What we've known for days was made official Thursday when Kirk Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million deal -- all guaranteed -- with the Vikings. According to the New York Daily News' Manish Mehta, the Jets offered Cousins $30 million annually, two million more than Minnesota's $28 million average.
"Is money a part of it? Sure. Is it the only thing? No," Cousins told PFT Live's Mike Florio at the time. "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, and that's what the focus is going to be."
Those "sacrifices" include taking a few million less to play for a team that made it to the NFC Championship game last season. Cousins reiterated as much on Friday.
"It came down to my desire to win football games," he told Florio. "Minnesota appeared to be that fit for a lot of reasons. Ultimately the leadership of the organization is what set it apart."
Added Cousins' agent Mike McCartney, via the PioneerPress.com: "Two things I kept saying to Kirk. Money is important. Contract is important. But I want you on a daily basis to jump out of bed excited to go to work, to go into a building that has a great culture and a chance to win. But at the same token, at the end of the day, I want you to get excited to go home where your wife and family are flourishing and if we can find both of those I think we've done our job."
Meanwhile, Mehta writes that agents representing players other than quarterbacks told him that the Jets were paralyzed to make other free-agent moves while they waited for Cousins, which would have come with a sizable financial commitment. There's also this: McCartney also represents Josh McCown, who made it clear he wanted to return to the Jets this offseason. New York was interested in having him back, but as Cousins' backup. But when Cousins bolted for Minnesota, the Jets gave McCown a one-year, $10 million deal -- more than what they would have paid him had they landed Cousins -- and now the 38-year-old will battle for the starting job alongside Teddy Bridgewater, who was signed to a one-year deal.
And while the Jets didn't get what they were after, perhaps it's for the best; instead of committing $30 million a year to Cousins, they can focus on finding their next franchise quarterback with the sixth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. According to the latest round of CBSSports.com mock drafts, five of six experts have New York taking either UCLA's Josh Rosen or Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield.