- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Who is the top free agent in the NFL this offseason? According to ESPN, it’s Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Cousins topped a list of 50 potential free agents, composed by ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. Seifert writes, “Unless the Redskins franchise him for a third time to the tune of $34 million, Cousins could set a new bar for NFL contracts.”

The logic makes sense. It’s extremely rare for a quarterback of Cousins’ caliber to hit the open market. Even with teams like the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers finding franchise quarterbacks during the season, there is still expected to be a long list of suitors for Cousins’ services. 

And keep in mind, it also only takes one team to set the “new bar” for NFL contracts. If a team falls in love with Cousins, they could offer him a giant contract to fend off any other team. 

Quarterbacks also rank high on these types of lists because it’s arguably the hardest position to find stability and it’s the position that can single handedly determine the outcome of a game. ESPN’s No. 2 top potential free agent, for example, is 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. The 49ers will also almost assuredly franchise tag Garoppolo so he doesn’t hit the open market. 

Despite his performance tailing off near the end of the season, Cousins passed for 4,093 yards for 27 touchdowns this season.

Free agency officially begins March 14. 

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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