According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, the Jets are toying around with ways of getting creative with a contract offer to Cousins, including offering the free agent quarterback an absurd $60 million guaranteed in the first year.
Yes, sixty million dollars. The logic here is that the Jets can't really match up with other potential suitors -- the Vikings, Jaguars, Cardinals and Broncos come to mind -- in terms of offering immediate competitiveness. Such is life on a bad team located in the same division as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.
But they can compete with those teams in terms of money. In fact, the Jets have more than just about any other team in the league. Once they release Muhammad Wilkerson (and that will happen) and Matt Forte (and that is likely to happen), New York will be in the range of $100 million in cap space.
Go out and lob $60 million of that in Cousins face, make him swim in it Scrooge McDuck style, and all of a sudden you put him in a position where it's difficult to say no. Cousins can talk about playing for less money all he wants, but there's no one else getting him $60 million up front, in the first year of a contract. At that point you're talking $100 million or more in the first three years of the deal, and basically approaching a contract that ends up being fully guaranteed.
Under this construct, the Jets would also have another $30 million or so to go out and spend on free agents who can help Cousins immediately, not to mention the freedom to either use the No. 6 pick on an impact player (Calvin Ridley, Quenton Nelson, Saquon Barkley come to mind) or to trade down and pick up several players who can make the team better.
The Jets would ostensibly be selling Cousins on a multi-year plan that features them improving this year and then really trying to make a leap in the next few years, when they can be aggressive again in free agency thanks to Cousins's cap number coming down in the later years of his contract.
Whether or not Cousins is willing to go down that path with the Jets may depend on comfort for him. He clearly liked Washington and was willing to make something work, but the franchise never committed to him, particularly on the financial front. The Jets won't have that problem, and they can sell him on Jeremy Bates, a disciple of Mike Shanahan's offense, providing Cousins a lot of comfort with the system in place.
Everything here, by the way, is predicating on the Redskins . Washington agreed to a , so it would be silly/obtuse to tag Cousins. But you never know with them.
They just have to hope that the combination of players, system and financial opportunity for Cousins beats out what everyone else is offering. Based on the rumors being thrown around, they have to at least feel good about their chance to overwhelm Cousins with the almighty dollar.