So the offseason has run it’s course, and Kirk Cousins remains the Redskins “franchise QB” strapped to a ticking time bomb.
I’m not quite sure what the Redskins are “hoping” for in how they have played this one, but perhaps this season it will become clear.
GM Scot McCloughan says repeatedly, he hopes Kirk is the team’s QB “for a long time to come.”
Sure, but his chips are not on that line. His chips are on the “Don’t Pass Bar”, not yet convinced the man who saved the entire season for McCloughan and Jay Gruden last August when RG3 imploded in the pre-season, is really “the man.”
Sure, he only set four team records (total yards, total completions, completion percentage, and 300-yard games) and led the NFL in completion percentage. In the final four games of the year, Cousins threw for 12 TDs and ran for 2 more as the Skins offense averaged over 28 ppg.
He did so, without any semblance of a reliable rushing attack. The team finished 20th in ground yards per game, and even that only with a few outlier results. Cousins rushed for 5 TDs. Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, 4. Combined.
As a 4th year player, Kirk has proven his professional discipline, leadership mettle, and patience. Moreover, he did so amidst the turmoil and bullshit of the RG3 experience.
So what exactly are the Redskins afraid of with this guy?
That he’ll revert to a high-interception rate back-up caliber player once you load him up with a long term deal? And that he’ll STAY that way, for the rest of his career here in Washington?
I mean, really, what are the odds of that?
Even if Kirk were to “slump” this year (and let’s be honest, completing nearly 70% of his passes is approaching the NFL QB “sound barrier” in terms of statistics) so what? You are saying you think he can’t or won’t bounce back in 2017?
I know this much: If Kirk plays this year to within the margins of his stats last season – and let’s just call that +/- 10% on the relative stats that matter – then he’s going to break the bank this winter. McLoughan’s options go from terrible to nearly impossible at that point.
He’ll end up paying another 20% on Kirk, which to mean seems an awfully high premium to set yourself up for, just because you aren’t quite sure….. right now.
Like I said at the top: “What are the Redskins brass HOPING for?” For Kirk to fail, so they can let him walk out the door. So they can puff out their chest and say: “See… told ya!” So they can start over from scratch, with no QB of the future on the roster, and quite possibly out of draft position to get one next spring?
I mean, surely McCloughan understands he won’t get Kirk for one penny CHEAPER than what he and his agent are asking for now, does he? If he does, he’s a fool. The salary cap goes up. The price of NFL tickets goes up. The TV contracts keep going up. It’s an up, up, up league.
QB’s ain’t getting any cheaper, either.
Anyone who sits on his ass at home watching this league, knows the essential truth: Either you HAVE a QB, or you have NOTHING.
And “starters” in this league, are guys who START a reliable 16 out of 16 games. They are QB’s who know how to avoid getting destroyed by needless hits in the pocket (think: read and throw!) and are good enough, that it’s pretty clear THEY are not the problem with your team winning and losing games.
These “starters” are not cheap. They are also, not all very sexy or spectacular. They are often guys like Andy Dalton, who was considered overpaid the minute he signed his 2nd contract, and is now a flat out bargain. They are guys like Joe Flacco, who don’t overwhelm you with numbers, but instead keep proving they are “big game hunters” by winning in the playoffs.
By any measure, Kirk Cousins is a “starter.” Therefore, he’s going to get paid like one.
It’s just a measure of how much, and when.