Everybody and his brother, sister and cousin knows that Kirk Cousins would like a chance to start at quarterback for an NFL team. All of those people also know that barring injury, he will not have that chance with the Washington Redskins because of their investment in Robert Griffin III, who also is more talented and more athletic. So, to achieve that goal, Cousins would have to go elsewhere via trade if it’s this offseason or the next, or wait until 2016, when he’s a free agent. Today’s offseason question centers around whether the Redskins should trade Cousins. A lot of that has to do with what they could get for him. The Redskins used a fourth-round pick to select Cousins in the 2012 NFL draft after they, and 31 other teams passed on him in the first three rounds partly because of concerns about consistency, accuracy and arm strength. Mike Shanahan said at the time Washington selected Cousins despite selling the farm for Griffin because they had him rated higher than a fourth-round pick, and that the team needed to improve the overall depth of the quarterback position. He wouldn’t say then what grade his staff had given Cousins at the time, but then last season, Shanahan declared that it was a first-round grade. Whether or not that assessment was true, we’ll never know. But Shanahan said late in the season that he believed Cousins was worth a first- or second-round pick. Do other NFL teams agree? The Redskins don’t have a first-round pick (this year’s pick — No. 2 overall — goes to the St. Louis Rams as the final installment of their payment for Griffin). If they can get a first-round pick for Cousins, then they certainly should. A number of teams find themselves in the market for a quarterback. Houston, Jacksonville, Cleveland, Oakland, Minnesota and Tennessee comprise that list. But some of those teams are in position to use their high draft picks to select potentially elite quarterbacks. Other teams will have to ask themselves if those not-quite-elite talents are better options — and have higher ceilings — than Cousins, or some other quarterbacks available in free agency. Or, if they can’t get a quarterback in the draft or free agency, they must ask themselves if Cousins — even if not worth a first-round pick in their minds — is better than the current quarterbacks on their roster, like Brian Hoyer (Cleveland), Jake Locker (Tennessee), Terrelle Pryor (Oakland), Christian Ponder (Minnesota) or Chad Henne (Jacksonville). If the answer is yes, would they give up a second-round pick for him? A third? It all boils down to whether or not teams believe that Cousins is better now than he was when he came out of college and they didn’t see him as a first-, second-, third- or fourth-round pick. Cousins has a limited body of work, but in that sampling, he has shown both flashes of promise, and reasons for concern. In his young career, he has completed 56.2 percent of his passes for eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions while losing two fumbles.
Should the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, or hold onto him?
Washington Post | Feb 6