Predicting where Cousins will Land
Kirk Cousins will be one of the most coveted free agents this NFL offseason and oddsmakers have posted odds for which teams he could land with next season. Here's how bettors can capitalize.
According to oddsmakers from online sports book YouWager, the Broncos have 5/4 odds to sign Cousins, which are the best odds of any of the teams listed. The Vikings, meanwhile, have the next-best odds at 7/4, while the Jets are 2/1 and the Browns are 7/1.
Continuing with the odds, the Cardinals are 8/1, followed by the Bills at 10/1. The odds drop off significantly from there, with the Jaguars listed at 25/1 to sign Cousins this offseason, then the Giants at 40/1. The two teams with the longest odds to sign Cousins are the Bengals and Steelers at 50/1, respectively.
Let's break this down from a betting standpoint, starting with the teams Cousins is least likely to sign with for next season.
Giants (40/1), Bengals (50/1) and Steelers (50/1)
Handicappers should always start by eliminating choices before settling on a wise bet. In this case, we can eliminate the Giants, Bengals and Steelers when it comes to teams Cousins will sign with this offseason. New York has the No. 2 overall pick in April's NFL draft so Eli Manning's replacement is most-likely coming from the draft. Andy Dalton is signed through 2019 so Cincinnati isn't going to sign Cousins and while he did talk retirement before the 2017 season, Ben Roethlisberger could play another year or two in Pittsburgh.
What about the Browns?
We can safely eliminate the Browns as well. Even though they drafted DeShone Kizer in the second round last year, they still need a quarterback. That said, it's unlikely Cousins lands in Cleveland for several reasons. For starters, the Browns own the No. 1 and No. 4 selections in April's draft. With a slew of quarterbacks available at the top of the draft this year, the Browns could go back to the well and find their franchise signal-caller in April. Or, with A.J. McCarron successfully becoming a free agent in Cincinnati, Hue Jackson could tab his former backup quarterback as his new signal-caller in Cleveland. Either way, let's cross off the Browns as well.
So where will Cousins sign?
We're now left with the Broncos, Vikings, Jets, Cardinals, Bills and Jaguars. All of them make sense from the standpoint that they need a quarterback. Denver has the best odds but the Broncos also provide bettors will little value. Mike Zimmer seems to love Teddy Bridgewater in Minnesota, so I'll predict that the Vikings re-sign their former first-rounder instead of going with Cousins. Outside of a mention, there has been little to connect the Cardinals, Bills or Jaguars to Cousins, so…
New York Jets (2/1)
The Jets offer us value and there has been a lot to connect Cousins to New York. The New York Post's Brian Costello was told the Jets could offer Cousins $60 million in the first year of his contract and is reportedly "willing to pay whatever it takes" to land the free agent. The Jets have the cap space to both front-load the contract and make moves to improve the rest of the roster, plus hired Jeremy Bates as their offensive coordinator. Bates' offensive system is similar to what Cousins ran in Washington, which is another selling point for the Jets when it comes to negotiations.
Money, fit and opportunity. The Jets at 2/1 are my pick for where Cousins will land.