Kirk Cousins is sure to be one of the most sought-after free agents this offseason. Cousins has already been replaced in Washington by Alex Smith, but he is coming off three consecutive very strong seasons of quarterbacking.
From 2015 through 2017, Cousins completed 67 percent of his passes, averaged 7.8 yards per attempt, and threw 81 touchdowns against only 26 interceptions. That was good for a passer rating of 97.5. Among the 36 players who have attempted at least 500 passes since 2015, Cousins ranks third in completion rate, fourth in yards per attempt, 12th in touchdown rate, 19th in interception rate, and sixth in passer rating.
He is, at worst, a considerably above-average quarterback who is smack-dab in the middle of his physical prime at 29 years old. He's going to get P-A-I-D. Who's going to pay him? Well, he doesn't know just yet.
When a fan pointed out that Cousins already had plenty of money, Thomas noted that Cleveland can give him a ton more money AND afford him the chance to make some history. (Have you seen the list of Browns quarterbacks? It's a disaster.)
Kirk - you already have plenty of money; come to Cleveland and make history!— russ (@docsavagemedwrt) February 15, 2018
And the Browns do have an absolute ton of money available to spend. According to Spotrac, the Browns lead the NFL with over $110 million in cap space this offseason, over $30 million more than the next-closest team.
They can make Cousins the highest-paid player in NFL history twice over and still fit comfortably inside the top eight teams in available cap space. The Browns also have two of the first four picks in the 2018 draft, and four of the first 35. That's a heck of a lot of opportunities to add talent in one offseason.
Of course, the Browns need to add a metric ton of talent to even come close to being a playoff-caliber team. They just finished the second 0-16 season in the history of football. Cousins would certainly help, but the Browns would still need a whole lot more. Can Thomas (and John Dorsey and company) convince him Cleveland is worth a shot? I guess we'll find out soon enough.