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Jets worried Kirk Cousins might be Vikings bound

By Ralph Vacchiano | 11:35AM
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Dec 10, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) jogs off the field after the Redskins 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Dec 10, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) jogs off the field after the Redskins 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

RalphPic_93z5jd5l.pngRalph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets plan to be heavy bidders in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes and they're convinced they can make a better financial offer than any team in the league.

But they're also not sure the size of their bid is going to matter as long as the Minnesota Vikings are involved.

Despite their willingness to throw a truckload of money and a heavily front-loaded contract at Cousins in an attempt to lure the free agent franchise quarterback to New York, the Jets are worried he might already be destined to sign with the Vikings instead. According to a team source, they are aware of the league-wide speculation that Cousins is ticketed for Minnesota and they are taking that threat seriously after some informal, preliminary talks with his camp this week.

Of course, they won't know officially which way Cousins is leaning until they can formally begin talks on March 12. But the source said they are worried enough that they're taking seriously the "Plans B and C and, if possible, D" that Jets coach Todd Bowles spoke about on Wednesday. They believe they can outbid the Vikings and offer a better contract structure, the source said, but they still think Cousins might go to Minnesota for what he'll believe is a better chance to immediately win.

It's easy to see why he might believe that, of course. The Vikings just reached the NFC championship game. They have one of the NFL's best defenses, several talented young receivers (Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and tight end Kyle Rudolph), and a sensational young running back in Dalvin Cook who was injured most of last year.

Not only that, they've cleared the deck at the quarterback position. They had three potential starters on their roster in last year's starter Case Keenum, and injured former starters Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater. But all three are unrestricted free agents, and the Vikings have made it clear all three are free to test the market.

"That's a dangerous thing to do if you don't have another quarterback," said one league source, "unless you know you're about to get one."

Technically they can't know, because it would be considered tampering if they've had any conversations with Cousins or his agent, Mike McCartney. Realistically, of course, tampering happens all the time around the NFL and it's safe to assume someone in Cousins camp had at least preliminary talks with officials the Vikings, Jets, Denver Broncos and any other interested teams as the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, the Vikings sure sounded like they knew something, because during Vikings coach Mike Zimmer's combine press conference he wasn't exactly overflowing with compliments about the trio of quarterbacks he's about to let go. He expressed some doubt about whether Bridgewater would ever be able to fully return from the devastating knee injury he suffered two years ago. He questioned Bradford's ability to stay healthy after multiple knee injuries.

And as for Keenum, he made it clear that he's still not sure whether he was a one-year wonder or not.

"The question is no different than is Sam Bradford going to stay healthy? Is Teddy Bridgewater going to be able to [return] to where he was?" Zimmer said. "Is Case Keenum the quarterback he was last year or who he was three years ago?

"All three of our guys have questions. There's no doubt about it, and it's our job to do the very best we possibly can to figure out who is the right guy, the right fit."

Zimmer called it "the $64,000 question with all three of our guys," but really it's a question worth $30 million per year - the price Cousins is expected to command in free agency. The Vikings have around $50 million in cap room and could create more, so they certainly can get in the bidding. What they probably can't do is what the Jets believe they can do: Offer the most guaranteed money and the most money up front.

And if the finances are all that matters, the Jets believe they have a tremendous shot at landing the franchise quarterback they've been searching for since Joe Namath. They're just not sure that money will be all that matters to Cousins. The Vikings clearly can offer Cousins the best chance to be an immediate winner.

And the Vikings are sounding and acting like they know it - and that Cousins knows it - too.

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12 hours ago, joewilly12 said:

Jets worried Kirk Cousins might be Vikings bound

By Ralph Vacchiano | 11:35AM
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Dec 10, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) jogs off the field after the Redskins 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)
Dec 10, 2017; Carson, CA, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) jogs off the field after the Redskins 30-13 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers at StubHub Center. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports (Jake Roth)

RalphPic_93z5jd5l.pngRalph Vacchiano | Facebook | Twitter | Archive

The Jets plan to be heavy bidders in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes and they're convinced they can make a better financial offer than any team in the league.

But they're also not sure the size of their bid is going to matter as long as the Minnesota Vikings are involved.

Despite their willingness to throw a truckload of money and a heavily front-loaded contract at Cousins in an attempt to lure the free agent franchise quarterback to New York, the Jets are worried he might already be destined to sign with the Vikings instead. According to a team source, they are aware of the league-wide speculation that Cousins is ticketed for Minnesota and they are taking that threat seriously after some informal, preliminary talks with his camp this week.

Of course, they won't know officially which way Cousins is leaning until they can formally begin talks on March 12. But the source said they are worried enough that they're taking seriously the "Plans B and C and, if possible, D" that Jets coach Todd Bowles spoke about on Wednesday. They believe they can outbid the Vikings and offer a better contract structure, the source said, but they still think Cousins might go to Minnesota for what he'll believe is a better chance to immediately win.

It's easy to see why he might believe that, of course. The Vikings just reached the NFC championship game. They have one of the NFL's best defenses, several talented young receivers (Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and tight end Kyle Rudolph), and a sensational young running back in Dalvin Cook who was injured most of last year.

Not only that, they've cleared the deck at the quarterback position. They had three potential starters on their roster in last year's starter Case Keenum, and injured former starters Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater. But all three are unrestricted free agents, and the Vikings have made it clear all three are free to test the market.

"That's a dangerous thing to do if you don't have another quarterback," said one league source, "unless you know you're about to get one."

Technically they can't know, because it would be considered tampering if they've had any conversations with Cousins or his agent, Mike McCartney. Realistically, of course, tampering happens all the time around the NFL and it's safe to assume someone in Cousins camp had at least preliminary talks with officials the Vikings, Jets, Denver Broncos and any other interested teams as the scouting combine in Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, the Vikings sure sounded like they knew something, because during Vikings coach Mike Zimmer's combine press conference he wasn't exactly overflowing with compliments about the trio of quarterbacks he's about to let go. He expressed some doubt about whether Bridgewater would ever be able to fully return from the devastating knee injury he suffered two years ago. He questioned Bradford's ability to stay healthy after multiple knee injuries.

And as for Keenum, he made it clear that he's still not sure whether he was a one-year wonder or not.

"The question is no different than is Sam Bradford going to stay healthy? Is Teddy Bridgewater going to be able to [return] to where he was?" Zimmer said. "Is Case Keenum the quarterback he was last year or who he was three years ago?

"All three of our guys have questions. There's no doubt about it, and it's our job to do the very best we possibly can to figure out who is the right guy, the right fit."

Zimmer called it "the $64,000 question with all three of our guys," but really it's a question worth $30 million per year - the price Cousins is expected to command in free agency. The Vikings have around $50 million in cap room and could create more, so they certainly can get in the bidding. What they probably can't do is what the Jets believe they can do: Offer the most guaranteed money and the most money up front.

And if the finances are all that matters, the Jets believe they have a tremendous shot at landing the franchise quarterback they've been searching for since Joe Namath. They're just not sure that money will be all that matters to Cousins. The Vikings clearly can offer Cousins the best chance to be an immediate winner.

And the Vikings are sounding and acting like they know it - and that Cousins knows it - too.

Well, that's just awesome.  One of the worst situations for the Jets QB hopes is a team NOT above them in the Draft order obtaining the best Free Agent QB in Cousins.  It would still leave Cleveland, Denver, etc. with QB needs and create a real bidding war to move up towards the top of the Draft.

On the flip side, not throwing a gazillion dollars at Cousins would allow the Jets to fix multiple other roster issues in FA with some good talent.

I'm preparing myself for something like a McCown / Mayfield / Hackenberg QB depth chart in 2018.  Meh.

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13 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

I'm preparing myself for something like a McCown / Mayfield / Hackenberg QB depth chart in 2018.  Meh.

Mayfield?  We couldn't be so lucky and McCown goes down in training camp/pre-season. 

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1 hour ago, jetstream23 said:

Well, that's just awesome.  One of the worst situations for the Jets QB hopes is a team NOT above them in the Draft order obtaining the best Free Agent QB in Cousins.  It would still leave Cleveland, Denver, etc. with QB needs and create a real bidding war to move up towards the top of the Draft

No because it releases 3QBs into the open market. There is no real doomsday scenario that is realistic for the Jets

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7 minutes ago, UnitedWhofans said:

No because it releases 3QBs into the open market. There is no real doomsday scenario that is realistic for the Jets

Image result for trevor siemian pics

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48 minutes ago, UnitedWhofans said:

No because it releases 3QBs into the open market. There is no real doomsday scenario that is realistic for the Jets

We're talking about our Jets.  There are always doomsday scenarios and the Jets are adept at finding them.

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2 minutes ago, jetstream23 said:

We're talking about our Jets.  There are always doomsday scenarios and the Jets are adept at finding them.

Well they will have to look hard. Because I can't find any. The doomsday scenario would be ending up with teh same 3 QBs we had last year. There is no logical path to that end

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5 minutes ago, UnitedWhofans said:

Well they will have to look hard. Because I can't find any. The doomsday scenario would be ending up with teh same 3 QBs we had last year. There is no logical path to that end

God NO

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9 minutes ago, UnitedWhofans said:

Well they will have to look hard. Because I can't find any. The doomsday scenario would be ending up with teh same 3 QBs we had last year. There is no logical path to that end

I agree that having the same 3 QBs as last year is an unacceptable situation but I also think there are some other truly disappointing outcomes.  Consider this...

1. The Jets are arguably in their best combined Financial and Draft pick situation in a decade.  They have tons of money and Cap room.  They have the #6 pick in the Draft along with two very high 2nd round picks.  In other words, they're extremely well positioned for talent acquisition this offseason.

2. This is shaping up as one of the best offseasons to get a QB in years.  It's rare that a QB of Cousins' caliber and age (under 30) hits the FA market.  And it's rare that at least 4 QBs are being considered as Top 10 talents in the same Draft.

Given both of these and the Jets longterm, glaring need for a franchise QB it will be an epic letdown if the Jets can't find a way to get themselves a talented, longterm starting QB this year.  They have the resources, they have the need and the market has supply.  They can't roll into September with someone like McCown, Bradford or Keenum being the best QB on the roster.  Just can't.

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1 hour ago, UnitedWhofans said:

No because it releases 3QBs into the open market. There is no real doomsday scenario that is realistic for the Jets

It releases 3 QBs that another team didn't want. Not exactly a good scenario. Sure we're destined to have a better QB situation than last year but many of us were hoping for cousins or one of the top 3 and not just "better than mccown, Petty and hack"

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2 minutes ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

It releases 3 QBs that another team didn't want. Not exactly a good scenario. Sure we're destined to have a better QB situation than last year but many of us were hoping for cousins or one of the top 3 and not just "better than mccown, Petty and hack"

We had 3 QB's on our roster in 2017 that no other team wanted. 

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Just now, King P said:
EC4RjS1A_bigger.jpgJason La CanforaVerified account @JasonLaCanfora

Hearing more and more about the Broncos and Case Keenum. The Cousins derby very likely to come down to Jets or Vikings

Manish is already out with the “Hey, you know who else would be good? Teddy Bridgewater!” snippet today, which means that Cousins is a Vikings within five minutes of free agency opening.

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Just now, T0mShane said:

Manish is already out with the “Hey, you know who else would be good? Teddy Bridgewater!” snippet today, which means that Cousins is a Vikings within five minutes of free agency opening.

If the broncos are out, the jets could bow out and then the Vikings would be bidding agains themselves, but cousins could find himself making way less money than if there were a real bidding war.

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3 minutes ago, Augustiniak said:

If the broncos are out, the jets could bow out and then the Vikings would be bidding agains themselves, but cousins could find himself making way less money than if there were a real bidding war.

LaCanfora is a stooge, but what you’re seeing is a Denver v Minnesota v Cousins public bidding war. Next week, you’ll hear that Cousins is “meeting with the Jets” or some sh*t, but it’s all show now. 

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Just now, T0mShane said:

LaCanfora is a stooge, but what you’re seeing is a Denver v Minnesota v Cousins public bidding war. Next week, you’ll hear that Cousins is “meeting with the Jets” or some sh*t, but it’s all show now. 

Hopefully mccags won't take the bait.  At some point everyone is going to get tired of Kirk cousins trying to get revenge on the nfl for overlooking him in the draft and on Snyder for preferring rg3.  Enough already, get over it, pick a team, sell your house and shut up.

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1 minute ago, Augustiniak said:

Hopefully mccags won't take the bait.  At some point everyone is going to get tired of Kirk cousins trying to get revenge on the nfl for overlooking him in the draft and on Snyder for preferring rg3.  Enough already, get over it, pick a team, sell your house and shut up.

Free agency hasn't started yet....

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3 minutes ago, Augustiniak said:

Hopefully mccags won't take the bait.  At some point everyone is going to get tired of Kirk cousins trying to get revenge on the nfl for overlooking him in the draft and on Snyder for preferring rg3.  Enough already, get over it, pick a team, sell your house and shut up.

Maccagnan will, and should, chase Cousins until the ink is dry on his Vikings contract. It’s the only way he gets to remain an NFL GM for longer than 24 months.

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20 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Maccagnan will, and should, chase Cousins until the ink is dry on his Vikings contract. It’s the only way he gets to remain an NFL GM for longer than 24 months.

However, while he wastes time helping Cousins get a better deal from the Vikings, some other team makes a deal for #3 pick or equivalent to secure a top QB.   

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2 minutes ago, Dinamite said:

However, why he wastes time helping Cousins get a better deal from the Vikings, some other team makes a deal for #3 pick or equivalent to secure a top QB.   

Imagine Buffalo jumping up to three and landing Mayfield or Darnold? Then having Mac follow that up 45 minutes later by drafting a DB? 

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4 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Imagine Buffalo jumping up to three and landing Mayfield or Darnold? Then having Mac follow that up 45 minutes later by drafting a DB? 

Worse, imagine tannenbaum jumping to #4 and grabbing a qb, then watching the jets get Fitzpatrick.  That would bring it all home and underscore why mccagnan is truly over his head.

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3 minutes ago, Augustiniak said:

Worse, imagine tannenbaum jumping to #4 and grabbing a qb, then watching the jets get Fitzpatrick.  That would bring it all home and underscore why mccagnan is truly over his head.

Ha. It’d be worth it just for the horrific screaming 

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3 minutes ago, T0mShane said:

Ha. It’d be worth it just for the horrific screaming 

We'd be sitting there with Chubb and mccown and mccagnan would be spouting BAP and saying rebuilding takes patience while guys like elway are saying there's no time for rebuilding.

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All four of Kirk Cousins' choices have defensive-minded head coaches: Mike Zimmer (MIN), Steve Wilks (ARI), Todd Bowles (NYJ), Vance Joseph (DEN). That means respective OCs will be huge: John DeFilippo (MIN), Mike McCoy (ARI), Jeremy Bates (NYJ), Bill Musgrave (DE). #9sports

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2 hours ago, JoJoTownsell1 said:

It releases 3 QBs that another team didn't want. Not exactly a good scenario. Sure we're destined to have a better QB situation than last year but many of us were hoping for cousins or one of the top 3 and not just "better than mccown, Petty and hack"

Hope and the Jets do not mix

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3 hours ago, Thai Jet said:

SIGN THIS BEAST !

Mac actually tried to trade draft picks for him last year

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1 hour ago, T0mShane said:

Maccagnan will, and should, chase Cousins until the ink is dry on his Vikings contract. It’s the only way he gets to remain an NFL GM for longer than 24 months.

Draft an edge rusher at 6 and hope either Jackson or Rudolph is there in round 2(probably Jackson will be)

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1 hour ago, Augustiniak said:

Worse, imagine tannenbaum jumping to #4 and grabbing a qb, then watching the jets get Fitzpatrick.  That would bring it all home and underscore why mccagnan is truly over his head.

THEY ARE NOT TAKING FITZPATRICK

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1 hour ago, Augustiniak said:

Worse, imagine tannenbaum jumping to #4 and grabbing a qb, then watching the jets get Fitzpatrick.  That would bring it all home and underscore why mccagnan is truly over his head.

THEY ARE NOT TAKING FITZPATRICK

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1 hour ago, Augustiniak said:

Worse, imagine tannenbaum jumping to #4 and grabbing a qb, then watching the jets get Fitzpatrick.  That would bring it all home and underscore why mccagnan is truly over his head.

THEY ARE NOT TAKING FITZPATRICK

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1 hour ago, Augustiniak said:

Worse, imagine tannenbaum jumping to #4 and grabbing a qb, then watching the jets get Fitzpatrick.  That would bring it all home and underscore why mccagnan is truly over his head.

THEY ARE NOT TAKING FITZPATRICK

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