Could Redskins Interest in Pat White Spell the End of Cousins in Washington?

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Could Redskins Interest in Pat White Spell the End of Cousins in Washington?
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins turned some heads last year by selecting two quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL draft.

That strategy turned out to be a very sound one, as Kirk Cousins took the field for a late-season start and led the team to a win over the Cleveland Browns while Robert Griffin was sidelined by a knee injury.

Now it appears that the Redskins are set to turn heads again, by preparing to sign a player who may well wind up as Cousins' replacement clipboard holder behind Griffin.

Former West Virginia and Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White, who has been out of the NFL since being cut by the Dolphins in 2010, is in Washington for a workout and is expected to be signed by the team, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

White worked out with the San Francisco 49ers last week, and cancelled a similar workout with the New York Giants, which would seem to indicate that the Redskins are serious about bringing White on board.

As Ralph Vacchiano of The New York Daily News pointed out, part of the Giants' interest in White, who was the NCAA's all-time rushing leader among quarterbacks when he left West Virginia, was as a scout-team type who could help the team prepare for the read-option offense run by the Redskins and other NFL teams.

Many have asserted that the Redskins are simply trying to prevent the Giants from doing that, as well as procuring a player who can at least run the read-option in minicamps while Griffin continues to rehab from ACL surgery.

It could well be that's all it is, but there's a chance it could become quite a bit more.

Granted, seeing it that way takes a bit of a leap of faith. After all, the 27-year-old White hasn't played in the NFL since 2009, and White has yet to complete a pass in a regular season NFL game.

However, a large part of White's lack of success in his first NFL stint can be attributed to timing.

As in White's could not have been worse.

Back in 2009, "read-option" was a four-letter word in the NFL. Option quarterbacks were generally considered poor pro prospects. In fact, the main reason that the Dolphins drafted White was to run the "Wildcat" packages that the team favored at the time.

This isn't to say that White was a phenomenal NFL prospect, but he also wasn't ever really given a chance. His playing time as a rookie was nearly non-existent, White sustained a concussion in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and just like that his NFL career was over.

Now, the read-option is all the rage in the NFL, and White has a second chance.

White's trying to jump-start that career again, and it appears that D.C. is the place that's going to happen. If he fares well in training camp, then in theory White could offer the team a backup to Griffin who is a much better fit for the read-option than Kirk Cousins is.

That means that the Redskins wouldn't have to alter the offense significantly if Griffin went down again, and it could potentially make Cousins an expendable asset.

As an expendable asset, Cousins would be a very valuable one.

If the Redskins sign Pat White, is Kirk Cousins expendable?

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Given his very reasonable salary, and how he performed in his start against the Browns last year, interest in Cousins as a trade target would all but certainly be robust. The Redskins would probably net a nice package of picks for the 24-year-old.

If the team chose to go that route. The point is they'd have a number of options.

Granted, that's not going to happen this season. With Griffin rehabbing his injured knee there's next to no chance that the team would risk dealing Cousins until they're sure that their franchise signal-caller is absolutely 100 percent.

However, if White can rise from the ashes and at least give the team a solid read-option backup, then it's possible that the 2014 offseason could be a very busy one in the nation's capital.

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