The New York Jets need a quarterback bad as it makes sense for them to pursue Kirk Cousins if he hits free agency.
Another season is behind us and the same story has been told, the New York Jets need a franchise quarterback. This offseason, a rare solution to this problem has emerged. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins will likely be hitting the free agency market.
If Washington tags Cousins again, it could cost them roughly $34 million. As such, he has a very high likelihood he hits the open market this coming offseason. Landing Cousins will be no easy feat. With so many teams in need of a quarterback, the competition to land Cousins (or any quarterback that a team covets) will be stiff.
Yes, Cousins will be expensive, but the Jets have an abundance of cap space. Yes, cheaper and younger options are available, but there are tons of question marks that come with them. By and large, Cousins would be the best option in either free agency or the 2018 NFL Draft.
Obtaining Cousins would open a lot of flexibility for the Jets not only through the remainder of free agency but for the draft. Hypothetically, if the Jets were to acquire Cousins, they would be able to utilize the No. 6 pick in the upcoming draft in a multitude of different ways.
Depending on how the draft board shakes out, many potential difference makers could be there for the taking. With the stress of which quarterback to take non-existent, maybe general manager Mike Maccagnan is able to trade down and acquire more draft capital with a team that is eyeing a quarterback in this current class. Maybe the Jets stand pat and are able to get a player like Josh Jackson or Arden Key. Whatever route they decide to go, the No. 6 overall pick becomes a much more valuable commodity if they do not have the stress of acquiring a quarterback to go along with it.
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Would a potential Cousins acquisition make all of the Jets problems go away for the foreseeable future? Absolutely not. Outside of safety, this is a team still plagued with numerous holes and certainly, stand to benefit from an offseason where they will have ~$80 million at their disposal.
Even going 5-11, the Jets certainly overachieved this season. When preparing this roster to compete in 2018, the Jets need to hit a home run acquiring talent in many areas. They need to (ideally) sign a veteran (bringing back Morris Claiborne is certainly an option) and draft a starting CB that they can rely on for the long haul. There is still a glaring hole at the EDGE spot, and if they want any quarterback to succeed for this team, they need to upgrade the offensive line in a big way.
In assessing the season, owner Christopher Johnson has said that there is “no mandate” for the Jets to make the NFL Playoffs in 2018, but there certainly needs to be something to build on for next season. Nobody is winning anything in this league without a reliable quarterback, and Cousins would be a tremendous help in getting the Jets to compete respectably.