Media outlets all over the country are running with the notion that Sunday’s game against the Giants could be Kirk Cousins last in a Redskins uniform - and it very well may be. Come the new year, the team will need to make a decision on whether or not to offer Cousins a long-term contract, likely making him the highest paid player in the NFL, tag him again for the third consecutive season, or just let him walk via free agency.
It has been reported by Ian Rapoport, that according to his “sources,” the Redskins still do not have a long-term contract offer on the table for Cousins. This was over a month ago, and it supposedly upset Cousins enough, that while on 106.7 The Fan as a guest, he said, "If you still need five more games, or five-plus, to make a decision, so be it, but I'd like to think that I've played a lot of football here.”
The bad taste left in Cousins’ mouth over the botched attempts by owner Daniel Snyder and his henchman Bruce Allen, to not offer him a fair long-term deal ever since his rookie contract expired at the end of the 2015 season, may be enough for Cousins to want to hit free agency without attempting to negotiate a deal before 4:00 pm on March 14th.
In a final breath of desperation, the Redskins could turn to the tag yet again, at an exorbitant rate of $34.47 million dollars ($28 million - transition tag) for 2018. If they do go the transition route, and the teams fails to match any contract offer by another team, Cousins goes to his new team for no compensation. The Redskins could possibly get a 2019 third-round compensatory pick if Cousins walks.
To save face among his loyal fan base, owner Daniel Snyder could command Bruce Allen to offer Cousins a fair market contract for 5 years, $125 million, with a $45 million dollar signing bonus, and an astronomical $85 million guaranteed. This would be less on yearly average than the record-breaking deal Matt Stafford just signed with the Lions. Cousins and his agent may look to top the $135 million deal that Stafford received, and if/when the Redskins don’t budge off of their initial offer, the spin could be that Cousins was too greedy, and that the Redskins didn’t want to hamstring themselves for the future on just one player.
If negotiations went down this road, and both teams decided it best to part ways for the 2018 season, the Redskins would be forced to turn to the NFL draft in hopes of finding their franchise quarterback for the future.
One small step must exist before that were to happen...
If Snyder wants to attempt to endear himself to his loyal fanbase again, and put people in the stands, he first must get rid of the Cancer that is Bruce Allen!
Getting a true General Manager to replace Allen, having that individual select the team’s new quarterback in a loaded draft class, and working on a deal to build a new stadium in a more desirable location, could go a long way towards repairing an image that is heavily tarnished due to years of incompetence and mismanagement.
Finding a true general manager is not an easy task, but there are some very qualified individuals out there who Snyder could turn to.
Doug Williams - The 62 year old former Redskins Super Bowl winning quarterback turned Senior Vice President of Player Personnel, could step into the role left vacant by firing Bruce Allen. Williams would bring with him years of experience as a player, coach, coordinator of scouting and VP to his new roll. He could also offer some continuity among the front office, and give fans a name they are familiar with.
George Paton - Vikings Assistant General Manager
Eric DeCosta - Ravens Assistant General Manager
Nick Caserio - Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel
Eliot Wolf - Packers Director of Football Operations
Duke Tobin - Bengals Director of Player Personnel
Joe Douglas - Eagles Vice President of Player Personnel
Scott Pioli - Falcons Assistant General Manager
Jerry Reese - Former Giants General Manager
Once a General Manager is in place in D.C., it becomes time to start evaluating quarterbacks in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Below is a list of potential quarterbacks who will be available this spring in the first round:
Sam Darnold, USC - 6’4” 225 (rs SO)
Josh Rosen, UCLA - 6’4” 218 (JR)
Josh Allen, Wyoming - 6’5” 233 (JR)
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma - 6’1” 220 (SR)
Lamar Jackson, Louisville - 6’3” 210 (JR)
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State - 6’4” 233 (SR)
Assuming the four underclassmen above all officially declare for the 2018 NFL Draft, the Redskins should be able to get one of these six top signal callers to be their new franchise quarterback.
Below are teams who will likely pick ahead of the Redskins, and who could be in the market for a quarterback:
There is a good chance at least one of these teams gets a veteran quarterback like Cousins, Alex Smith, Eli Manning or whichever quarterback the Vikings don’t retain.
Snyder fires Allen in early January. The Redskins hire George Paton to become our next General Manager. Paton keeps Doug Williams in his current role. The writing is already on the wall that Cousins is leaving, and the team doesn’t attempt to apply a third franchise tag.
The Redskins finished the season at 8-8, and head into the draft with the 14th overall pick.
2018 NFL Mock Draft (up through the Redskins pick at 14):
1) Browns: Sam Darnold QB USC
2) Giants: Josh Rosen QB UCLA
3) Colts: Bradley Chubb DE NC St
4) Browns (via Texans): Saquon Barkley RB PSU
5) Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick DB Alabama
6) Broncos: Quenton Nelson OG Notre Dame (signed Kirk Cousins as a free agent)
7) Jets: Lamar Jackson QB Louisville
8) 49ers: Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
9) Bears: Denzel Ward CB Ohio St
10) Bengals: Conner Williams OT Texas
11) Raiders: Roquan Smith LB Georgia
12) Dolphins: Derwin James S Florida St
13) Cardinals: Josh Allen QB Wyoming
14) Redskins: Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma
In this scenario, the record-setting Heisman winning quarterback lands in Washington to take over for the departed Kirk Cousins. Although Mayfield is just a tad over 6’0” tall, he has a thick build, uncanny accuracy and a very good arm to push the ball downfield. He also displays great pocket awareness, and the ability to scramble and make plays when the pocket breaks down. He can throw the ball from a variety of different arm angles to make up for his lack of height in the pocket. He is the ultimate competitor, and a player that will put fans in the stands for owner Dan Snyder.
How do you feel about this scenario in general?
- Do you agree with firing Bruce Allen? Should Snyder keep him and give him another “figure-head” type title?
- Do you agree with the General Manager candidates? Who would you add? Who would you subtract?
- How do you feel about the draft pick? Would you trade up for a different QB? Would you sit tight and take a different QB? Would you wait until the second round and grab a second-tier QB?
- Instead of drafting a new QB, would you give Colt McCoy a chance? Would you sign a veteran free agent?
Please discuss these questions and more in the comments section.