Published On: Sat, Mar 3rd, 2018

What each of the final 4 suitors can offer Kirk Cousins

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Free agency is football’s version of March Madness, so it wouldn’t be complete without a Final Four.

Kirk Cousins is providing the drama this year as he has reportedly narrowed his search for a new destination down to four teams: The Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, and New York Jets.

Without knowing where each team is on the list, let’s take a look at what these four suitors can pitch to Cousins in an effort to convince him to join their club.

Vikings


Closest team to a Super Bowl

If Cousins’ true priority is to go to the best team, the Vikings should be his pick.

Minnesota was one game away from reaching the Super Bowl last season with a quarterback who many thought was in over his head and without its star rookie running back. Cousins would have a tremendous receiving corps to grow with in Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph, all of whom are younger than the former Washington Redskins passer.

Cousins wouldn’t have the weight of an organization on his shoulder, as the Vikings’ elite defense has been established as the team’s identity. He would be well-supported by a coaching staff that welcomes John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator following his successful run as Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach.

Related – Cousins: I’ll prioritize winning over money if I hit free agency

The biggest knock on the Vikings’ pursuit of Cousins is money. Head coach Mike Zimmer expressed concern about overspending for a quarterback and losing cap space to retain the stout defense.

Broncos


Veteran team in a weak conference

The Vikings likely have the best team, but the Broncos may have the best chance to get to the Super Bowl.

Playing in the AFC – where at least one team has made the playoffs without ten wins in each of the past three seasons – the Broncos are likely just a quarterback away from being in contention for a first-round bye.

Related – Report: Broncos ‘all-in’ on pursuing Cousins

Peyton Manning showed that John Elway is a tough man to say no to. The veteran receiver duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders is likely the most proven set of pass-catchers in the NFL. The defense is still one of the league’s best with top-level stars Von Miller and Chris Harris Jr. on the roster.

The pieces for a championship team are almost all there, and now they just need a quarterback to complete the puzzle.

Cardinals


Stable, low-pressure organization

Cousins isn’t necessarily well-suited for the NFL media machine, as he has often delivered awkward lines that have been ridiculed endlessly.

In Arizona, the starting quarterback has been entering warmups in ridiculous costumes for the last five seasons without much more than a few chuckles in response. The Cardinals media market isn’t nearly as feisty as Washington’s and the organizational structure would be a major upgrade.

Related: Johnson pitches to Kirk Cousins, says Cardinals are his best option

General manager Steve Keim has worked with the Bidwell family, the team’s owners, to build a competitive squad with elite personnel such as David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, and Patrick Peterson. Under new head coach Steve Wilks, Cousins has the chance to be the face of the franchise as the club transitions from the Bruce Arians era.

The Cardinals may not have the best chance to win right away and they’ll need to clear some cap space to afford Cousins, but the culture of the club and the area it’s located may convince the 29-year-old to come to the desert.

Jets


Money, fame, power

Joining the Jets would go against a lot of what Cousins seems to be standing for, but if he really wants to prove the doubters wrong by betting on himself, the Big Apple may be his choice.

The Jets have the most cap room of the four suitors, by quite a bit, and can easily offer Cousins enough to make him the NFL’s highest-paid player. The available endorsements for a successful star athlete in New York would make the move even more lucrative.

Related – Report: Jets will pay ‘whatever it takes’ to land Cousins

Along with the chance to become the new King of New York as Eli Manning fades from the spotlight, joining the Jets on a mega deal would also put major pressure on Cousins to make the team a playoff contender right away. He would have to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots twice a year while fending off the vicious New York media and fanbase without an overly-talented offense.

If Cousins has that type of Baker Mayfield belief in himself, signing a huge contract with expectations of being the next Joe Namath could be the move to go with. However, having made just under $44 million over the last two seasons, Cousins may not need all the money he can get.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)



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