Patriots Insider Sends Message on Kirk Cousins Expectations

Patriots Insider Sends Message on Kirk Cousins Expectations

While Minnesota Vikings star quarterback Kirk Cousins could become available to sign in a matter of days, New England Patriots insider Chad Graff of The Athletic says don’t count on a splash signing in Foxborough.

Kirk Cousins

“The Patriots really want to draft a quarterback with the No. 3 pick. Perhaps that isn’t a big shock given their quarterback depth chart and how things ended with Mac Jones,” Graff wrote for Monday’s article.

“But after their first set of front-office meetings and interviews at the scouting combine, the Patriots are leaning toward using the No. 3 pick on their quarterback of the future,” Graff continued. “So don’t expect the Patriots to be in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes as they focus instead on doing their homework on Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels.”

Signing Cousins would cost a hefty sum — even for a Patriots franchise with $89.9 million in salary cap space. Spotrac projects Cousins, 35, to make $39.3 million annually or the equivalent of a three-year, $118.14 million deal.

The table delivers the latest on Kirk Cousins heading into free agency

Instead, New England can enjoy a potential franchise-caliber quarterback on an inexpensive rookie deal for four years. Moreover, the Patriots get a quarterback fresh off of a full season versus one, Cousins, who went down with a season-ending Achilles injury last year.

While neither Maye nor Daniels showed off their throwing ability at the combine, both showed promise of what they’ll bring to the table. Daniels ranked second for an NFL Next Gen Stats total score of 92 in combine events. Maye ranked third with an 85 overall.

Maye and Daniels are widely expected to go No. 2 and No. 3 in the NFL Draft after USC’s Caleb Williams, the favorite for the No. 1 pick.

Jayden Daniels ‘Lacks Ideal Size and Arm Talent’

Daniels, the Heisman Trophy in 2023 amid a dominant season, has his doubters due to his 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame.

“He lacks ideal size and arm talent, but he’s much more capable as a runner and passer than most of the quarterbacks who have moved on to the next level lately,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote. “He’s tall but slender, so there will be concerns about durability, considering how often he ran in college.”

Daniels threw for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns last season versus four interceptions. He also rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns.

“Daniels possesses the football intelligence to get himself protected and take care of the football with quality decision-making,” Zierlein wrote. He’s an accurate passer over the first two levels and throws with anticipation to slice and dice zone coverages. He had noticeable issues putting deep throws on faster receivers in stride, though.”

Drake Maye ‘Can Create Momentum or Turn Chaotic’

Zierlein wrote about a lot of positives regarding Maye in his post-combine evaluation, but the NFL.com writer noted a concern.

“There is an undeniable energy to Maye’s game that can create momentum or turn chaotic when plays come off-schedule for him,” Zierlein wrote. “The combination of traits and tape make him a boom/bust prospect who might need patient management and coaching to help shepherd him toward his potential.”

Maye threw for 3,608 yards and 24 touchdowns versus nine interceptions in 2023, but that was a dip from his stellar 2022 season. He threw for 4,321 yards and 38 touchdowns versus seven interceptions that year.

“He can make every throw, but he will try to make throws that he shouldn’t have attempted,” Zierlein wrote. “The gunslinger mentality creates a fearlessness that can turn into interceptions, but it will also allow him to win in tight windows and make splash throws that get crowds [and evaluators] on their feet.”

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