Following the news that Kirk Cousins could not reach a long term deal with Washington on Monday, many speculate that he will leave the Redskins in 2018 for a team like the San Francisco 49ers. But if the 49ers decide not to wait and choose to trade for Cousins now, it might be the best for all parties involved and here’s why:
Trading Cousins now is good for the Redskins
Washington’s mishandling of Kirk Cousins is one of the major reasons that they are in the position of placing the franchise tag on him for the second straight year and are likely to see him leave after the 2017 season if they don’t trade him before then. But they took their mismanagement to burning-bridge levels when president Bruce Allen released a public statement trying to paint Cousins as greedy and their offer as generous. To make matters worse, Allen referred to Kirk as “Kurt” multiple times in an interview:
Please enjoy Bruce Allen calling his franchise quarterback by the wrong first name six times in two minutes pic.twitter.com/BVkahmTeqo
— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) July 18, 2017
Let’s be honest, this relationship is now at the breaking point and this acrimony does not bode well for the 2017 season. Washington has never felt Kirk is worth a generous, long-term deal, Cousins has been consistently low-balled and disrespected by the Redskins and now they are supposed to join hands and sing Kumbaya for the start of 2017 training camp?
To keep Cousins in 2018, Washington would have to slap a 3rd franchise tag on him which would result in having to pay him $34.5 million in 2018 or use a transition tag which would likely lead to them not being able to match another team’s offer. So if the Redskins don’t plan to build around Cousins in 2018 and face a 2017 that is likely to be a dysfunctional season, doesn’t it make the most sense for them to start the rebuilding now and get something in return for Cousins?
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Trading for Cousins now is good for the 49ers
We have gone on the record predicting that Brian Hoyer will exceed expectations with the 49ers in 2017, but it still makes the most sense for the 49ers to trade for Kirk Cousins ASAP. Kyle Shanahan has a lot of experience and great relationship with Kirk from their two years together in Washington. More importantly, Shanahan believes that Cousins is a great fit for his offensive system and it would make the most sense to get the best fit as soon as possible and before the start of your first training camp.
Rumors of a trade between the 49ers and Redskins for Kirk Cousins have been swirling since John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan took the reins of the front office, and the 49ers current depth chart at quarterback reflects the reality that the current front office is still in search of a franchise quarterback. If the 49ers are putting all of their faith and money on coach Shanahan, then it makes the most sense to let him choose his quarterback of the future and to do it sooner rather than later. Why have a place-holder quarterback like Hoyer when you can start building your team around Cousins right now?
A trade before the 2017 season is good for Kirk Cousins
As mentioned previously, Cousins has been disrespected and low-balled by the Redskins to where it seems their relationship has reached the point of no return. How do you think you would perform for and gel with an organization that attempted to publicly sully your name after refusing to invest in you year after year?
In all likelihood, Cousins 2017 season will be miserable if he stays with the Redskins. He is likely highly motivated to get away from Washington and for a fresh start. According to reports, Cousins had previously expressed interest in going to San Francisco where he would be reunited with his former coach Shanahan, who happens to be represented by Cousin’s same agent.
While some still question Kirk Cousin’s abilities as a quarterback under pressure, citing his questionable performances when playoffs were on the line, these media analysts are not professional athletes nor NFL coaches. If Shanahan believes that Cousins is one of the top 7 quarterbacks in the league, which NFL media analyst can say they know better than him? If Cousins performed as well as he did for an organization that never gave him security, imagine how he could flourish when he has the full trust and support of one of the youngest, most innovative offensive minds in the NFL.