The New York Jets are now 1-2 with Zach Wilson as their starting quarterback in 2023 and average the second-to-least points and yards per game in the NFL ahead of only the Cincinnati Bengals — who are expected to improve once Joe Burrow gets himself healthy.
On the flip side, the Minnesota Vikings are off to an 0-3 start despite averaging the third-most yards per game in football. That’s led many fans and analysts to come to a somewhat obvious conclusion: the Jets should trade for Vikings QB Kirk Cousins as Minnesota stocks up on draft capital in order to expedite their rebuild next offseason.
Fox Sports One television host Craig Carton — who made a name for himself with WFAN radio in New York City — was among those screaming for Cousins on The Carton Show on September 25. And he even recommended the price the Jets should be willing to pay in order to blow Minnesota away and land Cousins this week.
“Final year of [Cousins’] deal, [Minnesota’s] not going to make the playoffs, Kirk Cousins must be traded to the New York Jets,” Carton began, asking rhetorically what the Vikings might want for him. “A lot of people think you only give up a third-round pick, I say [X/wrong] to that. A lot of people say — oh, you only give a second-round pick, I say [X/wrong] to that. I give Minnesota my first-round draft pick right now to get Kirk Cousins in here in time for the game against Kansas City.”
If the Jets were to go all-in like this yet again, that would mean general manager Joe Douglas would have spent both his first- and second-round selections in 2024 on veteran quarterbacks — with the second going to the Green Bay Packers for Aaron Rodgers.
“If the New York Jets really want to tell us as fans that we care about this team, that we care about this season, and that we’re gonna try to right the ship and make a run to the playoffs, you cannot do that with Zach Wilson but you bet your a** you can do that with Kirk Cousins,” he concluded emphatically. “Do it and do it today.”
Do the Jets Have a First-Round Pick That Is Eligible to Trade to Vikings in 2024?
Many believe Cousins could block a trade to New York for several reasons, but let’s say both he and the Vikings are interested, for the sake of argument. Could the Jets even legally trade their 2024 first-round pick? Or is it still tied up in the Rodgers deal?
The answer is a mix of both. “Even though the Jets are guaranteed to send their second-round pick to the Packers, the Jets still do not have full control of their 2024 first-round pick because, technically, all of the conditions of the trade have not yet been met,” informed CBS Sports insider Jonathan Jones on September 16.
“The NFL does not allow teams to deal picks not under their full control, so the Jets’ first- and second-round picks will essentially be held in escrow for the entirety of the 2023 season,” Jones continued. “At the end of the year, Green Bay will get the Jets’ second-rounder and Gang Green will officially own its first.”
Having said that, the NFL insider did note that while the Rodgers trade ties the Jets up a bit, a first-round deal is not totally impossible.
“If the Jets wish to trade for a player who would require first-round compensation before the Oct. 31 deadline, they’ll have to create terms that add a condition on top of a condition in order to satisfy the league,” Jones relayed. In other words, Douglas would really have to earn his paycheck and think outside the box to fulfill Carton’s request.
NFL Insider Adam Schefter Calls Kirk Cousins to Jets ‘Logical,’ But Cannot Confirm Interest From Vikings
While joining the Pat McAfee Show on September 25, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter acknowledged that Cousins to the Jets is a “logical” trade for both franchises on paper, but also admitted that there might be more to it than that.
“Kirk Cousins has to be the most intriguing [QB] name,” Schefter stated. “And again, there’s nothing to that right now — not to my knowledge — but the Vikings are 0-3 and they’ve made a decision where it certainly looks like they’re going in a different direction than Kirk Cousins next year.”
He added that Minnesota would have to commit to “punting” on the 2023 season in order for this to happen, which could “send a bad message” to their fanbase.
“That’s the one that makes the most sense from all of our standpoints,” Schefter concluded. “The problem is, it doesn’t make as much sense to the Vikings and the Jets right now, at least to my knowledge.”
2024 is expected to flaunt another stacked quarterback class in the draft — which could entice a team like Minnesota to “punt” on the season, or entice a GM like Douglas to hold onto his first-round selection and try his luck at developing another rookie QB that can learn behind Rodgers.