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Future Props - Kirk Cousins
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Where Does Kirk Cousins Go Now?

Well that was something. Out of nowhere, Alex Smith was traded to the Washington Redskins and then extended to the tune of $94 million for four years. If that sounds like a big deal, it’s because it is. Washington has finally made their decision at quarterback, leaving a certain Kirk Cousins out in the cold.

Well, sort of.

For Kansas City this was always in the cards. They’ve coveted Patrick Mahomes, whom they drafted tenth overall in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Texas Tech. This kid can absolutely ball, and he’ll have to in order to replace a consistent mechanic like Smith. It’s been said about Andy Reid, but he simply knows when to get out from under a quarterback. He was roasted for trading McNabb to Washington as well, and that turned out really badly. Apparently Dan Snyder forgot about that.

Unlike the McNabb trade, which had more to do with moving a petulant superstar who didn’t realize he had hit his twilight years, acquiring Smith is a great fit. McNabb was a promise of potential given that he had enjoyed a strong tenure of success in Philadelphia. Smith is a dream for a coach like Jay Gruden who runs the west coast offence. Weapons like a healthy Jordan Reed and Chris Thompson will hopefully revitalize the Redskins and offer them some stability moving forward.

On paper, Smith and Cousins are basically the same. One threw far more interceptions on a worse team, and the other was a far more efficient weapon on a much better team. They’re both top-10 quarterbacks, which is a strangely difficult asset to acquire for any NFL team.

Smith vs. Cousins
A. Smith 4,042 (8TH) 67.5 (3RD) 26 (9TH) 5 (34TH) 104.7 (1ST)
K. Cousins 4,093 (7TH) 64.3 (9TH) 27 (8TH) 13 (7TH) 93.9 (12TH)

Where Cousins has a clear advantage is in age. Cousins is four years younger than Smith, who will turn 34 this spring and is probably smart enough to play in to his late thirties. In this perspective, the lateral shift for Smith seems to have some major downsides outside of the most important factor for Washington – money. They stand to potentially save $25-40 million in not signing Cousins to a contract that he’s worth while getting a quarterback who seems like a good fit for them overall.

The question now becomes “where?” for Kirk Cousins. He is about to be paid the biggest contract in NFL history because that’s how this machine works. If Matt Stafford can earn a record deal for what he’s done, then Cousins is in the market for about $135 million over five years.

Kirk Cousins Team at Start of 2018 Regular Season - per
Broncos 8/5
Jets 9/4
Jaguars 6/1
Browns 13/2
Cardinals 7/1
Bills 12/1
Vikings 15/1
Dolphins 20/1
Giants 20/1
The best fits?

Let’s crank out the list!

Cleveland Browns
The Browns have a ton of luxury right now. They can pay Kirk Cousins and immediately insert themselves in to a battle for the AFC North with Pittsburgh as Baltimore and Cincinnati continue to flounder. Add the 1st and 4th overall picks in the NFL Draft and you have EVERY REASON TO BET ON SAQUAON BARKLEY AS THE FIRST OVERALL PICK like I told you to do earlier this week.

This remains my favorite destination for Cousins. Cleveland deserves it. He deserves it. Hue Jackson probably needs to save his job. Todd Haley requires a very intelligent quarterback for his unnecessarily complicated systems (and a personality made of sand paper).

And the best part is that Cousins can unite with Josh Freaking Gordon and suddenly form the “let’s prove them all wrong” tandem that fans absolutely love to cheer for.

Denver Broncos
Jon Elway is a weird general manager. Happy to pay Von Miller a huge deal, but inept when searching for a quarterback. They pick fifth in the draft this year, and so a guy like Rosen or Allen falling to them is probably what they have their fingers crossed for. At worst they get Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold, which aren’t terrible boobie prizes. It’s the cheaper option for a team that seems allergic to paying quarterbacks what they’re worth unless they’re named “Peyton Manning”.

Arizona Cardinals
Steve Wilks was recently signed to replace Bruce Arians as head coach, and as a defensive specialist, it’s hard to see Cousins being attracted by this team. They have a great defence that finally has a coach who can muster the best out of them, and arguably the best running back in the game along with Larry Fitzgerald. There’s a lot of attractive pieces here, but it’s hard to imagine the team shelling out the money for Cousins. It just isn’t their modus operendi.

Buffalo Bills
There is a very real chance that Buffalo makes a hard push for Cousins, but it’s hard to sell the free-agent on what the future has in store. Buffalo has been all over the map in terms of the rebuilding process, acquiring Kelvin Benjamin after shipping Marcel Dareus out of town. It’s also been an absolutely turbulent time with coaches, general managers and roster balancing. I just don’t think that Cousins would be attracted to a destination that looks like a sinking ship.

New York Jets
The Jets are a bigger player than you’d think. The allure of the big city is one thing, but this is also a team that has one of the better coaching staffs in the league. Again, the problem is going to be what Cousins is coming in to. You can sell him on the potential of rookies after he just had a banner year with Chris Thompson. Bilal Powell? Robby Anderson? I’m not so sure.

Minnesota Vikings
Started with my favorite pick, and now here’s the more likely one. Poor Case Keenum didn’t help himself by playing six, consecutive quarters of well-below-average football against the Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles. This is a magnetic destination for a lot of reasons – namely that they just appeared in the NFC Championship – but there’s a bigger, looming problem. Stefon Diggs and Anthony Barr are both going to be free-agents next summer along with a couple other key members.

But I think that outweighs the union of Zimmer, a quarterback whisperer and Cousins. Beyond that the Vikings can still trade Bridgewater to recover some talent.

For Cousins, it’s a choice between an established team like the Minnesota Vikings and a dangerously fun up-and-comer like the Cleveland Browns. He’ll have one-hundred and thirty-five reasons to sign, it’s just about which destination he prefers. For a guy who has been embattled by the franchise tag for two years, this is exactly the situation he deserves.

Enough off-season talk! Let’s bet on the Super Bowl LII spread and total at! Did we mention you can create your own SBLII prop bets? Click on “player props” in the sportsbooks to find out how!

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