The story now has some legs

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Pretty impressive reporting, if you ask me . . .

ESPN’s Rich Cimini had an absolute blockbuster today.

It was about the Jets interest in Kirk Couins.

“Sources say they’re willing to pay whatever it takes — unless the Washington Redskins decide to tag him for a third time (unlikely),” wrote Cimini.

Powerful stuff.

He said “sources” not “source,” so that is even more impressive.

I’m telling you, it’s hard to get one source for these kind of stories, so that fact that he got “sources” is a tour-de-force. We should tip our collective hats to him.

But one thing I’ve never understood is why so many writers say “sources” instead of writing, “two sources” or “three sources or “four sources.”

Would you write, “Bilal Powell had several touchdowns in the Jets win.” No, you would put the actual number.

This is a long-time pet peeve of mine – name the number of sources, don’t write “sources.”

But I digress.

Who did this come from?

Well, Cousins agent, Mike McCartney, the son of former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney, is very media-friendly.

So it could have come from him.

It could also have come from the Jets who are struggling at the gate and need to fire up their base. The fact that they are all in on Cousins should excite many of their fans, and it shows a strong commitment to winning.

But one strange element to this story is that lead was buried way down in the feature – you had to scroll way down to get to the “money” quote.

This was kind of “burying the lead” as they say in the journalism world.

The Jets would like have to pay Cousins $30 million-a-year to land him, and this would hurt their ability to address other needs, and they have quite a few. As I’ve mentioned before, when Christopher Johnson said the team’s core is “quite extraordinary” he was probably overrating what they have.

And Cousins needs a strong supporting cast to flourish, according to former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan, now working for the Cleveland Browns.

“He’s a good player,” McCloughan told Denver radio host Mike Pritchard. “Is he special? I don’t see special.”

And because McCloughan doesn’t see “special” he feels you need to support him with a strong supporting cast, and giving him $30 million-a-year could impact their ability to do that.

“It affects the other guys, teammates, because of contracts,” said McCloughan. “You’re investing so much money in one position, you’re going to lose some good players, some good young players, and that, from a GM standpoint, that’s how you have to look at it. It’s a huge investment, and it’s going to affect the team.”

Personally, I think McCartney is probably using the Jets to drive up the price in places like Minnesota, Cleveland and Denver.

Jets have to be careful here, not just about being used, but also about whether the player truly digs you.

They have to make sure Cousins is truly into them and doesn’t just take their money. Because when that’s the case, these monster contracts often don’t work out.

February 19, 2018

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Dan Leberfeld
Dan Leberfeld
Publisher of Jets Confidential Magazine. Call 1-800-932-4557 (M-F, 12-4) to subscribe. Co-host of Press Coverage every Saturday on SiriusXM NFL Radio from 11-2.

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