Jets’ options to pounce on if Kirk Cousins dream falls apart

Jets’ options to pounce on if Kirk Cousins dream falls apart

Mike Maccagnan better be ready with his Plan B, because there is every chance that he could be left holding a $90 million bag of Woody Johnson’s money without the franchise quarterback the Jets and Jets fans have craved for an eternity.

There is every chance he will be confronting a doomsday scenario if he doesn’t move swiftly during the free-agency frenzy and boldly during the NFL draft:

No Kirk Cousins, and no Quarterback of the Future.

The clock is ticking and the Vikings remain the favorites to land Cousins, free-agent apple of the Jets’ eye.

Maccagnan better blow away Cousins — everyone’s $30 Million Man — with an offer he can’t refuse, because the Vikings can offer the chance to win a Super Bowl, and he can’t.

In this cutthroat game of musical quarterbacks, Maccagnan’s task would be complicated further as there is no guarantee the Jets will be able to land the Quarterback of the Future they desire with the sixth pick of the NFL draft if they do not trade up.

Even before Monday, the Jets were sandwiched between teams that are desperate for a young franchise quarterback — the Browns (Nos. 1 and 4), Giants (No. 2) and Broncos (No. 5) in front of them and the Dolphins (No. 11) and Cardinals (No. 15) behind.

And then on Monday, the Bills, as desperate as anyone for a quarterback to replace Tyrod Taylor, moved up to No. 12 by trading OT Corey Glenn to the Bengals.

Maccagnan could fall victim to a treacherous squeeze play.

Plan B for the Jets would be choosing between Case Keenum, AJ McCarron, Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown, and drafting whichever quarterback is left for them … if there are any left for them.

The Jets love McCown, who would be the ideal mentor to the Quarterback of the Future. Keenum would be more costly, because he is a better quarterback, but he has the right temperament to play in New York.

McCarron and Bridgewater are younger bridge quarterbacks. McCarron has thrown six career TD passes. Bridgewater hasn’t played in nearly two years since wrecking his knee.

Teddy Bridgewater hasn’t played meaningful minutes since the 2015 season.Getty Images

Memo to Money Mike: He who hesitates is lost. John Elway won’t be sitting back for long in Denver should he miss out on Cousins. Elway, who swung and missed on Paxton Lynch, will rush in on Keenum and/or McCarron as his bridge quarterback before drafting his Quarterback of the Future with the fifth pick. And the Bills have interest in Keenum as well.

I would not surrender a first-round draft choice for Nick Foles — unless I have to.

The Bills are suddenly now within striking distance to leapfrog the Jets in the draft.

If Cousins spurns the Jets, Maccagnan better be prepared to trade up with the Colts to secure the third pick. That would leave him with, at worst, the third Quarterback of the Future on his board.

He should also inquire about the first-overall pick to draft Sam Darnold. (Browns GM John Dorsey also holds the fourth pick).

Dave Gettleman and the Giants own the second pick. Just imagine what he’d be asking should Maccagnan be forced to inquire about moving up. In that scenario, it would be called begging.

The Jets know from nightmares. It is up to Maccagnan to make sure this isn’t another one.

Published at Tue, 13 Mar 2018 01:51:31 +0000

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