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CBS’ La Canfora believes Cards on outside looking in on Cousins pursuit

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) looks to throw as Arizona Cardinals middle linebacker Kevin Minter (51) pursues during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Four teams with glaring holes at their respective quarterback positions could end up landing Kirk Cousins, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Saturday.

It would appear, not surprisingly, that the Arizona Cardinals don’t have the best odds of that group that also includes the New York Jets, Minnesota Vikings and Denver Broncos.

Arizona doesn’t have the financial flexibility of those other teams, and in Cousins’ free agency process that’s expected to move quickly, that puts them at a disadvantage, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.

I’ve talked to numerous people involved in this process on all sides, and while the Cardinals, Broncos, Vikings and Jets have all made it clear they want to be in this thing to the end, no one on any of those teams or close to Cousins believes it makes any sense that he actually makes three or four visits. This is all happening in real time, for the player and those teams, and this is not a negotiating vacuum.

Meanwhile, other free agent quarterbacks such as Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Bradford and A.J. McCarron are expected to be visiting potential destinations.

The Cardinals will likely have to be realistic and strategic about approaching those free agents with serious interests as to not lose out on filling in their empty quarterback cupboard.

Is Arizona completely out of the running?

La Canfora is making some assumptions about Cousins’ perspective and the timeline involved. Based off what he’s heard, he believes only New York and Minnesota are the best bets to land Cousins.

The Jets have the most money to offer, while the Vikings have the best roster.

So while the concept of a four-team market for Cousins is fine in theory, it’s not going to work in practice. It won’t make sense for Cousins to spend a day-and-a-half at four different teams and then make a decision a week into free agency. The teams are going to need to know, ASAP, whether or not they are getting the first or second visit.

That’s not to count to the Cardinals out completely.

With a few big salary decisions to free up money, and maybe they can approach a competitive offer without hamstringing the rest of the roster.

Maybe Larry Fitzgerald bumping into Cousins at the airport planted a seed in Cousins’ head.

Indeed, it appears this process could move quickly as the March 14 new league year approaches. As La Canfora says, most of the negotiating and salary-figure-deciding will be locked in as that date hits.