Appearing in recent weeks on PFT Live, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News predicted that the Jets would offer quarterback Kirk Cousins the most money, but that he would choose to sign with another team.
Based on a new report from Mehta, that seems to be exactly what happened.
According to Mehta, the Jets offered Cousins $30 million per year, $2 million more per year ($6 million total) than the Vikings offered on a three-year deal. Cousins took the lower offer.
Mehta explains that the Jets provided agent Mike McCartney with a deadline on Tuesday, because the Jets were holding up cash that could have gone to other free agents. The Jets also were concerned, per Mehta, that McCartney hoped to ensure that another one of his clients, Josh McCown, would end up back with the Jets. McCown re-signed, on a one-year, $10 million deal.
“There are some folks on One Jets Drive who believe this was all designed to get McCown back as the Jets starter (for now),” Mehta writes. “Perhaps that’s sour grapes, but it is a real sentiment in the building.”
It that’s how the Jets feel, they only have themselves to blame. They knew McCartney represented both Cousins and McCown, and they could have brought this all to a head a lot earlier.
Yes, it would have been tampering. But if the Jets had hoped to have their full allotment of cash and cap space for the purposes of chasing other free agents if Cousins wasn’t interested, they could have (and should have) brought things to a head before Tuesday morning.
At the latest, they should have made an offer right out of the gates to McCartney for Cousins with a short deadline for taking it or not. By pushing things to Tuesday, the Jets necessarily put themselves in a tough spot.
So, again, they only have themselves to blame.