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Insider Look at the Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, and Baker Mayfield Deals: Howe’s Behind-the-Scenes Peek

The quarterback market saw a flurry of activity at the start of free agency, as Kirk Cousins, Baker Mayfield, and Russell Wilson all secured new contracts within 24 hours. Each player had different priorities reflecting their career stages, but together they shaped the quarterback market for the offseason.

Mayfield kicked off the action by signing a three-year, $100 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Wilson quickly followed suit with a one-year agreement worth the league minimum with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Finally, Cousins wrapped up the quarterback frenzy by inking a four-year, $180 million contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

While the financial terms varied, the moves were interconnected. Mayfield, coming off a successful season with the Bucs, valued continuity and familiarity within the organization. Wilson, facing an imminent release from the Denver Broncos, opted for a strategic deal that allowed him to start with the Steelers. And Cousins, despite recovering from an injury, found the right fit with the Falcons to compete for a playoff spot.


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Mayfield’s decision to stay with the Bucs was driven by the support he received from the coaching staff and the team’s structure. With guaranteed money ensuring his future, he prioritized stability over chasing a higher payday.

The best chance to start

Wilson’s scenario was vastly different, as the Broncos released him to allow him to explore other options. With a unique financial arrangement, Wilson agreed to play for the minimum while the Broncos covered the remainder of his salary. After meeting with the Giants and Steelers, Wilson saw an opportunity to start with the Steelers and contribute to a playoff-contending team.



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Cousins’ journey led him to a dual between the Falcons and Vikings, ultimately choosing Atlanta for the opportunity it presented. With guaranteed money and a promising roster, Cousins aims to make an impact in the NFC South.



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The remaining QB market

As the quarterback carousel continues, teams like the Vikings, Broncos, and Raiders are still seeking solutions. With the draft approaching, the landscape could shift with potential trades and signings. The veteran trio’s decisions have set the stage for intriguing quarterback developments in the coming months.

(Photos of Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins, and Russell Wilson:
Todd Rosenberg, Stephen Maturen, and Cooper Neill / Getty Images)


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