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Report: Jets will pay “whatever it takes” to get Kirk Cousins

Mike Florio

The Jets apparently want Kirk Cousins. They apparently want him badly enough that they’re willing to break the bank for him.

According to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com, the Jets are “willing to pay whatever it takes” to get him.

This report comes amid a belief that the Jets may be willing to fully guarantee Cousins’ deal. The notion of paying “whatever it takes” becomes far more open-ended than that, especially since there’s no way of knowing what it will take until knowing what another team will pay.

If there’s at least one other team willing to make a similar commitment, the end result could be an auction that drives the market well north of $30 million per year. Assuming, of course, that Cousins would want to actually play for one of the teams willing to break the bank.

During a Super Bowl-week visit to PFT Live, Cousins seemed to suggest that he’s willing to take less to win, while also acknowledging that plenty of winning teams have expensive quarterbacks. Last year, he seemed to suggest that his goal is to make as much as possible.

“[T]here’s other quarterbacks that come after you and it would be almost a selfish move to hurt future quarterbacks who get in a position to have a contract,” Cousins said in January 2017. “And if you don’t take a deal that’s fair to you, then you’re also taking a deal that’s not fair to them and you’re setting them back as well. So there’s different reasons. You just do the best you can.”

Cousins will be doing better than the best any quarterback has ever done, whether it’s with the Jets or another team. Barring a third straight franchise tag from his current team (which remains unlikely, and likely would be scrapped via a grievance), Cousins will become the first healthy franchise quarterback on the right side of 30 to become a free agent in nearly a quarter-century of free agency. Given the $44 million he has made over the last two years, his next deal could push his career earnings toward a quarter-billion.