The Jets know they need a quarterback, and in particular, free-agent QB Kirk Cousins. That is why the team is "willing to pay whatever it takes" to employ him next season, per ESPN's Rich Cimini.
New York has failed to find their franchise quarterback for years now, as fill-ins, so to speak, continue to come to town with Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg failing to show they are the guy the Jets need. Josh McCown was the latest of those rentals, and he had a career year before an injury unfortunately ended his season.
This offseason, though, GM Mike Maccagnan has no excuse in Cimini's eyes. He currently has over $70 million in cap space, and could have more than that by the time they can grab Cousins. The Redskins can still franchise tag him, so they could use him in a trade, but that is unlikely.
In the end, the Jets need to go hard at Cousins because there are certainly other teams that will do the same.
"It's simple: Get Cousins," Cimini writes. "The Jets want him badly, and sources say they're willing to pay whatever it takes -- unless the Washington Redskins decide to tag him for a third time (unlikely). Money aside, the Jets hope to convince him he'll have a chance to win in New York. Because of obvious deficiencies on the current roster, they must sell him a championship vision. Their recruiting pitch also will stress his familiarity with the offensive system. In addtion to making Cousins wildy rich, the Jets want to let him know he'll be comfortable with the scheme and coaches."
The scheme that the new OC Jeremy Bates runs is a West Coast scheme that favors quarterbacks like Cousins. Bates also worked under Cousins' former HC Mike Shanahan, and the two met back in 2012 for a brief moment.
So, it helps that Cousins is familiar with Bates already.
"I liked him then," Cousins said about Bates. "He talked about football and that's what matters to him. It was a smart hire by the Jets."
But what happens if the Jets can't land Cousins? There are fall-back options like Case Keenum and Tyrod Taylor, who could both find themselves on the free-agent market. Taylor would be an intriguing optoin as Rick Dennison, who serves as the Jets' line coach/run-game coordinator, was the Bills' former offensive coordinator.
The Jets, though, will likely make their top priority to get Cousins, and their pitch will be crucial in landing a 29-year-old who could be their franchise guy.