Jets fans better hope Christian Hackenberg is the one throwing the money.
Before I boringly outline how pitiful the offensive line is, it’s worth mentioning that Cousins himself may not even be worth it for the Jets. I understand how the QB market works and why Cousins will be the top-paid QB until Rodgers and Ryan re-sign, and I understand that there isn’t a Brady-Rodgers-Wilson (…-Luck) farm in a remote location that teams can just hand-pick team-carrying QBs from. Although that’s a good theory for what Giovanni Carmazzi is up to.
Kirk Cousins is a very good QB. But he doesn’t elevate his teammates. Yes, not every quarterback should be held to the standard of carrying his team to 10 wins a year, but there’s too much evidence of Cousins needing to be elevated by his teammates to justify paying him a franchise-crippling contract that basically prohibits the Jets from filling other positions by means other than the draft. They won’t be able to afford anything else if they drop $60M on Cousins, and there are more pressing positions to be dealt with than QB.
The Jets have $73 million in cap space for 2018 There’s scuttlebutt among the football cognoscente that it’s about to go up by $10M, but that doesn’t really matter here.
This may sound like it’s completely wrong based on last offseason’s 0-16 hibberjabber surrounding last season’s Jets roster, and the fact that they very well could have won 7 or more games had Josh McCown not been injured, but looking at the Jet’s current roster I’m inclined to say that it’s absolutely horrible. Like Browns horrible. But at least the Browns actually have a good offensive line, the Jets don’t.
The starting and backup centers, both starting guards, and, albeit less-so, left tackle Kelvin Beachum should not be starters. At least thee of them shouldn’t be backups. They’re just atrocious. That’s what needs to fixed on the Jet’s offense, as the rest of the skill positions are fine for now. Aside from QB of course, which the Jets should look to fill in the first round of the draft so that they can pay for some damn peopel to protect the kid.
That’s without even mentioning their defensive issues. Nose tackle Steve McClendon was good in 2017 but will be 33. DeMario Davis was PFF’s #8-rated LB but is a UFA. They can rely on the growth of rookie safeties Jamal Adams and Marcus Maye, but their cornerback position is a black hole. Two, maybe three out of 11 players on this defense can be trusted.
The Jets could work to fill these holes through a combination of free agency and the draft, and maybe lean on recent draft picks such as second-year tight end Jordan Leggett, but instead they’re going to give Sultan of Dubai money to a quarterback who, while I like him and love the fire in him, has always relied on those around him.
COUNTERPOINT TO MYSELF: Jeremy Bates’ west coast offense (SHANA. HAN.) will get the ball out quickly to talented receivers like Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse, possibly Quincy Enenwa pending a re-sign, and fast running backs like Bilal Powell and Elijah McQuire and the blocking won’t need to phenomenal.
COUNTERPOINT TO THE COUNTERPOINT: ’17 Giants.
***Yes, I know Kirk won’t necessarily sign with the Jets, even for $60M.