Kirk Cousins feels he is ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. The Washington Redskins do not want him to be their starting quarterback. As you can imagine, this creates a trade market for the 25-year-old signal-caller.
That market would seem to suit Cousins fine. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cousins is "open" to being traded. That decision is aided by the fact, as Schefter also points out, that the Redskins are committed to Robert Griffin III as their starting quarterback.
In two seasons with the Redskins, Cousins has played in nine games. Five of those came this past season and four in his rookie season.
Although he's shown flashes of excellence and the ability to make throws all over the field, he has also been plagued by inaccuracy and terrible decision making. None of that seems to be improving with increased playing time, either.
Take a look at how his stats compare from his first year to his second:
|Kirk Cousins Stats|
|Source: Pro Football Reference|
So, the Redskins aren't going to get a ransom for Cousins. In fact, one executive told ESPN's John Keim that the Redskins shouldn't expect anymore than a second- or third-round pick.
That may not be enough to have the Redskins part with Cousins. After all, with Griffin's injury history, backup quarterback is not a position that Washington should overlook.
On the other hand, this franchise needs draft picks.
At any rate, here are three teams that would be wise to kick the tires on Cousins.
In the above article by Schefter, the Cleveland Browns are pointed out as a logical destination. The Browns are in need of identifying their quarterback of the future.
Also, Kyle Shanahan is now the Browns offensive coordinator, and he spent the last two seasons overseeing Cousins in the same capacity for the Redskins.
Still, it doesn't appear that the Browns are overly anxious to land Cousins:
I'm not sure that acquiring Cousins would give the Browns their quarterback of the future, but he would be a decent fit in Cleveland.
The Browns have strong options in the passing game with wide receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron. Cousins has the arm to get them the ball anywhere on the field and make the Browns a real threat in the vertical passing game.
This is a big season for the Oakland Raiders. Both head coach Dennis Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie are entering their third year and are desperate for results.
The Raiders have a lot of holes to fill and a lot of cap money to do so. Still, one of those holes comes at quarterback, and the Raiders may have a hard time finding an upgrade there.
With the fifth selection in the upcoming NFL draft, I expect three quarterbacks off the board, and reportedly, there is only one from that group the Raiders want anyway:
The free-agent market for quarterbacks is not a good option this year. So, what are the Raiders going to do at quarterback?
Of course, Oakland tried a very similar approach last year by trading for Matt Flynn. That didn't work out...at all.
Still, that doesn't mean that Cousins wouldn't work out, and he has the arm talent and experience to be a better option than both Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor.
The Minnesota Vikings are in a similar position to the Raiders. They need a quarterback upgrade and drafting at No. 8, they will likely miss out on the top targets.
On top of that, their best option at quarterback last year, Matt Cassel, has opted to test the free-agent market.
Minnesota needs a passing offense that will help take some of the burden off of running back Adrian Peterson. None of the quarterbacks currently on the roster are in a position to do that, and the best free-agent quarterback is the one who just opted out of his Vikings contract.
Minnesota is on the verge of blowing the opportunity for success that comes along with having one of the greatest running backs of all time because it can't find a quarterback to open up the field.
There is obviously no guarantee that Cousins would help with that process, but the Vikings will have few other options this offseason.