I don’t want to sound overly dramatic. It was one quarter of the first preseason game. Also, I am by no means suggesting Kirk Cousins should supplant Robert Griffin III as the Washington Redskins starting quarterback when Griffin returns to health after last season’s knee injury.
However, in terms of the dilemma the team faces regarding the future of Cousins, things certainly did not get any less complicated after his performance in last night’s 22-21 victory against the Tennessee Titans.
To begin, Cousins, the second-year player out of Michigan State, has already shown he has all the attributes of a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL, and potentially even a very good one more. He has arm strength, intelligence, accuracy, size, mental toughness and decent mobility.
Last year, of course, Cousins filled in for an injured Griffin and played well in an overtime victory against the eventual Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, and again the next week in his first career start against the Cleveland Browns.
Last night, Cousins simply picked up where he left off, completing 6-of-7 passes for 52 yards and a touchdown. In short, Cousins has shown the ability to start in the league. Plus, the fact Washington already has its franchise quarterback in Griffin makes Cousins an intriguing trade possibility.
And there is the possibility some team may back a dump truck full of high-round draft picks and other goodies to lure the Redskins into trading Cousins. Keep in mind that the 2013 quarterback class was much weaker than the arguably all-time quarterback class from 2012. Also, the 2014 quarterback class is looking weak as well.
Yes, Cousins has value on the open market. A lot of it.
But he also has a lot of value to the Redskins, and herein lies the rub. Will things play out in the next year and a half where the Redskins are certain of Griffin’s health, and are willing to part with Cousins? Is there possibly room for both Cousins and Griffin? Or are the Redskins best served leveraging Cousins’ value into a trade?
Whatever the case, keep in mind that this decision may have to be made sooner rather than later. Cousins is only signed through 2015, and if he stays with the team through next season without signing an extension, the Redskins may be persuaded into moving him for fear he would walk without them receiving compensation.
Of course, that would presume the team is comfortable with Griffin’s health going forward. And will that be the case?
Time will tell.