Was Kirk Cousins sending the Jets a message?
In a goodbye letter to Redskins fans that was released on his website Monday afternoon, Cousins tagged the Jets and Vikings. The letter was updated without the Jets’ and Vikings’ names.
The Jets, with an NFL-high $89.8 million in salary-cap space, along with quarterback-needy teams such as the Vikings, Cardinals and Broncos, are expected to make serious bids for Cousins. He could command a deal worth $30 million to $35 million per season.
Over the last six seasons, Cousins played for the Redskins, taking over the starting job from Robert Griffin III in 2015. In the last three seasons, Cousins threw for an average of 4,392 yards with a total of 81 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. The Redskins failed to come to terms on a contract extension with Cousins the last two seasons, and he was given a franchise designation.
In January, when the Redskins traded for the Chiefs’ Alex Smith, it meant the end of Cousins’ time in Washington.
“My family and I will always have a piece of Washington deep in our hearts,” Cousins wrote on his website. “I arrived as a single, 23-year-old from the Midwest, with a lot to learn and prove. I now leave as a husband of four years to my wife, Julie, and a father to my son, Cooper, but still with lot to learn and prove.”
NFL teams officially began speaking with agents regarding their clients on Monday, but free agents can’t sign contracts until Wednesday at 4 p.m.
One player the Jets visited with Monday was defensive end Benson Mayowa. A source said Mayowa also will visit the Redskins on Tuesday. Mayowa, 26, had one sack and 13 tackles while playing in 13 games for the Cowboys last season. But in 2016, Mayowa led the Cowboys with six sacks as he made 13 starts.
It’s interesting the Jets started the free-agent process by hosting a defensive lineman. Two weeks ago, at the NFL Combine, general manager Mike Maccagnan said defensive line wasn’t a major need despite the loss of Muhammad Wilkerson, who was cut. Maccagnan praised the work of end Leonard Williams, the Jets’ best defensive lineman, and he hoped to retain a few of his free agents, including Kony Ealy.
Mayowa fits a need as a possible starter or rotation player for a defensive line that struggled at times last season.
Also, multiple sources told Newsday the Jets have some interest in wide receiver Allen Robinson, who played only one game last year for the Jaguars because of a torn ACL. A source said Robinson, who underwent surgery Sept. 11, is healthy and should be ready for the start of training camp. Robinson averaged 14.1 yards per catch in four NFL seasons.