Greason: Considering where Kirk Cousins could land
Elizabeth Greason | Thursday, February 1, 2018
On Tuesday, a trade agreement was made for Kansas City’s king of consistency, Alex Smith, to be dealt to the Washington Redskins once the NFL’s new year begins on March 14. What this essentially means is the Redskins are bidding farewell to six-year veteran quarterback Kirk Cousins, whose tenure with the team has certainly not always been smooth sailing. But, after back-to-back franchise tags, Cousins will finally be free of Washington. The real question is, with so many squads on the hunt for a quarterback this offseason, where will the 29-year-old find himself?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs’ only quarterback in franchise history to leave the team with a winning record, Brad Johnson, played for the team from 2001-2004. Jameis Winston has brought the team marginal success in recent years, making the Pro Bowl his rookie season and bringing Tampa Bay to the playoffs in his first two seasons. This season, however, the squad went 5-11, and Winston missed three games due to injury. The biggest issue throughout the three years, though, has been Winston’s immaturity. Many hoped Winston would leave his troubled past of sexual-assault allegations behind when he left Florida State, but new allegations have come since then that the NFL is investigating. It’s time for the Bucs’ front office to step in and make a change under center, and Cousins could be an ideal candidate. He’s the opposite of Winston and could provide the drastic shift in tone the Buccaneers need.
New York Jets
The Jets have been a mess for as long as I can remember. When I hear “Jets,” I think “butt fumble.” And a lot — not all, but a lot — of the Jets problem have stemmed from an inconsistency at the quarterback position. Should Cousins land at MetLife Stadium next season, he could alleviate some of that long-lasting strife for Jets fans. Josh McCown will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, so there’s a chance the Jets will be looking for a quarterback anyway. Who better to fill that slot than a reasonably successful veteran? You like that?
The Broncos ran through three starters this season. Despite the fact that Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Brock Osweiler all have talent, each was unable to take Denver where it wanted to go and — are you sensing a trend yet? — it may be time for a change. The Broncos thrived under the leadership of Peyton Manning, and they may not have been quite ready for Siemian when he took over after Manning’s retirement. Some more experience under center could help the Broncos get back in fighting shape after a 5-11 season. Broncos linebacker Von Miller said as much Tuesday: “We need Kirk. I would like to have Kirk. We have great quarterbacks now; Kirk could take us over the edge.”
There’s an infamous photo of a Browns jersey that gets updated every time the eternally troubled team gets a new quarterback. The previous name gets crossed off and a new piece of tape gets added with a new name. Well, DeShone Kizer didn’t exactly pan out this year, as Cleveland became just the second team ever to go 0-16. So, why not add another name to the jersey this year? Cousins’ name might look nice right underneath Kizer’s. Yes, the Browns have draft picks aplenty this season, but if they could snag Cousins, they could save those picks for another position they need filled, because they certainly have plenty of needs. But, if I were Cousins, building a Browns program from the ground up certainly would not be my first choice.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.