In this day and age, it’s nearly essential for an NFL team to have a franchise quarterback in order to achieve sustained success. The New England Patriots have Tom Brady; the Philadelphia Eagles have Carson Wentz, the Pittsburgh Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger, and so on and so forth.
This offseason, former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is expected to be the most sought-after free agent on the market. Where he chooses to sign could shift the balance of power in the NFL.
Here are the five most likely destinations for Cousins (in no particular order):
Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings are expected to let Case Keenum walk via free agency, according to The Star Tribune‘s Ben Goessling. It’s also unclear if the team is ready to turn the reigns back over to Teddy Bridgewater after he missed a majority of the season rehabbing from a serious knee injury. For a team that was one game from the Super Bowl, Kirk could be the guy to get them over the hump.
Arizona Cardinals – Carson Palmer decided to retire following the 2017 NFL season. With new head coach Steve Wilks in town, the Cardinals will be looking to find that franchise quarterback that will get them back to the playoffs. If Cousins were to join David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona could challenge the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West.
Denver Broncos – The Broncos already possess one of the top defensive units in the NFL. Denver also has one of the top wide receiver duos with Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. If general manager John Elway were to bring in Kirk Cousins, the Broncos could go from missing the playoffs to contending for a Super Bowl.
Cleveland Browns – What better way for Cousins to prove how valuable he is than to go into Cleveland and turn them into a winner? The Browns already have Josh Gordon, and they upgraded their offensive line last season. With an above-average defense, Kirk could turn Cleveland into a playoff contender for the first time in years.
New York Jets – Last week, the New York Post reported that the Jets were willing to give Cousins $60 million guaranteed in the first season of a potential contract.
The Jets are reportedly considering an offer for Kirk Cousins that would include $60 million guaranteed in his first year ???? (via New York Post) pic.twitter.com/z4M48eUkBT— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) February 21, 2018
Only time will tell if that report is true, but it shows how much the Jets value Cousins’ services.