Kirk Cousins: What the Future Could Hold for the Washington Redskins Quarterback

Korey BeckettContributor IIIAugust 16, 2012

ASHBURN, VA - MAY 06:  Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins practices during the Washington Redskins rookie minicamp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Back in April, when the Redskins drafted Kirk Cousins out of Michigan State, you were either scratching your head or still out partying over the Robert Griffin III acquisition.

When you got back from that party, then you most likely started scratching your head.

I don't blame you, the rest of the press doesn't blame you and the coaching staff probably wouldn't even blame you. It was an intriguing selection.

Now that you've had some time to ponder, and the preseason has started, hopefully the Kirk Cousins pick is starting to make sense.

Just think back to January of this year.

Remember when Matt Flynn broke every single-game Packers passing record against the Lions in Week 17? Don't you think Green Bay wishes they could have gotten something of value in exchange for that performance?

That's exactly what the Redskins are banking on. Take an above-average college quarterback with above-average professional qualities who played in a big-time football conference; keep him as a backup behind your huge first-round investment; profit.

Drafting Kirk Cousins in the fourth round means that he will work for basically nothing, (when I say nothing, I mean in NFL salary terms). It also means he will be hungry to prove himself if given the opportunity.

Here's hoping that he is showcased in the way that Matt Flynn was (starting QB resting after clinching No. 1 seed), instead of Matt Cassel (QB injured the entire year).

Mike Shanahan clearly doesn't have plans for anyone not named "Robert Griffin" to take any snaps at quarterback for at least the next decade, but if Cousins can pop in and get the type of numbers that hungry young backups usually do, at least one team will be willing to overpay to help the Ol' Redskins recoup some of those draft pick losses.

The NFL is a copycat league, we've heard it a thousand times. This is the Redskins' attempt at trying to do the exact same thing the Eagles did with Kevin Kolb when Michael Vick went down (although it seemed like they had an inkling to make him a starter at some point).

The Eagles received a second-round pick and a very good corner in return for Kolb, which is pretty hard to find in this league.

There are two ways the Kirk Cousins experiment could go:

1. A couple of years down the road, Griffin really is the promised one that we all have anointed him to be. The Redskins have the best record in the NFC and have clinched the top seed in the playoffs. Only problem is, there is one regular-season game left and you don't want the Golden Goose to get injured.

In steps Cousins, and has a great showing. Then the "Matt Flynn effect" starts.

Hopefully, if this happens, Cousins is on contract for the following season, or else there would be a Flynn replication. You can't trade someone if they're not on your team.

2. Robert Griffin starts under-performing and all of a sudden, just like every other quarterback-era in the last 20 years in Washington, the backup quarterback becomes the most popular.

People start clamoring for Cousins, and he finally gets the chance to shine.

This is the only way he could be a Redskin in the long-term, because there is no way RG3 will retire anytime soon. This is not a Rodgers-Favre situation.

However you slice it, there will be an opportunity for Kirk Cousins somewhere down the road.

As a Redskins fan and a Kirk Cousins fan, I hope it's with another team. I'm not selfish. Hopefully, his services won't be needed in Washington at any point in his career, and I feel like he has been set up with a great opportunity to be a starter in the NFL as long as he doesn't get down on himself for being a backup in the meantime.

Face it, the guy got screwed out of playing in two BCS games while in East Lansing. The least that karma can give him is an NFL starting job, even if it's just is for one season.

As much as the nation tried to ignore it, Michigan State was relevant again in football for the first time in a long time, and there is a reason for that.'s not Grossman. Here's an interesting quote I received from one of my readers: "Your seething hatred for Rex Grossman makes me smile. I'm not even a Skins fan and I hope he never sees another down for any team... EVER."

After reading that, I'm inclined to end each one of my articles with an anti-Grossman quote from a reader.