Last Sunday when Kirk Cousins took the field against the Cleveland Browns I wasn't shocked by his play on the field. The kid was a stand out for Michgan State and was highly touted in the draft by many analysts and teams. In fact the only thing surprising to me about Cousins was he was sitting there in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft for us to pick up. Another thing that hasn't surprised me about Cousins this week is all the talk of trading him in the off-season. To that I say, why?
Pretty much everyone from a team owner down to the most casual of fans agree that the quarterback position is the most important in the NFL, so if it's the most important position in the NFL why wouldn't you have a very capable back-up on your roster, especially if your starter has designed run plays for him. Mike Shanahan and Bruce Allen knew exactly what they were doing with Cousins when they drafted him. They were buying insurance for Robert Griffin III incase he got hurt and they were getting a young quarterback that they could mold to their system instead of a journeyman veteran who might be set in his ways.
Having a back-up QB you can trust in invaluable, there is no means as which to measure it. Frank Reich in Buffalo, Steve Young in San Francisco, Tom Brady in New England. These guys weren't brought in to dethrone the quarterbacks that were already there, they were brought in as insurance to keep the machine moving if the main part broke. In all three instances the teams were rewarded with stellar play. When Jim Kelly got hurt against the Houston Oilers in the play-offs Frank Reich came in and lead a 32 point comeback, when Joe Montana as injured in the 92 play-offs against the New York Giants Steve Young would come in and later lead the Niners to a 15-1 season and a whooping of the San Diego Chargers in Super Bowl XXIX. And of course we have Tom Brady, who is basically Joe Montana 2.0.
All three of those back-ups grew-up in their systems so when it was time to play the offenses didn't miss a beat. Even though it's only his first year that was very apparent in last Sunday's game in Cleveland. Cousins probably isn't the next Young or Brady but he very well could be the next Reich and I'm perfectly okay with that.
As far as trading Cousins goes if he has a few more games like this one the Redskins will definitely get offers but I don't see them trading Cousins for at least two more seasons (right before his last year under his rookie contract) and after they've identified another quarterback in the draft that they can mold to sit behind RG3. Of course that all could change if a team makes the Redskins an offer they can't refuse which could happen given the quarterback situations in Arizona, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Tennessee, Cleveland, New York (Jets), and Oakland.
However, I believe the plan has always been to keep Cousins around for three seasons and use him exactly how we did in Cleveland. We'll see how this off-season plays out but I'm willing to wager that unless the Skins are offered at least two second round picks that they won't be trading Cousins anywhere.
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