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Is it a Buyer’s Market for Free Agent QBs?

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampering Period is about to open, and Mike Florio over at PFT has been speculating about the free agent QB market and what tactics teams in the market for a QB may use this time around.

Florio speculates that teams like the Vikings, Broncos, Jets and/or Cardinals, among others, could extend aggressive fixed-price offers to multiple quarterbacks, on a first-one-to-sign-the-deal-gets-it basis. It makes some sense as a negotiating tactic- you snooze, you lose - and for teams like the Vikings- with a strong supporting cast, new stadium, new practice facility, strong franchise, just made it to the NFC Championship- they can drive the market.

For quarterbacks and their agents, it takes some leverage away from them. For Cousins, if he gets one of multiple offers extended by the Vikings, he knows if he waits, there is a good chance another QB will likely get the deal. And if the Vikings are suddenly out of the market, then what happens to other offers Cousins may get? Could they be adjusted accordingly?

From other teams perspectives, maybe teams without a good chance to land Cousins, maybe they extend Cousins a strong offer, but also make a strong offer for one or more in the second tier- Keenum, Bridgewater or Bradford for example. It creates some ugency for those in this group to make up their mind quickly, or lose out on a better offer. And if a team like the Vikings decides to wait on Cousins, or not, they may land a better QB than they otherwise might.

Ian Rapaport reports that multiple teams are willing to offer Cousins a fully guaranteed, or nearly so, contract that could make him the highest paid QB in the NFL- at least until Rodgers signs his deal. But it could be that those same teams are making other offers too- and Cousins could find his market- and negotiating leverage- waning if he waits too long to decide.

We’ll see how it plays out.