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.