Redskins fans don’t have a lot to do this evening. Why not fan every rumor involving our favorite trade bait, Kirk Cousins.
The back-up quarterback is the most popular player on the team. In Cousins’ case, it’s because so many fans are anxious to dump him.
Redskins fans are not used to other teams’ interest in Redskins players. It has worked the other way around since the dawn of the Snyder era.
Bill Polian kicked off the latest round of speculation by suggesting that the Cleveland Browns should trade its second first-round Draft pick, No. 26 overall, to the Redskins for Cousins. Polian was one of the best GMs in the business, so no one dismisses the notion.
Others notice the presence of Kyle Shanahan on Cleveland’s coaching staff where he landed there after the Redskins fired him. Well, how could he stay when they let Big Mike go?
Kyle is not held in high regard around here, but offering a first-round pick for Capt. Kirk would do wonders for his image.
The Redskins named their price for Cousins a while ago. Don’t come a-calling with anything less than a second-round pick. If that plays out, it will happen by Friday night.
Hog Heaven will be happy for Kirk if it does fall that way. He wants to compete for a starting position and that ain’t happening on the Redskins. I hope he gets his shot although I would find it a bittersweet moment as a Spartans alum.
I doubt Cleveland makes that trade, however.
Bringing Cousins aboard means duplicating talent already on the roster in the form of Brian Hoyer, the man he followed as Michigan State quarterback. Hoyer and Cousins are clones with the only advantage to Cleveland being Cousins’ familiarity with Shanahan’s playbook.
Cleveland is unlikely to pull this deal if any of the top five QB prospects are on the board for their 26th pick. Cousins is competing against Bridgewater, Manziel, Bortles, Carr and Mettenberger.
After two years working with RGIII in good and bad time, Kyle Shanahan is the OC best able to coach Johnny Manziel.
Trading Cousins means the Redskins have to replace him with a veteran paid above the rookie pay scale.
Cousins is in the third year of his four-year rookie contract and will make $643,000 this year. Veteran Colt McCoy is on the Redskins roster. We aren’t sure yet if the ‘Skins see him as a camp arm, or as backfill for Cousins should a trade happen, but his salary is $795,000.
After that, you are looking at talents like Rex Grossman, Jimmy Clausen, Brady Quinn and Seneca Wallace. All the real good veteran back-ups are already signed. Ugh!
For comparison, CB David Amerson is due to make $962,726 this year.
Moving Cousins now creates cap room when the Redskins must bite the bullet on Robert Griffin III’s and Alfred Morris’ next contracts in 2015 or 2016. Washington would avoid making a decision on a fifth year option on Cousins as they recently did for Ryan Kerrigan.
All this is worthwhile only in exchange for a first or second-round Draft pick. As we said, that would be an odd experience for Redskins fans. But the Redskins are making decisions more conventionally now just as the NFL intended when it spanked them with salary cap penalties.
A late first-round pick opens new possibilities for Washington to grab an inside linebacker, tackle or CB/S for the secondary.
Lets not get ahead of ourselves. Best to wait how this plays out.
Going to the Redskins Draft Day Party at FedEx Field Saturday, Noon to 5:00 PM? You will need an admissions pass. It’s free. Register here.
Kick Cousins image credit: Ed Sheahin, Twitter: @NFLPhotoGuy