Will teams try to take control of a buyer’s market at quarterback?

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When teams officially can commence making contractual offers to soon-to-be free agents at 12:00 p.m. ET on Monday, plenty of teams will be commencing the effort to find a veteran quarterback. With plenty of veteran quarterbacks available (and a strong quarterback class looming in the draft), teams have options. And teams may not be inclined to focus only on one option at a time.

Consider this potential scenario, which was hinted at last night: A team like the Broncos, Vikings, Cardinals, or Jets makes simultaneous offers to multiple quarterbacks like Kirk Cousins, Case Keenum, A.J. McCarron, Sam Bradford, and Teddy Bridgewater, telling their agents that the first one to accept gets the job. That would eliminate one option at a time for the other remaining quarterbacks. If enough options evaporate, leverage does, too.

This could be why, for example, Cousins may be waffling on his plan to make one of more visits before signing with a team. ESPN says he won’t be; NFL Media says he will be. The truth is that he hasn’t finalized his plans yet.

Cousins hasn’t finalized his plans because of the basic reality that waiting to take visits until Wednesday could leave him with only one place to visit — and one team to negotiate with. (Ideally, a free agent needs at least two in order to get the best possible deal.) If he thinks multiple teams will be in play come Wednesday, and that those teams won’t move on to their next option until Cousins makes a decision, he’ll be in control of his market.

It could be that the teams try to take control of the overall market, by pushing for the decisions to be made quickly, forcing the process to a conclusion that compels players to take what they can get now for fear of getting less later.

22 responses to “Will teams try to take control of a buyer’s market at quarterback?

  1. vikings need to forget cousins and get the best free agent qb available, that’s right sign jay cutler now! BOOM SUPERBOWL BOUND VIKINGS FANS!

  2. Newsflash: Teddy Bridgewater was a mediocrity before he blew out his knee! Sam Bradford’s knees are made of cathedral glass. AJ McCarron couldn’t beat out Andy Dalton in Cincinnati. Kirk Cousins has a losing record as a starting QB. The team that knows Case Keenum best is happy to let him walk away. None of the above! Be smart, be wise and realize that the best QB who can be obtained is the Eagles Super Bowl MVP: Nick Foles!

  3. I guess I don’t understand why a team would take their quarterback decision out of their own hands and give it to the most desperate quarterback on the market. If a team really wanted one guy but made offers to everyone and said, “first come, first served,” their least preferred option might jump at it.

  4. I like this. These QB contracts hamper the rest of the roster. Give Brady credit, he’s made enough so he takes hometown deals to ensure he’s surrounded with talent.
    Foles, all 3 MINN QB’s, McCarron, Glennon….all perfect backups. If anybody, I’d take a shot with Keenum. But Cousins is a distant first conpared to the rest.
    Cousins will be a Viking, 80% chance. I’ll give Denver the other 20%. Two teams ready to make a run. MINN’s window is WIDE OPEN for a Super Bowl run.

  5. purplepeople1 says:
    March 12, 2018 at 11:11 am
    Seem like alot of non Vikings fan really want the team to not sign Cousins. Wonder why

    ____________
    I’m hoping the Vikings sign Cousins. Regress by 3 games and massively overpay for the king of garbage stats! A true franchise QB puts his team on his back and leads them to victory. Cousins has a losing record so despite the 4,000 yard seasons be wary that he has never thrown 30 TDS and never been known to win against above .500 teams. In fact his record against such teams is laughable! He makes Jay Cutler look elite!

  6. purplepeople1 says:
    March 12, 2018 at 11:11 am
    Seem like alot of non Vikings fan really want the team to not sign Cousins. Wonder why

    —-

    It’s not that non-Viking fans don’t want the team to sign Cousins. We actually hope you sink that kind of cap space into the #19 QB – who has regressed year after year as a starter in WAS – and likely continue the futility of your SB aspirations as a result. Our hope is that 31 other teams learn from that and don’t make that mistake. When you’re 13-3 and make it to the NFCCG, QB is not likely your problem.

    What non-Viking fans are doing is 1) scratching heads as to why. If you are QB starved and cash full, you consider a move like that. If CLE or the Jets were to sign this guy, or frankly even the Broncos who may not have the cash but likely are a QB away from competing, it makes sense. 13-3 does not.

    But more important, what we care about is that the Vikings then set the market for the rest of us – mediocre (again, think #19th ranked QB in 2017, and regressed since 2015) QB commanding $27-30MM a year means that everyone else has to pay for the AJ McCarrons of the world. We think it is stupid, bad business, and hurts the league. That is why.

    And for the record I don’t hate the Vikings. I rooted for them last year because I’d like to see new teams win the big one. I got that with the Eagles, but I did root for the Vikes. But as a businessman, I am still left scratching my head over a team with some good QBs on the roster, who went 13-3 and just fell short, going after mediocrity thinking it’s going to get them over the hump. It’s just not smart.

  7. Cousins is the only sure-fired franchise quarterback on the market – once you discount Drew Brees’ age.

    You don’t rush to sign someone inferior and take yourself out of the running for a guy who could make a tremendous difference for either of his 2 likely destinations: Minnesota or the Jets.

    I can see some other teams that don’t think they have the salary space to sign him going aggressively for one of the other quarterbacks instead, but New York and Minnesota should make a hard push Cousins – having contingencies in place – but I definitely disagree with the proposal made in this article.

  8. We gotta remember that Kirk needs to feel wanted. That seems to have been a problem in Washington. If teams take the “first person to accept is our guy” approach it might hurt Kirk’s feelings. They could hurt their chance of keeping Kirk in the future without using the Franchise Tag

  9. In Teddy We Trust says:
    March 12, 2018 at 11:11 am
    I guess I don’t understand why a team would take their quarterback decision out of their own hands and give it to the most desperate quarterback on the market. If a team really wanted one guy but made offers to everyone and said, “first come, first served,” their least preferred option might jump at it.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    It doesn’t really matter if they view all of these QBs as basically the same guy. I think they are pretty close in ability and who is “better” or “best” is how they fit into and work with the players of the team they sign with. IMHO there is NOBODY in this group of FA QBs worthy of breaking the bank for…and that includes Brees (only because of his age)

  10. Even so, the bottom line is they will all probably end up getting way more than their performance warrants and so I think it’s fools gold all the way around. The love for Cousins is baffling. He’s a career .500 qb with I think zero playoff wins and only 1 appearance as a starter. How that translates to the $30 mil per year being talked about is silly.

  11. Jets are not going to play a scenario where it becomes Bradford vs Cousins.

    They’d have to serious lowball some of the lesser players and if they didn’t get Cousins or McCarron (the presumed preferred two) low balling the ‘which Bridgewater’,’which Bradford’ or ‘which Keenum’ are we getting could end up with them standing at the end of the musical chairs. Besides, you have one guy that is going to get paid too much, one guy who looks the part but has no body of work, 2 injured guys, and 1 who might be Wally Pipp or Lou Gehrig.

    And the draft has the same issues. Fact is, some will suck, at least 1 will get hurt, if not 2 and somewhere in there, a few will play lights out.

    You roll the dice on the guy who you love the most, who you want to build around. You play with fire and you get burned.

    Some of these teams are in rebuilding mode and some are built to win now. So that is another huge dynamic that is obviously not lost on the any of the QB’s.

  12. dmca12 says:

    March 12, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Even so, the bottom line is they will all probably end up getting way more than their performance warrants and so I think it’s fools gold all the way around. The love for Cousins is baffling. He’s a career .500 qb with I think zero playoff wins and only 1 appearance as a starter. How that translates to the $30 mil per year being talked about is silly.

    ————-

    It’s just the Market. None of these guys are worth that much, but the cost keeps going up. It started with Stafford, who hasn’t done much in his career either. Having stability at the most important position comes with a premium. Starting QB’s, who are young and in the prime of their career don’t go to FA very often. That’s another factor.

    Cousin’s doesn’t have the most impressive win-loss record. But neither did Case and he played great in MN. Cousin has better overall stats…even when playing on bad teams. Most of the losses came because of the defense not playing well.

  13. .
    The QB market is in the state of chaos. Most available veterans either have a small body of work or are coming off an injury. The college class is in such disarray that the Draftniks can’t even agree on who’s #1.

  14. What an asinine idea! This assumes that teams have no preference in terms of who they sign for the most important position in the game. It has to be about more than just money and getting a deal done. Any GM that employs this strategy should be fired immediately.

  15. ajzinnecker says:
    March 12, 2018 at 11:49 am
    dmca12 says:

    March 12, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Even so, the bottom line is they will all probably end up getting way more than their performance warrants and so I think it’s fools gold all the way around. The love for Cousins is baffling. He’s a career .500 qb with I think zero playoff wins and only 1 appearance as a starter. How that translates to the $30 mil per year being talked about is silly.

    ————-

    It’s just the Market. None of these guys are worth that much, but the cost keeps going up. It started with Stafford, who hasn’t done much in his career either. Having stability at the most important position comes with a premium. Starting QB’s, who are young and in the prime of their career don’t go to FA very often. That’s another factor.

    Cousin’s doesn’t have the most impressive win-loss record. But neither did Case and he played great in MN. Cousin has better overall stats…even when playing on bad teams. Most of the losses came because of the defense not playing well.

    ——————————————————-
    Good commentary but then why not bring back Keenum? Regarding Cousins’ loses being due to bad defense, the $30 mil per year QB is supposed to overcome the bad defense and carry his team. I just don’t see that in Cousins.

  16. Oh jeez, you meatheads. Just because teams say they’re doing that doesn’t mean they’re actually doing that. If Cousins calls any of the big four teams and asks for a few extra days, they’re going to give him a few extra days. He is also likely to make counteroffers to each individual team in order to get the best deal possible, which blows up this approach.

  17. >why not bring back Keenum?

    I would if I were the Vikings. But then, some team is going to overpay and over-commit to him as well. Hard to compete against some of this nonsense.

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