Starting opportunities shrinking for AJ McCarron in National Football League free agency

Dec 31 2017 East Rutherford NJ USA Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins warms up prior to the game against the the New York Giants at Met Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Danny Kanell Has An Interesting Take On Kirk Cousins

Rather than placing Cousins on another one-year franchise tag, Washington agreed to a trade at the end of January with Kansas City to bring Alex Smith in has the new quarterback for the Redskins.

Cousins plans to sign a three-year, $84 million deal Thursday with the Vikings, according to multiple reports.

Brees, 39, wants to finish his career in New Orleans, where he has played since 2006, won a Super Bowl and led one of the most productive offenses in the NFL. Although he was excellent for the Vikings last season, he was surrounded by a very good team and had an undistinguished career bouncing around the league before arriving in Minnesota. 11 spots behind Case Keenum. We know that, but the Vikings are going all in with a guy who has thrown for an average of 4,392 yards and 27 touchdowns over the last three seasons. He also sneakily adds something as a runner, with 13 rushing scores over those three seasons.

The eight-year veteran signed a five-year, $70 million contract in 2015 and is due a total payout of $22.5 million in salary over the next two years. Last season Detroit's Matt Stafford became the highest paid signal-caller in the league when he signed a $135 million deal.

Living in the midwest, I watch most if not all Vikings games every year.

The Vikings, who were subsequently blown out at Philadelphia in the conference championship, chose to let all three of their QBs - Keenum, Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater - test free agency.

Kirk Cousins is predictably the top priority on Minnesota's offseason shopping list. In that regard, the Vikings have a higher chance of success with Cousins under center, though there may be a season or two that doesn't look dramatically different from what Keenum offered in 2017.

McCown would be an excellent mentor for the draft pick quarterback, while offering insurance (as a proven leader and reasonably successful starter with the Jets in 2017) in case Bridgewater has trouble performing or staying healthy. After leading the Washington Redskins to a 24-point comeback against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a fired-up Cousins screamed "You like that?" Whether missing throws or forcing too many turnover-worthy passes, Cousins must do a better job of playing in tight areas in order to maximize his value to the Vikings.

On Twitter, Cousins was praised around the National Football League for landing a fully guaranteed contract. It was easy to imagine the Broncos competing with Cousins at the helm, but instead, they signed Keenum to an undisclosed deal. He could pair with McCown in NY or Bradford in Arizona very neatly.

Formerly the Vikings' quarterback of the future, Bridgewater hasn't played a meaningful snap in two years because of his 2016 ACL injury.

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