It’s a precedent we’re sure other teams wouldn’t take kindly to. Offering one of the top free agents a fully guaranteed contract. We have never seen this on multi-year deals around the NFL. It has previously led to a debate about contract structures around the league compared to other major professional sports. Once a team bites the bullet in this regard, everything will change.
According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the New York Jets might be willing to do this with impending free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins.
“One team already is being pegged in league circles as having the willingness to do it (offer Cousins a fully guaranteed deal): The Jets. If the Jets will do it, other suitors for Cousins may have no choice but to follow suit,” Florio reported.
Given that a four-year deal would likely require $120 million in guarantees, that’s all sorts of crazy. If Cousins were to demand the typical five-year contract for a quarterback, that number would grow to an absurd $150 million.
Florio notes that other teams might have to follow suit. That’s true in two regards. First off, Cousins would be inclined to take the fully guaranteed deal, making it an inevitability that other teams would have to match the Jets’ offer. Secondly, it would completely reset the quarterback market at a time when Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are all looking for extensions.
We don’t yet know if this will come to fruition. But it would indeed turn the league upside down in free agency this spring.