Why the Redskins should trade Kirk Cousins Part II
Part 1 | Part 2
There are a surprising number of teams that are going to be in the market for a quarterback this offseason. Here is a quick breakdown on each one:
-The Vikings clearly need to upgrade their quarterback position as Christian Ponder will likely peak as a game manager type of quarterback and maybe not even a really good one. Minnesota will likely have a top 10 or top 5 pick, but may not be able to land a top signal caller without trading up. Instead of that they could look to trade for a guy like Cousins who is more NFL ready and could give them a better chance to win with Adrian Peterson and a strong offensive line already in place. Using a top 10 pick on a receiver like Sammy Watkins and say a 2nd and 4th round picks on Kirk Cousins could make a lot of sense for Minnesota.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
–Mike Glennon has been a pleasant surprise for the Buccaneers, but I’m not sure if he’s done enough to prove he gets the job in 2014. Tampa could maybe look to try Michael Vick or Matt Schaub with him as opposed to using a top 5 pick on a quarterback. They probably aren’t as likely to trade for a guy like Kirk Cousins, though that could change if they end up with a new coaching staff who isn’t as happy with Glennon. While not a favorite in the Cousins sweepstakes they can help drive the demand by taking one of the other quarterback options.
St. Louis Rams:
-Rams are in a tough situation heading into Fisher’s 3rd year. They could be in line for two top 10 picks, but still have Bradford and his big contract in the fold. They might end up cutting (or trading) Bradford to clear some cap room (though take a $7 million cap hit) and move on. Now will they be in a position for a top quarterback to replace him, or need to trade up could make things interesting for the Rams. If they would need to trade up (a likely scenario), Fisher might not want to draft a top guy since it could take a couple of years for them to get NFL ready. He could consider trading a 2nd and a 4th for Cousins and keeping his two top 10 picks to get impact guys elsewhere (or trade one of them back to continue stockpiling talent). They could go for a veteran as well, but money could be a factor for the Rams.
-If Carson Palmer could play the Jaguars every week he would be the Cardinals franchise quarterback, but that’s not the case and it is clear Arizona needs to upgrade the position. The Cardinals aren’t likely to be in position for a top QB and will then decide if they want to reach for a 2nd tier quarterback in the middle of the first round. The problem there is that it could mean they need to hang on to Palmer for another year, and may end up starting him. For a team with the weapons they have and the amazing defense they have, it’s tough to justify waiting for a quarterback to develop and rolling with Palmer another year. They could cut Palmer and go the veteran route with a guy like Schaub, but trading a 2nd round pick and more could also be an option. That would allow them to use their 1st rounder on a LT and with a guy like Cousins so cheap they won’t have to do something drastic like move Larry Fitzgerald.
-The Browns definitely need a young quarterback and they do have two first round picks to try and get a top option. Like some other teams though they might not be thrilled with the idea of trading up for a quarterback. Instead they can use those two first rounders to bolster their teams in other areas and trade a 2nd round pick and more for a guy like Cousins. I wouldn’t say they are a favorite to do a deal like that, but it is definitely possible depending on where they end up in the draft. They likely aren’t looking at free agent options, so here it is between the draft and a trade.
-This is more of a surprise, but they are also a team that needs to take the next step. Andy Dalton has a 26-17 quarterback record so far in his NFL career and it’s likely that he will be helping them get to the playoffs for all three years of his career so far. The problem is he just hasn’t wowed anyone so far. He looks to be a solid quarterback, but after two quick exits in the postseason, Cincinnati could look to upgrade. In Dalton’s first 8 games this season it looked like he was improving and maybe taking that next step, but these last three games (albeit versus good defenses) he’s taken a step back. He’s thrown 8 interceptions in the last three weeks and the Bengals have lost two of those games. With so much talent on both sides of the ball around him, the one thing that Dalton can’t do is turn the ball over. Dalton also has failed to complete 60% or more of his passes in any of his 4 games against the AFC North this year. If trends like those don’t get fixed this year and the Bengals have another quick exit in the playoffs they could look to shake things up. Whether they just bring in another quarterback to compete with Dalton or maybe they just feel that another QB is an answer, expect the Bengals to be active in finding a quarterback or two this offseason. They might not be the best trade option, but it all depends on how they view Cousins potential.
-It’s looking more and more likely that Jake Locker‘s time in Tennessee is drawing to a close. While he was better to start the year, injuries have now piled up and he wasn’t the same quarterback when he came back. The Titans would have Locker for 2014, but he’s coming back from a big injury and they could look to go in a different direction. It’s very possible there is a new staff in place as well which would almost definitely mean a new quarterback will be in place. The Draft is an option,but after getting burned spending a top 10 pick on Locker, they could opt for the trade route.
-While Case Keenum has done a nice job for the Texans, he’s not the answer. Houston will be looking for a new quarterback this year after they release (or maybe trade) Matt Schaub. The draft is a very likely option for the Texans especially if they end up with a top 10 pick and have a new coaching staff. If somehow Gary Kubiak remains in charge, Kirk Cousins coming from a similar system could be an option.
-The Jaguars are the favorite to land the number one overall pick, and while there is a chance they decide to pull a Chiefs and trade for a quarterback, they are likely to just select Teddy Bridgewater or Marcus Mariota with the top selection.
-The Raiders have an interesting decision to make this year. Pryor showed far more flashes than anyone expected, and if Matt McGloin shows anything down the stretch Oakland could decide that one of those two are the future and maybe just bring in a stopgap or another young guy on the cheap. By the same token this team is rebuilding and needs to have an established starter to build this team around. They might not be in the best draft position and could opt to trade for a young guy like Cousins to build the team around and use their first round pick to address one of their many other major needs.
The Redskins are lacking a first round pick, and while Cousins won’t bring back a first rounder, he could bring back near equivalent value. For two years of Kirk Cousins on a cheap deal, the Redskins could probably get a 2nd, 4th and 7th round picks in a deal. Now a lot of that will depend on who they are trading him to. If it’s the Jaguars or Buccaneers and their pick is at the top of the 2nd round well then maybe it won’t be much more than that. But if it’s a team like the Bengals or Cardinals who are later in the round perhaps it is a 2nd, 4th, 7th and a 4th or 5th rounder in 2015. Or maybe with a deep roster like the Bengals they throw back a player to help balance out the deal. For as many needs as the Redskins have going forward, they can’t afford to turn down a deal that could net them a really good draft pick and some additional picks. The Redskins need both numerous starters and quality depth, so the more picks they have the better this team is going forward.
Now the question then becomes what happens at the quarterback spot. If Mike Shanahan is still the coach, bringing Rex Grossman back once again would make plenty of sense. While plenty of fans hate on Grossman, as we see around the league every year, he would easily be one of the better back-up quarterbacks to have in case of a Griffin injury. If Mike Shanahan isn’t back, perhaps Grossman wouldn’t make as much sense (though he still could be a viable option), but another similar veteran back-up could be signed. The Redskins could then take a late round flier (5th round on) a rookie quarterback to develop as the eventual back-up.