That’s more than 2 ½ Roger Goodells.
Naturally, they’re quarterbacks. Good ones. But none has a winning playoff record. Three haven’t won a playoff game. Two haven’t even thrown a playoff pass, including Garoppolo, the latest temporary title holder of highest-paid player in NFL history at $27.5 million a year.
So, what’s Kirk Cousins worth, you ask? The answer here is very similar to the go-to response when called upon in algebra class a few decades ago:
“Um, ah … no idea.”
The 25th free-agency signing period begins at 3 p.m. Wednesday. It’s being hyped as something more unusual than a well-mannered Eagles fan because Cousins — a starting quarterback in his prime — will be available to the highest overbidder in a league with deep pockets and shallow patience.
The Jets reportedly are willing to pay whatever it takes to land Cousins. Some say the starting line on that road to whatever is five years, $150 million.
Will Cousins really reach $30 million a year? The guy who’s 26-31-1 as a Redskins starter, including 0-1 in the playoffs? The guy with 36 interceptions the last three years? The guy whose own team wouldn’t commit to him and finally set him on the curb after trading for Alex Smith?
The Bears paid Mike Glennon $18.5 million to play for them last year. The Browns paid Brock Osweiler $16 million to not play for them. And the 49ers gave Garoppolo $137.5 million over five years for winning five games last December.
So, again, what is Cousins worth?
The market will establish the actual dollar figure. But a wise general manager would heed the words Vikings coach Mike Zimmer spoke at the scouting combine earlier this month.
Essentially, Zimmer reminded folks that the Vikings have won 40 games and two division titles the past four years because they’ve had the financial wherewithal to build a good overall team, particularly on defense.
“I want to be really careful about taking away from our strength and saying, ‘OK, we’re not going to be able to do this and we’re not going to be able to do that anymore because of financial reasons,’ ” he said.
So, there’s your answer when it comes to what Cousins is worth. He’s worth less than whatever sum would compromise in any way the current and future financial structure of the team around him.
Last year, the Vikings extended deals for Xavier Rhodes, Linval Joseph and Everson Griffen. Soon, they’ll need to do the same for Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks and Stefon Diggs.
It doesn’t take a cap guru to assume that 30 million golden eggs in one good man’s basket might snowball into too many good men leaving town with empty baskets.
That’s OK when the quarterback is a Peyton Manning, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers.
It’s been said that Cousins’ “numbers” in three years as Washington’s full-time starter are similar to Aaron Rodgers’ first three years as a starter in Green Bay. Except this: Rodgers went 11-5 one year and 10-5 the next. Cousins has won nine, eight and seven games.
As the NFL witnessed this year, a guy like Rodgers covers up every wart around him. When Green Bay’s offensive line isn’t up to par or its defense is a sieve or there’s no running game, it doesn’t matter so long as No. 12 is on the field.
Those who argue that Cousins isn’t Rodgers strengthen the argument not to overpay him as though he were. The same goes for those who argue that Cousins would have a better record if he played for a better team.
Two months ago, we saw Case Keenum, Nick Foles and Blake Bortles reach the conference title games. Two weeks later, we saw Foles beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl.
It was a wonderful reminder that this is a team game with about 1,500 guys who play positions other than quarterback. Keeping an entire team strong allows a Keenum to step in and win 12 games while making $28 million less than Cousins is expected to fetch.
So, how much is Cousins worth to the Vikings? Perhaps the real question is how much are the Vikings worth to Cousins?