Life is good for Jimmy Garopollo. After toiling in Tom Brady’s shadow for three years, the quarterback was shipped off to the 49ers last year, upgrading New England for the Bay Area in the process. He killed it once he got to San Francisco, leading the Niners to five straight wins and earning himself a massive contract to become the highest paid player in the history of the NFL.
The Cardinals are shooting for the moon — and the future — with their historic offer to make Cousins the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback while working around their salary-cap limitations. With the Cardinals’ cap number around $22 million for 2018, Arizona will have to back-load its offer while still trying to entice Cousins to sign.
To make their intentions clear, the Cardinals would give Cousins a $5 million base salary with a $35 million signing bonus and a $5 million roster bonus, all of which is guaranteed at signing. That way, Cousins will get $45 million lump sum immediately.
The rest of Cousins’ contract is worth $95 million, including $56 million guaranteed. And because the Cardinals have plenty of cap space to work with starting in 2019, they can afford to make Cousins’ cap number more than $30 million in three of the next four seasons. — Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Cardinals reporter
Kirk Cousins is about to become the highest-paid player in NFL history, and we should know his decision in days. Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
What if the Jets can’t get Cousins? They will have $90 million in cap room to address the quarterback position and other needs. At quarterback, they would look to double down with two veterans who would compete for the job. Two of their targets are Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater. They’re both short-term solutions, although Bridgewater has long-term upside if he can rebound from his devastating knee injury. Others on their radar are running back Dion Lewis, center Weston Richburg and cornerback Malcolm Butler. — Cimini
How likely are the Jets to draft a QB? 99.9 percent. With the sixth pick, the Jets probably would be in position to draft one of the top four quarterbacks. They also could look to trade up. If they miss out on Cousins and the top four prospects, it’ll be a bitter defeat for this Jets regime. — Cimini
Top draft needs: The Jets have one of the worst top-to-bottom rosters in the NFL, with needs all over on both sides of the ball. If they land Cousins and don’t pick a quarterback at No. 6 overall, they should take the best player on the board. Cornerback, pass-rusher and offensive line — yes, the entire O-line — are their biggest needs. — Kiper