NFL Free Agency Begins Next Week, Where Will The Qbs Go?

Discussion in 'Sports' started by AAAintheBeltway, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Anyone who knows a football from a mug of beer knows that the impending free agency period will be unprecedented, for one giant reason. Never before has a franchise quarterback in his prime with no injury issues become a free agent. Kirk Cousins, formerly of the hapless and inept Redskins, is about to become that free agent. Speculation has been rampant for weeks about where he will land and how gargantuan will his contract actually be? Let's just say it is very very good to be Kirk Cousins.

    1. Cousins. Coming off three consecutive 4000 yard seasons, two of which happened to also be all time Redskins yardage records, Cousins offers inestimable value to teams suffering QB envy. There are three main reasons.

    One, drafting a QB is risky. 50-50 at best and this year's crop all have red or yellow flags.

    Two, developing a QB is tricky. Aaron Rodgers sat for four years behind Brett Favre. Garappolo sat behind Brady. Look at the Brown's Kizer. It was criminal how they threw him out there unprepared last year. Terrible coaching.

    Three, even if you develop a QB, the coaching staff and front office may have been fired in the process. If you're picking high, you had a bad record. You don't have five or six years to turn it around. If you can just plug in a guy who has shown for three years that he is quite capable of moving the chains and putting points on the board, you can win some games and point to improvement. He's not Brady or Rodgers, who is? But he looks pretty darn good in comparison to the alternatives, at least for some teams. The question is which team?

    Which team should sign Cousins, at whatever cost? The surprising answer is the Browns. They have $100 mill or so in cap space and a young roster of guys on rookie contracts. $30 mill a year for Cousins with huge guarantees would not crimp them in the least. They could pay him $40 mill, surely enough to get him to sign, and still have more cap space than all but a couple of teams.

    With their QB situation set, they could draft the best offense and defensive player in the draft using their number 1 and 4 first round picks. They could go out and sign the best FA offensive lineman, Norwell from the Panthers, at whatever it took. $12 mill maybe, crazy for a guard but he's the best in the league. They have two high second round picks as well. They can really upgrade their roster, but none of it works without Cousins. Then, instead of Barkley, they draft a QB at one. They are immediately worse at two positions just by that move. Cousins is a hard worker who knows what he is doing and who demands professionalism from his teammates. Can Josh Rosen do that? From day one?

    Current speculation is that Cleveland is instead targeting ex-Bengals backup A. J. McCarron. The Brown's coach was his coordinator in Cincy. McCarron would come a lot cheaper than Cousins, maybe $15-17 mill max and maybe a lot less. You could sign a Pro Bowl skill position player for the difference. But McCarron is unproven. The coach, Hue Jackson, has won a grand total of one game over two seasons. Thrown away stogies are longer than his rope. A losing streak to start the season could get him a mid-season pink slip. Not that it wouldn't be richly deserved. So McCarron seems a curious risk for Jackson to want to take, but again, this man is not Bill Belichick.

    Who else would Cousins make sense for? Obviously the Vikings. I didn't really see what was so terrible about Case Keenum but they clearly are ok with moving on. Since Keenum is probably the second most attractive FA QB, the only place to turn is Cousins. The Vikes have enough cap space to sign Cousins comfortably but they have some key vets up for new contracts in the next couple of years and have to watch the spending. This matchup looks ideal but it holds a lot of risk for Cousins. After all, they got to the conference championship game last year. Anything less than the Big Game and plenty of people are going to say they wasted their money on Cousins.

    Denver is another team that is mentioned as a frontrunner for Cousins. It's easy to see the attraction. The Bronco's are a vet team with a top defense. Poor QB play destroyed them last year. Their window is closing. But how much of that poor play was on the QBs and how much on the O line and coaches? We know their Oline sucks big time and that they were close to firing their then rookie coach during the season. Plus they are short on cap room and may have to let go important players to afford Cousins. Doesn't sound ideal to me.

    Arizona is basically a worse version of Denver. Older team in decline without much cap space.

    The Jets have been favored from the outset by many. Leaks that they were prepared to give Cousins a blank check didn't hurt. I can see the attraction for Cousins. Money plus relatively low expectations, compared to say, Minnesota or Denver. But expectations are low for a reason. They are a rebuilding teams with a lot of holes. They do have a vast amount of cap space. One obvious way to get good is sign Cousins, sign a couple of top O line guys and a WR1. They have the sixth pick in the draft. Trade down and get another second rounder, maybe more. Maybe draft the TE from Penn State. They can get a lot better, but it seems to me their best route is to resign McCown and draft a QB. Not the worst option for Cousins but high risk, considering the lack of success.
    Clubber Lang and vanzandt like this.
  2. 2. Case Keenum. Keenum apparently attempted what agents can now call the "Cousins maneuver." As an impending FA coming off an epic season, he thought negotiations should begin at the Franchise Tag figure, about $20 mill for QBs. Unlike the Redskins however, the Vikes have options. So they told Keenum to pound sand, or maybe snow. Keenum makes sense for pretty much all the teams that miss on Cousins. The great mystery is what is a fair value for his services? Is he Jared Goff, who looked like a bust under Keenum's old coach Jeff Fisher and an elite franchise QB under his new coach Sean McVey. Or is he another in a long line of one season wonders? Hard to say but I see Denver in his future. Maybe the Jets but their fans will not like it.

    3. Sam Bradford. Bradford is the poster boy for the NFL adage that "availability is another type of ability." When healthy, he is one of the league's best. The problem is he gets injured at an alarming rate, and injuries are not something you can plan for or build your team to account for. If you sign him, you have to budget the cost of another starting quality QB because chances are, he will not play the entire season. Arizona is a good place to retire, it should be perfect for him.

    4. Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater exceeded expectations right off the bat with the Vikes, but hasn't played for two years. So he's another hard to value FA. Despite the media adulation for him, I see a pretty soft market and him going somewhere for decent backup money. Denver or Arizona, maybe. The Jets don't make sense, since he is not an improvement over McCown and no one really knows how effective he will be. The one team who knows him best doesn't seem too interested, so it seems foolish to gamble your rebuilding effort, ie front office and coaching staff jobs, on him.

    5. A.J. McCarron. Sat four years behind Andy Dalton in Cincy. Their offensive coordinator for a couple of those years was Hue Jackson, now improbably still the head coach of the hapless Browns. The browns tried to trade for him last season but in a Seinfeld comedy of errors, failed to get the paperwork in on time. So the Browns seem to be focused laser-like on McCarron. They could have traded for Garrapolo. They wanted McCarron instead. They have won one game in two years, so it all makes perfect sense.
  3. RRY16


    Penalty flag- 15yards for plagiarism. Belichick wasn't going to give away garrapalo to the browns.
  4. Browns could have offered more than the Niners did. Belichick will trade with Cleveland. He traded them Jamie Collins two years ago.

    It was a curious decision because the Browns apparently offered a first round pick for him, a pick which ended up being the fourth overall pick, instead of the second rounder they got from SF.

    "Basically, the Browns never had a chance to land Garoppolo, and we'll never know why, unless Belichick wants to explain. Now, there are multiple theories on why he didn't want to cut a deal with the Browns. According to, Belichick may have wanted to keep Garoppolo out of the AFC and he also felt that Garoppolo would thrive under Shanahan. On Garoppolo's end, it's believed that his camp made it clear the he would never sign a long-term deal with the Browns, which means he could've left Cleveland -- after getting franchise tagged for one or two seasons -- and signed with an AFC rival. "
    RRY16 likes this.
  5. Wow the Browns traded for Tyrod Taylor. They also traded for Jarvis Landry, probably the best slot receiver in the league. They made a couple of other deals, sending last year's starting QB to GB, and former first round pick NT Danny Shelton to the Pats.


    Browns’ 24-hour tally:

    Browns acquired:
    QB Tyrod Taylor
    WR Jarvis Landry
    CB Damarious Randall
    Packers’ 4th- and 5th in 2018.
    Patriots’ 3rd in 2019.

    Browns traded:
    2018 3rd-round pick
    2018 4th
    2019 7th
    QB Deshone Kizer
    2018 4th- and 5th.
    DT Danny Shelton
    2018 5th.

    12:27 PM - Mar 10, 2018
  6. GB fans are upset with the trade for Kizer. Can't say I blame them.

    I don't really see Taylor as any kind of answer for the Browns. An upgrade but limited ceiling. They must have thought Cousins wasn't coming, no matter how much money they offered. Now that he sees what they are putting together, he might want to reconsider. Wouldn't Keenum have made more sense for them? Even Bridgewater.

    I guess they saw Taylor as low risk, a guy who doesn't turn the ball over and now he will have a cast of skill position players who can add to his comfort level.
  7. LacesOut


    Bills are making moves to make moves.
    They are angling to land a top QB in the draft.
    Another trade today (Glenn to Cinci)
  8. Biggest attraction out there now? I'd say the Honey Badger. Can't ignore Suh either. I'd like to see the Redskins get one of them. It would greatly simplify their first round draft pick. Now they are probably on the fence between a D lineman, eg Vea or Payne, and a DB. If they check off one of those in FA, they're ahead of the game. They have the cap space for one, probably not both.
  9. LacesOut


    Pouncey is worth a look...
    AJ McCarron was lightly lifted by the Bills for $5M a season. An absolute steal even if he just ends up holding a clipboard.

  10. I agree. Could be one of the best moves of FA if he ends up starting and doing well. Plus they got picks for Taylor and got out from under his contract.

    Jets on the other hand seem to be floundering. They gave away a lot to move up three places. A team with as many holes as they have can't do that. McCown and Bridgewater represented a reasonable approach. Drafting a guy doesn't make much sense, particularly given their record of drafting and developing QBs.