NFL Free Agency: Perfect storm brewing for Kirk Cousins

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 24: Quarterback Kirk Cousins
LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 24: Quarterback Kirk Cousins /

No one could have predicted Kirk Cousins’ rise back in 2012

Drafting Kirk Cousins with the 102nd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft was a shocking decision made by the Washington Redskins. They’d packaged four draft picks, three of them first rounders, to draft Heisman winner Robert Griffin III second overall out of Baylor.

Fast-forward to 2018 and the landscape of the NFL has been cut by a completely different blade. Griffin III is no longer playing professional football after suffering multiple season-ending injuries, and Cousins is on his way to the most lucrative contract in NFL history.

Never in NFL history have we seen a more perfect storm brew for one player in his career, let alone in his first six years.

Cousins was presented with the opportunity to take over a playoff caliber team in the wake of Griffin III’s absence. During that time he stepped up on and off the field as both a player and a leader. He’s started every game in the last three seasons and took Washington to the playoffs in 2015.

With no option other than Cousins to move forward with, the Redskins were forced to pay two consecutive years worth of franchise tags, one worth $19,953,000 and the later $23,943,600.

Washington couldn’t afford to pay Cousins upwards of $30 million per season, and the transition tag was apparently not an option.

After a shocking trade that resulted in Alex Smith going to Washington, Cousins hits the free agent market for the first time in his career. Approximately six teams will likely be bidding for Cousins’ talents, including the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and potentially the Miami Dolphins. Teams such as the Ravens, Bengals, Chargers, Giants, Vikings, Saints, Steelers, and Cardinals also have long-term questions at quarterback, be it due to age or production.

Next: 2018 Mock Draft

Cousins enters the market ready to set every contractual and financial record in NFL history. It was a perfect storm brewing for seven years, and Cousins is now ready to cash in.