There is much speculation as to the Arizona Cardinals quarterback situation, and as the free agency period approaches it’s getting closer to this puzzle to start taking shape. Of course, the one free agent that has been linked to at least four teams including the Arizona Cardinals is now ex-Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. Reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN news the Cardinals were one of the four teams in the sweepstakes for Cousins services. As much as I would like the idea of having Cousins as the starting quarterback, there is one obstacle that would throw a fork in the road and bring this speculation to a squelching halt.
I said on the Kazual Sports Show last week, that the dollars in this scenario just do not add up for the Cardinals to bring in a player that will cost about 30 million a year. Is this impossible? no, but is it realistic to think that you go out and buy this new bright red Ferrari and don’t have a garage at home to protect it. In other words, the Cardinals need money for an offensive line to protect Cousins before he was to come here. If they don’t have that in place, Well its simple, someone breaks and vandalizes your new shiny red sports car. So, why would a supposed star quarterback risk his status knowing he will not be productive without the main ingredient that makes any QB productive.
The salary cap of about 180 million is already strapped at 151.1 million for current players under contract. Plus the dead money of players having left or retired at 7million leaving the Cardinals around 22 million spendable cap space. Not to mention the incoming 2018 draft class will cost them about 5million, so leaving there books with 17 million under the cap to bring in free agents and improve their roster. That is nowhere near enough to bring in an offensive line, let alone Kirk Cousins.
Realistically the Cardinals have to shave their roster down to be able to afford anyone that will make a difference this year. Whether it be a splash in free agency going all in for Cousins or putting all their chips in the pot for the best signal calling in the 2018 draft. Either way, it will be costly and the roster will lose key players like safety Tyrann Mathieu at 11.1 million to help free up some space. Also Mike Iupati at 9 million, and they may cut right tackle Jerad Veldheer or ask him to take a significant pay cut. All these moves including 7.2 million possible cut for Jermaine Gresham could add up enough to afford Cousins, but that is not enough to afford protection up front to make sure he can perform at a high level.
One word comes to mind when it comes to getting all of this done and that is “Miracle” its going to take that to pull off a Kirk Cousins deal at about 30 million a year and get offensive linemen to protect him, and not to mention more receiving weapons with the limited cap space after signing him.
It will be very interesting to see how this plays out next week, but the one bargaining chip the Cardinals have used to attract Kirk Cousins and make this a reality is the great Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz has been seen with Cousins during the week of the combine, as pictures surfaced on social media of the two smiling together. If there is one guy that can lure any quarterback to come play with him its Fitz. For Cousins, is Fitzgerald enough of a bargaining chip to put the rest of the prime of your career all in on, knowing he is closer to ending his own.
I’m sure if Larry is luring Kirk to the Valley he is using his own length of time left to do it, in other words, Larry may be selling that if Cousins chooses the Valley than he may play longer, and that alone may get this done. But I really don’t think it will happen as you heard me say on the Show, the Vikings situation is closer to a championship and overall success than any other situation, and the more realistic chance for rings will be the final promise that will get any free agent to sign the dotted line.