News of a trade involving the Buffalo Bills trade has come out for the second day in a row. Yesterday news leaked that the Philadelphia Eagles were trading RB LeSean McCoy to Buffalo for LB Kiko Alonso. Today, the Bills announced they had traded some undisclosed draft picks to acquire QB Matt Cassell. The first trade obviously affects the Washington Redskins because it takes one of the NFL's best RBs out of the division. The only direct impact the second trade has on the Redskins is they are scheduled to play the Bills this season and could be facing Cassell.
The news also brought Washington's backup QBs into the conversation. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport mentioned that Cousins name was thought to be in trade talks around the league, but now it sounds like he will remain with the Redskins to compete with Robert Griffin III. He also mentioned that Colt McCoy is likely to end up with a different team next season, but he didn't elaborate any further.
In QB news: Thought #Bills might Kirk Cousins, but sounds like he’s staying in DC to compete with RGIII. Colt McCoy likely elsewhere— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2015
Shortly before Rapoport's tweet, ESPN's John Keim also brought up the possibility of Kirk Cousins being traded this year. Cousins is on the final year of his rookie deal, and there has been speculation that Cousins would be a trade candidate since he was drafted. Keim reports no activity or buzz on the Cousins trade front, and mentions that coaches like him. Keim has previously stated that the coaching staff likes Cousins, but the turnovers, and not being able to shake them off were crippling.
Vikings trade QB. Will the Redskins? Haven't heard any buzz (to this point) regarding Skins desire to trade Cousins. Coaches do like him.— John Keim (@john_keim) March 4, 2015
When Jay Gruden spoke at the NFL Scouting Combine last month, he made sure that it was publicly known that Robert Griffin III was the #1 QB going into the offseason. He also made it clear that Griffin needs to improve his game if he wants to maintain that status.
"Robert ended the season as the starter and we anticipate that moving forward and we anticipate both of them with a good frame of mind and eager to get better," Gruden said. "We'll go into the season with Robert as the No. 1 guy obviously, and it's up to Robert to continue to grow and mature as a quarterback and a person and moving forward, we just want to see some improvement. That's up to us as a staff to get more out of him."
After the season the talk centered around having a QB competition, and earning the starting role.
"I'd like to pick one as soon as I could so we could try to work and grind on him and develop him," Gruden said. "But until that position is earned, you have to have a competition. I anticipate us having a competition at a lot of spots, and quarterback is no different next year."
Many people have speculated that the Griffin proclamation at the Combine was simply to shut out the noise that will follow the team into the offseason if there is no clear #1 QB. Cousins and Griffin, and possibly a vet QB that will be signed, will compete for the starting job. How that competition will be judged and who will be making the final decision is left up to everyone's imagination and speculation.
Scot McCloughan was hired to fill the roster and find the talent. He declared you don't give up on young QBs too soon which would apply to both Griffin and Cousins. Dan Snyder and Bruce Allen have a vested interest in Griffin's success since they are the ones responsible for bringing him here at an enormous cost. Some will argue that it is a sunk cost and should not affect future decisions, but it's always there and it matters to the people who paid it. Jay Gruden was obviously frustrated with Griffin's poor play last year, but Cousins interceptions led to him being dropped to 3rd string on the depth chart. Will they both get a fair shot this year, or is Cousins here as injury insurance for Griffin?