Washington Redskins Still Shouldn’t Trade Kirk Cousins

By Greg Bradshaw
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

I’m getting sick of all the talk about trading Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. While he filled in admirably for starting quarterback Robert Griffin III for three games in 2013, there’s no long-term future for Cousins in Washington.

Everyone knows that Griffin is the undisputed starter, a decision that was recently reinforced by new Redskins head coach Jay Gruden. That could mean that he will never see the field for the Redskins in 2014, if ever. That’s a cold reality for Cousins, who has the skills to be an efficient NFL starter.

In the past, I’ve maintained that the Redskins shouldn’t trade Cousins. As I write this, I still stand by that statement. Griffin regressed considerably in 2013, which could be attributed to him not being the same player he was before his torn ACL injury. Or maybe the hype showered on RG3 has caused him to become complacent. It doesn’t matter, as Washington’s 3-13 record in 2013 has put the entire franchise and its fan base on edge.

Keeping Cousins on the roster is critical for the Redskins. What if RG3 never regains the form that made him the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year? Washington needs someone that has a good rapport with the offense that can step in and be efficient. Rex Grossman is the only other quarterback on the roster, which means the Redskins don’t have anyone else besides Cousins that can fill in at quarterback if RG3 doesn’t regain some part of his rookie form.

Trading Cousins could allow Washington to recoup some draft picks they lost to the St. Louis Rams. The Redskins traded future first and second round picks for the right to draft Griffin in 2012. Trading Cousins in an effort to receive those draft picks is not a guaranteed proposition, as Cousins doesn’t have the upside that Griffin has. Besides, the Redskins’ trading of draft picks in recent years have led to the current woebegone status of the franchise. It’s a cycle that Washington needs to break if they want to become relevant again.

But I digress. Cousins is under contract with the Redskins for the next two seasons, and keeping him as insurance to back up RG3 is still the best option for the Redskins. Of course, the franchise runs the risk of losing Cousins to free agency in 2016 without receiving anything in return. Still, the Redskins need to take their lumps for a few more years and not trade Cousins.

By 2016, Washington should have recouped most of their draft picks in an effort to build their roster. Redskins fans hope that’s true in the coming years.

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