The Arizona Cardinals quickly moved on from their alleged “Plan A” of Kirk Cousins and grabbed their second choice in Sam Bradford.
They prioritized Minnesota, because the Vikings were amenable to making Cousins the highest-paid quarterback in the game, fully guaranteed, at about three years and $84 million, and they were the closest to winning now. But Cousins was firm that he wouldn’t sign until he met the coaches and staff—he did not know offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, and didn’t know quarterbacks coach Kevin Stefanski well. The Jets were two (thanks to Jeremy Bates, and, presumably, a higher offer), Arizona three.
Why was Arizona third? Simply they did not offer the same benefits as the top two teams.
- The Minnesota Vikings offer a Super Bowl ready team. Imagine getting Kirk Cousins coming off of the Arizona Cardinals 2014 season. That is where the Minnesota Vikings are at this point.
- The Cardinals could never compete with the New York Jets in terms of money. We saw how the Sam Bradford contract played out, the Cardinals could not have given Cousins the same type of financial commitment that the Jets could.
What does this mean for the Arizona Cardinals? Simply, they were never really in the Cousins sweepstakes, even if they finished third. There were truly only three contenders when it was all said and done and the Cardinals were third. They made an effort, a strong one, they were the first to call Cousins according to King, but it wasn’t going to happen.
It is likely for their own benefit, so finishing third is not a big deal, at least to me.