The Kirk Cousins sweepstakes began long before the 2017 season came to a conclusion. The Washington Redskins failure to commit long-term to the 29-year-old QB has brought us to the point where they made a risky move for Alex Smith.

Now that Jimmy Garoppolo, a quarterback with only seven career starts under his belt, just  cashed in with the San Francisco 49ers recently, the only question left for those in pursuit of Captain Kirk is "how much?"

The answer is simple: a lot. But for Cousins, who is entering the prime of his career, it's not just about the money. It's about who can give him the best chance to win immediately. 

And per Jason La Canfora, it looks like the Jets and Broncos are the likely favorites moving forward. 

Most would argue the Jets are still in the midst of a rebuild, and they don't provide the instant chance at a Super Bowl run right out of the gate even with Cousins under center. But their current $80 million in cap space allows them to easily give the league's hottest free agent anything he wants as far as salary is concerned.

With the Broncos, they are a bit tighter, sitting just under $26 million. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders both enter the offseason with uncertain futures, so GM John Elway could be forced to move on from either (or shockingly both) to free up a little more payroll to work with in order to make the move.

Cousins could easily be in the range of just south of $30 million per year, despite how crazy that sounds. But this is where we are in terms of quarterback contracts these days with the guaranteed money offer being a huge deciding factor.

No matter who makes the better offer, it's clear, Cousins will be the obvious winner in the end.