7. No Neil O'Donnell Comparisons
First and foremost, thank those aforementioned football gods no Neil O’Donnell comparisons will be flying around MetLife Stadium this coming season.
O’Donnell was a Jets employee for just two seasons. The 1996 regime led by Rich Kotite as the de facto general manager, O’Donnell was signed to a massive five-year, $25 million deal that included a cool $7 million signing bonus. While $5 million a year is nothing on today’s terms, it was a massive free-agent contract two decades ago. (It’s funny: it’s about the same money Darnold and top 10 picks garner these days.)
Of course, we know what happened.
Coming off a Super Bowl appearance in which Dallas Cowboys corner Larry Brown earned the distinction as O’Donnell’s favorite target, the former Pittsburgh Steelers signal-caller started just six games for the green and white, losing all six en route to a team 0-16 record.
It’s that veteran QB big-money signing that resembles what Kirk Cousins is in Minny and would have been with the Jets.
It’s tough to argue the two quarterbacks are similar in nature. O’Donnell wasn’t much of a stat-gobbler. He was a game-manager who allowed his defense and running game to do its thing. Cousins is a stat monster who never sleeps.
However, the two eras are completely contrasting. By the time O’Donnell signed with the Jets, he had played five seasons in Pittsburgh while making the Pro Bowl once. Cousins has played six seasons in Washington while making the Pro Bowl once.
6. The Money
Don’t be confused here. The money and the salary cap ramifications are two completely different things.
If no salary cap existed, it wouldn’t matter how much money any player rakes in (so long as there’s no budget restriction). The NFL isn’t played that way—at least, not anymore.
There is no argument in the world that can properly advance the notion that Kirk Cousins is worth $30 million on an annual basis.