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Handicapping the Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes: What are Jets' odds?


The Kirk Cousins Sweepstakes are destined to hog the headlines for the next month. After all, how many high-quality quarterbacks in their prime ever hit the open market?

The Jets would be foolish not to make an aggressive play for the impending free-agent signal caller to solve their most maddening problem. Mike Maccagnan & Co., however, won't be the only suitors for Cousins, who is about to cash in in a massive way.

"Is money a part of it? Sure. Is it the only thing? No," Cousins told Pro Football Talk Live on Tuesday. "It is about winning, and that's what I want more than anything. So, I'm going to be willing to make sacrifices or do what has to be done to make sure I'm in the best possible position to win. That's what the focus is going to be."

Here's a look at possible destinations for Captain Kirk:

Chiefs trade Alex Smith to Washington, Cousins' future in doubt


Gang Green got a gift from the football gods Tuesday when Washington traded for Alex Smith. Maccagnan has a golden opportunity to get a franchise quarterback now. The GM must go for it. The Jets are flush with cap space (around $100 million after a few predictable cuts) and a glaring need. Cousins would be a perfect plug-and-play signal caller in Jeremy Bates' offense. The best part: Cousins, who will turn 30 this summer, isn't a stopgap. He has at least a five-year window (probably closer to seven years) of quality play. The Jets can build a sustainable winner with this guy.

Projected cap space (via $73 million

Odds they'll get him: 4-1


Kirk Cousins said he's not all about the money in free agency, which could put the Jets at a disadvantage.

(Seth Wenig/AP)


John Elway can erase the memories of missing on Paxton Lynch by landing Cousins, but do the Broncos have the financial ammo to make it happen? Denver has $27 million in available salary cap space at the moment, so Elway will likely have to tinker with the roster to make room for Cousins. The Broncos' reputation as a well-respected, stable franchise coupled with Elway's presence surely would appeal to Cousins. Elway struck gold with Peyton Manning. Maybe he can do it again with Cousins. Vance Joseph would surely do cartwheels if he could upgrade his offense's biggest area of need.

Mike Shanahan on why QB Kirk Cousins is 'special' player

Projected cap space: $27 million

Odds they'll get him: 3-1


New GM John Dorsey has plenty of loot ($110 million in cap space), but would his team be better off selecting a quarterback with either the No. 1 or No. 4 pick in upcoming draft? It's an interesting dilemma for a team that reportedly made a play for Alex Smith before the Chiefs traded him to Washington. Paying Cousins and drafting potential difference makers at Nos. 1 and 4 could jolt Cleveland. Then again, drafting a franchise signal caller at a fraction of the price is tempting. The other consideration: Does Cousins really want to play for the Factory of Sadness?

Projected cap space: $110 million

The perfect Jets plan: Name Jeremy Bates OC, sign Kirk Cousins

Odds they'll get him: 3-1

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has a golden opportunity to add a proven starting QB to his squad.

Jets GM Mike Maccagnan has a golden opportunity to add a proven starting QB to his squad.

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)


Sean McDermott tried everything in his power to kick Tyrod Taylor to the curb before Nathan Peterman gave him no choice but to go back to the veteran. It's probably safe to assume that new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll would love to get his hands on Cousins.

Projected cap space: $29 million

Odds they'll get him: 10-1

Jets fans reveal top free-agent priority — sign Kirk Cousins


New head coach Steve Wilks and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy are probably salivating at the prospect of starting off with Cousins, but they don't appear to have the loot at the moment (under $10 million in cap space). However, if you want a quarterback — or any player — badly enough, you can figure out ways to find the money and free up space.

Projected cap space: $9 million

Odds they'll get him: 12-1

Cousins has plenty of potential suitors this offseason.

(Nick Wass/AP)


There are rumblings that Jacksonville will bring back Blake Bortles on his $19 million fifth-year option, but wouldn't they be better off with Cousins? In a vacuum, of course they would. Imagine Cousins with that stellar defense. My goodness, the Jags would have a juggernaut for years to come. Alas, Jacksonville has less cap space than Denver or Buffalo (under $20 million). They could free up more money, but are they in a position to break the bank?

Jets Mailbag: Could Kirk Cousins, Le'Veon Bell reunite with Jets?

Projected cap space: $17 million

Odds they'll get him: 15-1


Wouldn't it be interesting if Minnesota eschewed Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford and made a run at Cousins? It seems like a long-shot, but, hey, stranger things have happened.

Projected cap space: $54 million

Jets WR Robby Anderson pleads not guilty to 9 charges

Odds they'll get him: 15-1