Cousins has too much trade value to remain on Washington's sideline.
Minus a first-round pick, and with a dire need for young inexpensive talent, the Washington Redskins surely aren't in the position to deal away draft picks.
But acquire them, that's a different story. And in backup quarterback Kirk Cousins, general manager Bruce Allen has a trade chip that he'd be wise to explore using come draft day.
Question is, what should Allen and the Redskins be seeking in terms of compensation if they decide to trade Cousins?
Ask Louis Riddick, a former NFL scout and front office executive for the Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles, as The Washington Post's Mark Maske did, and it's plausible that Washington could recoup a second-round pick in a Cousins trade.
A look at the recent history of trades involving inexperienced quarterbacks, and you could find precedent for Washington to seek such compensation for Cousins.
Whitehurst, at the time of the trade, hadn't even started a game in his NFL career.
So with history serving as evidence as to what Washington could, at the very least, acquire in a Cousins trade—a second-round pick—the question shifts to what the Skins should do with their additional draft pick.
What Can Washington Get for Kirk Cousins?
In a scenario in which Washington no longer has Cousins as an insurance policy for franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III, logic should direct the Skins to shore up its offensive line.
Washington's offensive line allowed 43 sacks in 2013 and played an integral role in the slump that bogged down Griffin's sophomore campaign.
With the aforementioned quarterback-needy teams all owning high second-round picks, Washington could net a first-round talent that addresses this pitfall if it trades Cousins.
Prospects like offensive tackle Morgan Moses and guard David Yankey are players that fit this mold. Both are projected by CBSSports.com to be borderline first-round picks.
In addition to upgrading the talent along the offensive line, if either of these players were to fall to Washington—particularly Yankey—the Redskins would be incentivized to cut ties with an overpaid Chris Chester.
With a replacement in tow, Washington could cut ties with Chester and collect $2.7 million in cap saving, according to OverTheCap.com.
So while the durability concerns with Griffin could make it tough for Allen to trade Cousins, it's clear that Cousins' value is greater as a trade asset than as a backup quarterback.