After the dust settled on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes, his agent listed the teams that swung a sledgehammer. The Broncos weren’t one of them.
That’s the story as told by Mike McCartney to Peter King of SI.com. McCartney ran, as a practical matter, a silent auction for Cousins, with no guarantee that any offer made would result in a visit. The Vikings, Jets, and Cardinals ultimately put packages on the table.
Six years after teams lined up out the door for a chance to be officially rejected by an aging and impaired Peyton Manning, only three came to the table for the first under-30-and-fully-healthy franchise quarterback to hit free agency, ever. That’s a direct product of the fact that plenty of other options existed in free agency, trade, and the draft to address quarterback needs.
In most years, there aren’t enough bad quarterbacks to go around. This year, there were more quarterbacks (good, bad, or otherwise) than places to put them.
So the Broncos, opting not to overpay for Cousins and not to lose out on another option that came much more cheaply, passed on Cousins and pushed for Case Keenum.
Before the process began, McCartney identified seven teams that could potentially make a push for Cousins: the Vikings, Cardinals, Jets, Broncos, Bills, Browns, and the Dolphins. Yes, the Dolphins. Proving yet again that, no matter how strongly the coaching staff supports Ryan Tannehill, not many outside the building are willing to buy it.
In the grand scheme of things, not many teams came to the table for Cousins. There were still enough to make Cousins the highest paid player in NFL history.