Share this story...
A Denver Broncos fan holds a sign for quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins (not pictured) before the start of the first quarter at FedExField on December 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Latest News

ESPN’s Clayton: Broncos ‘fits’ Kirk Cousins better than other suitors

A Denver Broncos fan holds a sign for quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins (not pictured) before the start of the first quarter at FedExField on December 24, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Panic over the comparisons to Chad Pennington aside, Kirk Cousins is the best quarterback option on the NFL market for the Denver Broncos, ESPN senior writer John Clayton told “Schlereth and Evans” on Tuesday.

Clayton compared Cousins, the highly-touted soon-to-be former Washington Redskins quarterback, to Pennington, whose middling career was hampered by shoulder injuries.

But like Pennington, Clayton said Cousins may not be the “elite quarterback” who can come in and “make everyone great,” but the signal-caller does “make everyone better.”

“Chad Pennington was a quarterback, whether he was with the Jets, the Dolphins, that could get you into the playoffs and maybe win a playoff game,” Clayton said. “I think (Cousins is) that quarterback.”

And among the potential suitors for Cousins — the New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, and so on — Clayton believes Denver is not only the best “fit” for the free agent but that John Elway seems to get his guy more often than not.

“If you’re going to be Kirk Cousins, and you’re looking at teams like the New York Jets and maybe the Buffalo Bills — you’re not going to go to Cleveland. I mean, what team fits better?” Clayton said. “That would be the Denver Broncos.”

With Jimmy Garoppolo earning the highest per year salary in NFL history with his latest extension with the San Francisco 49ers, Cousins is likely to command $28 million a year, with Clayton said would be a “pinch to try to fit into the salary cap” for the Broncos.

But, Clayton said, Elway’s among the best, if not the best, problem-solvers in the NFL.

“You know how John Elway operates. He tries to get the best. And right now, the best quarterback on the market is Kirk Cousins,” Clayton said.

“… When he had the opportunity to get Peyton Manning he got Peyton Manning. When he tried the young approach the last couple of years, that didn’t work. So now, what quarterback can come in and do the best? That why, again if the can work it with the cap, I think he can do it.”

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.