Why Kirk Cousins Should Be Traded by the Washington Redskins

Matt Bowen@@IsItGameTimeYetAnalyst IISeptember 2, 2012

August 18, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.  Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE
Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE

The Washington Redskins were bold in the 2012 NFL draft when they took rookie quarterback Kirk Cousins in the fourth round after selecting fellow rookie Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 overall pick.

While head coach Mike Shanahan clearly stated that he had the desire to draft another rookie to grow alongside RG3, the organization paid a king's ransom for highly praised Griffin III and need to recoup a couple of draft picks for the near future. 

Combined with their first two picks from the 2012 NFL draft, the Redskins also gave their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014 to the St. Loius Rams for the rights to the No. 2 overall pick this season. While RG3 sure looks like he's ready to dazzle fans for the next decade, Cousins turned some heads himself this preseason.

Cousins was said to be a second-round talent (h/t Scout.com), but slipped to the fourth round before the 'Skins took him. Over the course of the preseason, Cousins went 42-for-73 through the air for a total of 560 passing yards. Yes, it's only the preseason, and even though Cousins faced second- and third-string defenders, those guys were playing for their NFL lives.

Despite a strong start to his NFL career, he's listed as the No. 3 quarterback in Washington right now behind RG3 and veteran Rex Grossman.

This is where the situation gets interesting for the Redskins—while their thought process is understood regarding the fact that they took two rookie quarterbacks to mature together, why bury Cousins on the depth chart when he has the potential to be a starter in the NFL? 

Cousins' teammates with the Redskins have noticed his ability to direct the offense and he has won respect (h/t The Washington Times). Let's not forget he was a three-year captain during his days at Michigan State and led the Spartans to back-to-back 11-win seasons in 2010-11. 

His leadership skills in the huddle can be compared to those of New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. Plus, Cousins is a natural quarterback, where Tebow is a natural athlete. Regardless, Cousins has what it takes to make a team a contender. 

The organization's decision to draft Cousins may have truly been as an insurance policy in case RG3 falls to injury, but that's the wrong mentality to have. While they may not admit it, having the the thought that RG3 may be injured because of his dual-threat ability is poison. If the team firmly believes in RG3, they'll trade Cousins.  

While there's no doubt that RG3 will be the starting quarterback, there's no guarantee that the Redskins produce winning results this season. Their depth in the running game and wide receiver threats are questionable at the moment and the 2012 NFL season kicks off in a matter of days.

Lacking a first-round pick for the next two years, the Redskins need the extra draft picks that Cousins would bring to the team. It's true that the market for "groomed" backup quarterbacks has dried up around the league, but Cousins is just a rookie.

Yes, he was taken in the fourth round, but his leadership ability along with his solid preseason would fetch a couple of mid-round picks in the 2013 NFL draft.

There is more than one NFL team who is currently contemplating blowing up their current roster and looking for a quarterback with supreme game-management skills. They should be on the phone to the Washington Redskins right now asking what it takes to get Cousins.

As for the notion that the 'Skins want a young backup to develop with RG3, they can always draft another late-round quarterback next season.

Cousins' all-around game is too strong to hold a clipboard his entire career. With the Redskins already going "all-in" for RG3, now is the time to trade Cousins and start building around their franchise quarterback, not behind him.