact with the Chiefs regarding Smith, so it’s not a stretch to think that they’ll be interested in Cousins. That being said, Cousins may not want to pick Cleveland over other suitors knowing the history of that franchise. On the other hand, the Browns are young and loaded with draft picks. Also, Cousins could have the ego to believe he’s the person who can turn them around.
Cardinals – 15%
The Cardinals are an intriguing dark horse in the Cousins sweepstakes. They have a new head coach and no quarterbacks on the roster. In Arizona, Cousins would get plenty of help from running back David Johnson. The Cardinals also have the talent defensively to be one of the best in the league on that side of the ball. Arizona is poised to be aggressive in free agency, and so they could pursue Cousins with great ferocity.
Jaguars – 5%
After going to the AFC Championship Game with Blake Bortles, the Jaguars will likely stick with Bortles next season. However, head coach Doug Marrone isn’t married to Bortles, so there’s a chance the Jags will pivot and enter the competition for Cousins.
Jets – 25%
The Jets are in need of a quarterback and have plenty of cash to spend this summer. That means they’re going to make a strong push for Cousins. There is also a connection between Cousins and the team’s new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. That connection, and all the money the Jets have to spend, could be enough to see Cousins land in the Big Apple.
Vikings – 5%
Despite their recent trip to the NFC Championship Game, the Vikings have a quarterback quandary on their hands. All three quarterbacks on their roster are about to hit the free agent market. It’s likely that they will re-sign at least one of them. However, if they’re worried about Sam Bradford’s health and not convinced by Case Keenum’s performance this season, it’s possible they make a push for Cousins.
The Field – 5%
It’s unlikely that a team comes out of nowhere to sign Cousins, but you never know. Teams like the Bengals, Dolphins, and Ravens could all view Cousins as an upgrade over their current quarterback. Cousins is a rather unique free agent, so anything is possible.