Kirk Cousins Rumors: Jets Reportedly Won't Give QB Blank Check

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 31:  (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT)   Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins in action against the New York Giants on December 31, 2017 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Giants defeated the Redskins 18-10.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

While the New York Jets will pursue free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins, they won't risk overspending to land the 2016 Pro Bowler.

The New York Daily News' Manish Mehta reported Thursday the Jets "aren't going to hand Cousins a blank check."

Mehta's report comes after the New York Post's Brian Costello reported Monday the Jets were considering offering Cousins $60 million guaranteed in the first year of his contract. The deal would allow the team to have more salary-cap space than New York would have with a more traditionally structured multiyear contract.

The Jets are set to have almost $73.2 million available this offseason, per Over the Cap, and Costello noted they could get that number to $92 million if they release Matt Forte and Muhammad Wilkerson.

Financially, the Jets could absorb a $60 million first-year commitment to Cousins, but it wouldn't make a ton of sense.

For one, it would seriously limit what else New York could do to improve the roster. A team with 10 combined wins over the past two years has issues that extend beyond the quarterback position.

The Jets also have an opportunity to get one of the better quarterbacks in the 2018 draft class since they have the sixth overall pick in the draft. Although Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen probably won't be available that point, New York could have its pick of Mason Rudolph, Lamar Jackson, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen.

The Jets would clearly be better with Cousins in the fold, but they're smart to at least set some limits on what they're willing to spend. Giving Cousins a massively front-loaded contract would create more problems than it would solve.