Kirk Cousins' options open; Vikings mulling QB decision

Tuesday's deadline came and went without a Redskins franchise or transition tag, officially signaling impending free agent Kirk Cousins' freedom to choose his next NFL team.

As the NFL Scouting Combine closed up shop Monday, Cousins' next destination took center stage in league circles, serving up speculation that the quarterback has already begun winnowing the field of suitors.

Are the deep-pocketed Jets prepared to up the ante until they are alone at the poker table? Do the Vikings have an inherent advantage given their status as a Super Bowl contender?

Appearing on Tuesday's edition of Up to the Minute Live, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero shut down whispers of a covert agreement that would send Cousins to Minnesota.

"I know there was one word out of Washington today that the Vikings already have offered Cousins a three-year, $91 million fully guaranteed contract," Pelissero said. "I spoke to people that I trust with knowledge of this situation who say those numbers are absolutely false. The Vikings have not made any offer to Kirk Cousins."

Pelissero further explained that the Vikings are "still going through that process" of deciding whether it's worth exceeding $30 million annually for Cousins if they believe they can re-sign Case Keenum, Sam Bradford or Teddy Bridgewater for a more reasonable number that won't hamstring their efforts to lock up nucleus players such as Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Danielle Hunter and Stefon Diggs.

The Vikings might be the early front-runner in this race -- as NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport suggested late last week -- but Cousins' agent insists the process will play out with multiple teams interested.

"It's the time of year when there's always a lot of wild reports and rumors," Mike McCartney told Mike Klis of KUSA in Denver. "Kirk is keeping all his options open. No team has been ruled out."

Klis confirmed through league sources that Denver remains interested and is "very much in play" for Cousins.

While the Vikings, Broncos and Jets are widely viewed as the most realistic landing spots, the Cardinals and Browns are also reported to be in the mix for Cousins.

In fact, Rapoport's recent appearance on the Around The NFL Podcast provided scoop that Arizona has a "legit, very real chance" to reel in free agency's biggest fish.

Which organization will ultimately win the sweepstakes? Cousins is open to suggestions:

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