The Kirk Cousins sweepstakes could come down to four teams trying to land the free agent Washington Redskins quarterback.
The Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings are expected to be the finalists for Cousins, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.
Those teams privately are planning how to pursue Cousins, how to structure a contract for him and how to convince him, according to Schefter. The report said most of those teams are thinking short-term deals of potentially three years with a high guarantee in the contract.
The 29-year-old Cousins has played the past two seasons under the franchise tag for the Redskins.
In 2017, Cousins topped the 4,000-yard mark for the third straight season, finishing with 4,093 passing yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
The Redskins are set to move forward with Alex Smith as their new starting quarterback after reaching a trade agreement with the Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 30. That deal can become official March 14, the first day of the new league year. Smith also agreed to a four-year extension once the trade becomes final.
Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams, speaking at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on Wednesday, called Cousins “a free agent for sure,” though he wouldn’t completely rule out the possibility of the team tagging him a third time.
Williams quickly downplayed such talk.
“It’s not too late,” the former quarterback said. “But we haven’t really talked about that. The media had come up with those scenarios more than what we’ve talked about it because I can’t remember one meeting where we talked about the possibility of tagging him.”
Tagging Cousins before the March 6 deadline would result in a guaranteed $34.5 million for the quarterback in 2018. With Cousins tagged, the Redskins could look to trade him for more than the compensation pick they will receive from letting him walk. However, they could only do that if Cousins signed the franchise tender, making such a move risky.
–Field Level Media