Alex Smith is now a Redskin, which means Kirk Cousins will officially hit the free agent market when the new league year begins. And with the Jets likely in the running for a new quarterback next season, they have an advantage to land Cousins with new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates.
Bates worked under former Redskins HC Mike Shanahan in Denver, and when Shanahan made his way to Washington, he drafted Cousins out of Michigan State. Cousins praised both coaches on WFAN at radio row in Minneapolis.
"They are great football minds and I've been very fortunate to have one good coach after the other," Cousins said. "Jeremy Bates does come for that coaching tree, if you will."
Bates and Cousins first met in 2012 while Bates was the Bears' quarterbacks coach. Even though it was just one conversation, Cousins liked what he saw and heard from Bates, which is why he believes the Jets made the right move in promoting him.
"I liked him then," Cousins said. "He talked about football and that's what matters to him. It was a smart hire by the Jets."
Bates runs a West Coast offense, a scheme that favors gunslingers like Cousins. It could be a match made in heaven for the Jets. But would Cousins want to move his career to New York where being a quarterback means being under a microscope while walking a tightrope.
Well, you can count out the media as being a problem for the 29-year-old if he makes the trip North.
"It's a tough market, but if I make it about the media, I've got bigger problems," he said. "...I like to think I have some experience dealing with a big media market."
Cousins' contract with the Redskins officially ends March 6, after which he can begin to talk to teams. He will likely go for a multi-year deal close to $30 million per year, and luckily the Jets are expected to have around $100 million to spend this offseason.