- Kirk Cousins is set to become the highest paid free agent in NFL history this offseason, with multiple suitors waiting to bid on the quarterback.
- There’s speculation that Cousins could get offers that are unprecedented in pro football, including the possibility of a fully-guaranteed deal or an offer front-loaded with up to $US60 million in the first year.
- While Cousins has emphasised winning as a priority, the New York Jets are in a position to make an offer that would be tough to turn down.
Kirk Cousins was already set to become one of the highest paid free agents in NFL history this offseason, and according to a recent report, it’s possible the deal could be even more insane than previously imagined.
Cousins enters the offseason as the marquee free agent on the market, with suitors likely to include the Jets, Browns, and a number of other teams that are in need of stability at quarterback. But Cousins has also indicated that he wants to find “the best possible position to win,” meaning that perennial also-rans might have to sweeten the deal a bit in order to attract his services.
Over the weekend Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk floated the idea that Cousins could land a fully-guaranteed contract – a rarity in the NFL, especially for what is expected to be a long-term deal – and that the Jets might be willing to propose such an offer. If New York does put a fully-guaranteed deal on the table, other teams will likely have to follow suit.
But there’s even more potential madness to Cousins’ offer.
According to Brian Costello at the New York Post, one league source “speculated the Jets could front-load the contract and offer Cousins $US60 million guaranteed in the first year of the contract.”
A $US60 million cap hit in the first year of a deal would be wildly unprecedented in the NFL – Jimmy Garoppolo just set the high water mark a few weeks ago when his extension with the Niners included $US37 million against the cap for San Francisco in 2018.
Yet despite the fact that a deal like this has never been reached before, there’s reason to believe it might be a smart move for the Jets if they are committed to locking up Cousins for some time.
First and foremost, it would set the Jets offer apart from any other – teams might be willing to pay top dollar for Cousins, but very few teams have the cap space to front-load a deal so dramatically. Conversely, the Jets have plenty of cap space free in 2018, and getting such a large chunk of Cousins’ sizable contract out of the way in the first year of the deal could help the team be a bit more flexible in 2019 and beyond.
There’s little doubt that Cousins will have a record-setting deal with a new team by the time the 2018 season kicks off, but with numerous teams desperate to solidify the most important position on the field, football fans might see a contract that’s truly unprecedented.
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