Plenty of attention this year has been on the Jets positioning themselves to potentially select their quarterback of the future in the draft. With the sixth pick in hand and the consensus top five QB prospects all having thrown their name into the hat for April’s draft, they seem to be well-placed to make this happen. However, could another viable option soon become available? It’s rare for a top quarterback to hit the open market, but it’s not impossible that it could happen with Kirk Cousins. Washington currently controls his rights, but they’ll have to decide whether to franchise him again, sign him to a long-term deal or let him hit the open market. While the latter of those options might seem the least likely for a player who was third in the league in passing yards in 2016, his numbers regressed this year and the team ended up with a losing record. Tagging Cousins again would tie up almost $35 million of cap space, while a long-term deal is going to be even more expensive, given that Cousins reportedly already turned down an offer including $53 million in guarantees. Will that kind of financial outlay prove worth it or handcuff the team for the next few seasons? Head coach Jay Gruden gave a lukewarm assessment of Cousins’ performance in 2017 and there’s a suggestion that the overriding sense within the organization might be that Cousins hasn’t shown he can elevate a team to postseason success without a strong supporting cast around him. The possibility has even been floated that Cousins could be let go, elevating back-up Colt McCoy into the starter role.
Bad news for those of you who were hoping that the Patriots dynasty would be coming to an end this year. Bill Belichick told reporters on Monday morning that he “absolutely” plans to continue as the Patriots’ head coach into the 2018 regular season. Last week, an explosive piece from ESPN.com detailed a major rift within the Patriots organization. Belichick reportedly was forced to trade Jimmy Garoppolo during the season at the behest of owner Robert Kraft, perhaps with some urging by Tom Brady.
The Seattle Seahawks have kept any changes to their coaching staff under wraps as their offseason hits its week anniversary but they aren’t expected to make any major tweaks after missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years. Or will they? According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, courtesy of Sunday Countdown, the Seahawks do have interest in reuniting with former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, which leaves many, many new questions. Bradley is coming off a highly-successful year with the Los Angeles Chargers where he coordinated the third-best defense in terms of points allowed and 15th-best defense in terms of yards allowed. Although their rushing defense ranked bottom of the barrel in yards and yards per attempt; their passing defense was top-six in every traditional category. His success in La La Land means he won’t be coming to Seattle to take a demotion. But, the Seahawks currently employ a defensive coordinator who’s been fairly successful through some devastating injuries — Kris Richard. Richard did interview for the open Indianapolis Colts head coach vacancy but he’s not expected to get the job. Would the Seahawks really fire Richard for Bradley?
Just yesterday, we learned that the Chiefs would be open to trading QB Alex Smith this offseason, but that they would not actively seek out trade partners. But a lot can change in a day. Ian Rapoport, who reported yesterday that Kansas City would be willing to listen to offers on Smith, says today that the Chiefs, who suffered a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Titans less than 24 hours ago, are likely to deal the Utah product in the coming months (video link). As Rapoport observes, Smith’s value is as high as it can be after a strong 2017 campaign. He set several career-highs in 2017, including passing yards (4,042) and touchdowns (26). He also completed 67.5% of his passes and threw only five interceptions, leading to some early-season MVP rumblings. He also led the league in quarterback rating (104.7).