Before the season began, I honestly thought, that Kirk Cousins, would end up being a 49er. Not just because his former offensive coordinator was now the head coach in San Francisco, but also because the 49ers had a lot of money, emphasis on A LOT OF MONEY.
But then the 49ers swung a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline, sending a second round pick to New England for Jimmy Garoppolo, a move that most people, including myself, thought was a great pickup by San Francisco.
In Garoppolo, the 49ers might have finally secured their franchise quarterback, without having to pay $30 million that they would have had to pay Kirk Cousins. Jimmy is younger, more mobile, and has a bigger arm than Cousins- overall, it was a great move by the 49ers.
But what about Cousins? He’s proven more so this year than any other, that he ranks in the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL.
Last season, on a team loaded with weapons (DeSean Jackson, Garcon, Reed, Vernon Davis, Chris Thompson, and Jamison Crowder) Cousins threw for over 4,900 yards and 25 touchdown passes. This year, playing behind an offensive line that has been a wreck with injuries, and without Garcon and Jackson who left via free agency, and with Jordan Reed who has appeared in only six games, once again, Cousins is putting up big time numbers. Through 10 games, Cousins has thrown for 17 touchdowns to only 5 interceptions, has over 2,700 yards passing, and already has a career best QB rating of 101.8.
And yet despite the numbers that Cousins has put up, the Redskins are just 4-6 on the season, dropping three winnable games that have included a dropped touchdown in Kansas City with under a minute to play, that would have given the Redskins a 24-20 lead; a brain fart game of constant mistakes and bad play calls against the Vikings, which we tweeted like crazy about:
Mind you, that Cousins did take a horrible sack in the 4th quarter, which we did call him out for, but still, the overall picture of questionable play calling and terrible mental mistakes on this team is something of concern, ESPECIALLY when you’re trying to keep your quarterback around for the next couple of seasons.
Take Sunday’s game against the Saints, a game the Redskins were up 31-16 with about three minutes to play, only to see them collapse and have the game tied up with 65 seconds left. Washington immediately went to work with Cousins.
Three straight passes to Crowder has the Redskins at the Saints 34-yard line with roughly 30 seconds, and then it happens. A grounding call on a misread costs the Skins 10 yards, and on the next play, a sack fumble sends the game to overtime. Washington wins the coin toss, and gets the ball first. On their very first play, Vernon Davis drops a wide open, uncontested 1st down pass, that took the air out of the Redskins offense. Two plays later, they punted, and the Saints drove down the field on three plays, and won 34-31.
Kirk Cousins deserves better than this.
It’s not just the suspect playcalling, and the mental mistakes, it’s everything. The Redskins need a culture change, someone like Jim Harbaugh would be perfect for the Redskins, but that isn’t going to happen.
Cousins wants to be paid like a top QB in the league, which he is, yet he’s stuck on a team that cannot get any traction, and it has to factor into his decision on whether he wants to continue playing for a mediocre team like Washington, or rightly, get paid for a contender like the Jaguars, Steelers, or even Broncos next season.
Every time the Redskins drop another “winnable” game, it just feeds into that “Reasons to leave” list that I would have if I was Kirk Cousins.
He deserves better.