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ESPN’s Sando: Cardinals’ situation might not rule out hefty Cousins’ price

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) reacts to wide receiver Andre Roberts' touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Landover, Md., Monday, Oct. 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
LISTEN: Mike Sando, ESPN NFL Insider

Ask someone who they would like to see as the Arizona Cardinals’ starting quarterback next season and the most likely answer you’ll get is the Washington Redskins’ free agent quarterback Kirk Cousins.

During an offseason filled with the intrigue of how the quarterback market plays out, the 29-year-old is on top.

That makes his price tag high, which potentially could put the Cardinals out of the running.

ESPN’s Mike Sando, though, doesn’t quite see that as a guarantee.

“I think he’s gonna go at least to $28 million a year or something like that, and that’s a given,” he said on 98.7 FM’s Bickley & Marotta Thursday. “Is that gonna price out an Arizona? I think not necessarily. I think we just need to find out, and the Cardinals need to find out, how their meetings go and what they decide to do, ultimately.

“Unlike some of these other teams … Arizona isn’t moving on from Carson Palmer, they’re trying to improve upon worse than Carson Palmer, right? Because they don’t have anybody and I think that means in your discussion, your budgeting, you have to be willing to go pretty high. ”

One of the teams that Sando believes will go pretty high is the Cleveland Browns, but that doesn’t mean they are a great match for Cousins.

“Cleveland is gonna go way above everybody else,” Sando said. “I don’t think that means he’s just gonna go to Cleveland no matter what. I mean he’s made over $40 million the last two years. He has to take a good deal and he’s gonna want to go somewhere where he thinks he can win.”

In his look at the quarterback carousel, Sando ruled Cousins as “plausible” along with other NFL quarterbacks Eagles’ Nick Foles, Minnesota’s Case Keenum and the Bengals’ AJ McCarron. For draft prospects, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield were also listed.