BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – Elite is Tom Brady after which Russell Wilson, Cam Newton and Drew Brees. Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford, too, and on the way in which are Carson Wentz, Jared Goff and Deshaun Watson.
I take a look at Kirk Cousins and I don’t see elite.
Shut your eyes and it’s Neil O’Donnell.
Okay, perhaps he’s higher than O’Donnell, who was a bust with the Jets after signing a five-year, $25 million free agent contract in 1996, however at the very least O’Donnell had simply taken the Steelers to the Tremendous Bowl.
It certain can be good, if the Jets are going to pay Cousins $25 million-$30 million per yr, if he at the very least had one playoff victory on his resume to carry to a group that hasn’t made the playoffs seven straight seasons.
The Eagles know all about Cousins from their twice-a-year battles with Washington within the NFC East. I solicited opinions of a number of Eagles Wednesday on the Tremendous Bowl following Washington’s determination to commerce for Kansas Metropolis’s Alex Smith, which implies they received’t be franchising Cousins for a 3rd consecutive season and he’ll change into an unrestricted free agent.
“Once you say elite, I’m pondering prime 5. Or prime three,” Eagles security Malcolm Jenkins stated.
So, is Cousins elite?
“No,” Jenkins stated. “However he’s in that prime 10 class.”
High 10 can be a bounce up of about 20 spots from the Jets present quarterback state of affairs: Free agent Josh McCown and the double disasters of Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg.
“His numbers and statistics don’t lie,” Jenkins stated. “He’s been an amazing quarterback in that system. He’s made performs. I feel he’s a gifted quarterback. He’s acquired a gifted arm. Sensible on the line of scrimmage. Is aware of learn how to make changes. I feel he’ll do effectively out there.”
The Jets have to develop their very own quarterback as a substitute of paying any individual else’s. They thought that they had hit it huge with Mark Sanchez after he helped them advance to back-to-back AFC Championship Video games in his first two seasons, however he regressed and was quickly gone. Chad Pennington would have been a star if he didn’t preserve busting up his shoulder. Maybe Geno Smith would have developed if a teammate didn’t break his jaw with a locker room punch.
The Jets simply haven’t been capable of establish and develop quarterbacks they’ve drafted.
Over time, the Jets have tried to cowl up their QB drafting errors with veteran band-aids: Boomer Esiason, O’Donnell, Vinny Testaverde, Brett Favre, Michael Vick … it’s been a vicious cycle. Cousins would match proper in. I feel he’s good, most likely excellent, however he’s not nice.
He can be 30 in August so he most likely has at the very least 5 good years left. This can be very uncommon when a high quality QB in his prime hits the open market.
Cousins would be the most debated participant till the free company signing interval opens on March 14 after the two-day authorized tampering interval.
“He’s been a beginning quarterback for a few years now so you bought to place him as an elite participant,” Eagles DT Fletcher Cox stated. “I feel Kirk is a good quarterback.”
The Eagles had misplaced 4 in a row to Cousins till beating him twice within the 2017 season. Within the season opener, Philly had a 22-17 lead and Cousins began a drive with underneath two minutes remaining from his personal 25. After Cousins accomplished a seven-yard cross to tight finish Jordan Reed, he was strip-sacked by defensive finish Brandon Graham with Cox selecting up the fumble and clinching the sport by working 20 yards for a landing.
Within the second assembly within the seventh week, Washington trailed 31-17 when Cousins had a cross tipped on the line and intercepted by Corey Graham, organising an Eagles subject objective to place the sport away. Within the two video games, Cousins had 4 TDs, 2 INTs and was sacked eight occasions.
“I feel Cousins is basically good,” Brandon Graham stated. “He’s a man who can get the ball out quick. He could make each throw. He’s actual fast making selections. He’s proper there to the place I wouldn’t say elite simply but. He’s working in direction of it for certain. I simply really feel like when he had DeSean Jackson and people guys, he was elite. It’s simply completely different if you don’t have the identical guys round.”
The Jets will face competitors in the event that they wish to signal Cousins, doubtless from the Broncos, Jaguars, Browns, Payments and Cardinals.
The problem: Is Cousins going to be value it?
Washington simply gave up a third-round decide and beginning cornerback Kendall Fuller for Smith, who has performed 13 seasons and is 33 years outdated. Washington signed Smith to a four-year, $94 million extension that features $71 million assured.
That’s the type of deal Washington by no means gave Cousins. That tells you one thing.
The Jets have the sixth decide on April in an amazing QB draft. Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen are anticipated to go 1-2 in some order to the Browns and Giants with John Allen and Baker Mayfield winding up with the Broncos (No. 5) and Jets (No. 6) with commerce ups a chance.
Ought to the Jets go all-in making an attempt to signal Cousins or ought to GM Mike Maccagnan give it his finest shot to maneuver to get the quarterback he most needs out of the highest 4? Maccagnan cleared the decks of massive contracts final yr and put an emphasis on growing younger gamers. Drafting a quarterback on the prime of the primary spherical QB would match proper into that philosophy.
However that requires Maccagnan to get the Jets proper rookie. He whiffed on Petty, however he was only a fourth-round decide. His miss on Hackenberg, a second-round decide, is far more egregious and damaging.
Relatively than taking the chance on one other excessive draft decide, Maccagnan could wish to spend all the cash he saved final yr and pay Cousins. Maccagnan is the GM as a result of he was thought-about a draft whiz. He’s accomplished a wonderful job up to now – besides at quarterback.
Cousins could also be one other band-aid or perhaps he turns into elite. It’s going to price the Jets some huge cash to search out out.