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Redskins QB options: Find a cheap rookie, or pay Kirk Cousins top money?

Washington Redskins v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins and QB Kirk Cousins were unable to work out a long-term deal, and if the reports are true, they never even came close. The Redskins will now pay Cousins $19.95 million this year, and be back in the same situation next year. Cousins team reportedly wanted $44 million guaranteed(the combination of the 2016 and 2017 tag numbers), and the Redskins offer never came close. Mike Garofolo reported that Washington offered a deal that averaged $16 million/yr, with $24 million guaranteed. That offer never changed, and was never going to be accepted by Cousins.

Do the Redskins want to see more from Cousins, or do they already have a set number they aren’t going to go above? Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio did a guest spot on MMQB today and seems to think the Redskins know what they have, and aren’t going to break the bank to keep it.

Florio’s premise is that Scot McCloughan is confident he can find a similar QB within the next two years to groom, and indoctrinate into Jay Gruden’s system. Kirk Cousins is not a special talent, but a serviceable option to run the Redskins current offensive scheme. Is this pure speculation from Florio, possibly, but it’s an option that a lot of Redskins fans don’t want to consider. The QB position has been a nightmare in Washington for a long time, and the idea that the team will continue the never-ending story at the position is disappointing.

Here is Florio’s take on the situation, BS or a real concern?

It’s not easy to reconcile the team’s willingness to give Cousins nearly $20 million guaranteed for one year but only $24 guaranteed on a multi-year deal. The answer resides in G.M. Scot McCloughan’s quiet confidence that he can find another quarterback with comparable skill for a lot less money.

The team believes that, by 2017 or 2018, it will have found a quarterback on a slotted, low-money rookie four-year deal who can do what Cousins does, or close to it. That could be 2016 rookie sixth-rounder Nate Sudfeld, or it could be someone else. Regardless, Washington believes that someone younger, cheaper, and just as good if not better can be found, if Cousins still insists after 2016 or 2017 on breaking the bank.

The process definitely entails risk, both that they’re paying Cousins too much this year (e.g., the Ryan Fitzpatrick phenomenon) and that they won’t find someone as good or better. Regardless, with a $19.95 million bird in the hand, Cousins had no reason to accept the offer on a multi-year contract. Now, the challenge for Washington will be to go find its two in the bush, before Cousins flies away.

Scot McCloughan has also said this recently about Kirk Cousins:

I told Kirk when he came in—and his wife must have hugged me for 10 minutes because he just went from making $600,000 to $19.9 million—I told him, "You take care of me and this organization, we're going to take care of you. I promise. And we're going to build this roster to where you can be average and still be good. I promise you."

Let me overpay him if he's good. If you have a productive guy, it helps everything, and it proves out. You look around this league and see the teams that are in the playoffs every year and look who the quarterbacks are. Look at the ones who win. It proves out. Don't get me wrong, the O-line is huge. The running game is huge, which we had in Seattle. But when it's all said and done and the quarterback can get the guys rallied around him, you have a chance.

Sounds like he’s ready to move on...