The Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets and Minnesota Vikings reportedly are the final four teams expected to be vying for quarterback Kirk Cousins, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Saturday, citing league sources.
The teams in question are planning how to structure a contract for Cousins, with the clubs reportedly planning short-term deals — potentially three years — with a high guarantee in the contract, per Schefter.
Cousins, who has played two seasons for the Washington Redskins on a franchise tag, topped the 4,000-yard mark for the third straight year in 2017. He finished with 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
The 29-year-old's time in Washington likely is running short, however, after the Redskins agreed to a deal with fellow quarterback Alex Smith on Jan. 30.
That deal can become official on March 14, the first day of the new league year. Cousins will become a free agent on that day as well.
Redskins senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams said earlier this week that he doesn't think the team would try to tag Cousins for a third straight season.
Broncos president of football operations John Elway said at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team had the salary-cap flexibility to do any deal and would consider any quarterback on the open market.
"I think we're going to explore all options in free agency and see where that goes," Elway said on Wednesday. "Obviously we've got the fifth pick in the draft, too. That will all play into it. We'll continue to look at all of the options out there when it comes to quarterback."
The Cardinals don't have a quarterback under contract for 2018, although 11-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald made his best pitch to Cousins at an impromptu meeting at an Atlanta airport.
Cousins posted a picture of himself and Fitzgerald on Instagram, with a message that the wideout had been recruiting him.
"Ran into Fitz in the airport yesterday. He's a GREAT recruiter!" Cousins wrote.
The Jets have $94.9 million in salary-cap room, per Spotrac, and also have the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
"We've got to make sure we get the right fit for our team, no matter what age he is," coach Todd Bowles said earlier this week. "We've got Plans A, B, C, and, if possible, D, so everything's on the table.
"There's situations where your Plan A doesn't work out, but your Plan B or C works out even better."
Minnesota has all three of its quarterbacks — Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford — poised to enter the market as unrestricted free agents.
General manager Rick Spielman insisted Wednesday at the Scouting Combine that "no decisions have been made with how we move forward," but added, "We have a pretty good idea of what we feel. Obviously, contracts are a factor."