Washington Redskins: Is There a QB Controversy in D.C.?

Jordan PittContributor IIDecember 17, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 07: Quarterbacks Robert Griffin III #10 (L) and Kirk Cousins #12 of the Washington Redskins take the field before playing the Atlanta Falcons at FedExField on October 7, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Is there a quarterback controversy brewing in the nation’s capital? That’s a conversation some people might be having after Kirk Cousins led the Redskins past the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon.  

The answer, of course, is no.

As well as Kirk Cousins played—and he really did have a fantastic game—when Robert Griffin III is fully healthy and ready to play, the job is unquestionably his.

If Griffin was Alex Smith, then Cousins might have just played himself into a starting position. Of course Griffin isn’t Smith.  He is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL and his play has been largely responsible for the Redskins success this season.

Lest we forget, Griffin is second in the NFL in passer rating, has thrown 18 touchdowns to only four interceptions, leads the league in yards per attempt and has run for 748 yards and four touchdowns.

Come next week or maybe the week after, Cousins will once again find himself relegated to the role of backup. Eventually though possibly as soon as next season, Cousins will be a starting quarterback. It just won’t be for the Redskins.

Should the Redskins decide to trade Cousins after the season, they may very well be able to acquire two second rounds picks for him, according to former GM Charlie Casserly:

“I’ll tell you what, you’ve got a minimum of a second-round pick on the table, I think,” Casserly said Sunday evening. “I think if you can work it — and Bruce Allen’s a terrific trader — if you can work it, you might be able to pull two No. 2s out of this thing.”

Considering Cousins was a fourth round draft pick, and one that most people thought was a terrible choice, that would be quite a steal for Redskins coach Mike Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen.

The question is then, should the Redskins trade Cousins if they can get at least two second round draft picks? There are, according to Casserly, plenty of teams that are in need of a quarterback who would be viable trading partners:

Now what you’re gonna need is a team that needs a quarterback…That’s simple. I just wrote down Buffalo, Arizona, the Jets and Kansas City — four teams right there. You’ve got to have a team that liked him in college, because he hasn’t played a lot. But there ought to be enough people that [did]. And then when you look at this draft, there are not a lot of quarterbacks that are gonna jump out to you.

Kansas City and Arizona, you’re talking about top five picks…If they don’t want to take a quarterback that high — which they probably don’t — now do I feel more comfortable with a Kirk Cousins, who I liked in college? I’ve seen him play in the pros. He plays another game like this, hey, I’m gonna give up a second [rounder], not even batting an eye. Now I’m gonna get squeezed by the Redskins, and maybe I’m gonna give up two, like the Matt Schaub trade to Houston. So they’ve got a shot right now to start regrouping some things.

The Redskins need draft picks. They don’t have a first round pick in the next two drafts as a result of the RG3 trade. Trading away Cousins would help the Redskins restock, which in turn would help them improve even more.

Of course Cousins also provides the Redskins with a pretty reliable security blanket. Griffin has already gotten hurt twice this season. With his style of play, there will always be the potential for him to get hurt. Having Cousins gives the Redskins an excellent—not to mention cheap—backup who can fill in if Griffin ever goes down. And as the Chicago Bears and Houston Texans know, having a good backup quarterback is important.

So what do you think, is there a quarterback controversy in Washington? Should the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins?