Quarterbacks will come and go, but the franchise will remain. Basically, no one player, no matter how important that one player may be, is ever above the team. No one player should ever hold a team hostage over a contract, no matter how disrespected he may feel over past negotiations on his status with the team.
So this leads me to the question - does Kirk Cousins really want to be a Redskin?
We all just saw Derek Carr sign a five year, $125 million dollar contract, making him the highest paid player in the NFL based on average salary. We also heard that Carr actually left money on the table so his team would not be completely hamstrung in future negotiations with other players.
Here was Carr's announcement on twitter:
Now it's done ! From the jump I've wanted to be a Raider 4 life. One step closer to that! Blessed!!! Business done! Let's just play now!!!— Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) June 22, 2017
Now, this sounds like a man who really wanted to remain a Raider for life!
Things have been very quiet from the Cousins camp. We heard rumors that Kirk went to owner Daniel Snyder and requested a trade in the winter, but those rumors were refuted by Cousins himself. We also heard that a conversation took place between Kirk and ownership, and that Kirk walked away feeling that he was wanted long-term by the organization. Still, we have never heard Kirk come out and say that he WANTS to stay in Washington. I have never heard him publically profess his love for the organization or the city.
Now maybe this is a negotiation tactic he was told to follow by his agent...who really know. The point is, I don't really feel Cousins views his current position with the Redskins as a career - instead, I feel he's looking at it like a job; regardless that the team will have invested $43 million dollars in the quarterback over two years. In my amateur opinion, when a organization invests that type of money in an individual over two years, that is sending a direct message that they want you!
Rumor has it that Cousins would be smitten to play with former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who is now running the show in San Francisco. It also happens, as it stands now, that the 49ers are in search of their next franchise quarterback. Two things also stand out here: 1) the 49ers are not currently a good football team. They may enter the 2018 off-season with a top 5 draft pick, and the way things are setting up now, this could be the best quarterback class to ever enter the NFL. 2) new general manager John Lynch may want to start fresh with his own guy via the draft, instead of a 30 year old signal caller who may have five more good years by the time he gets to town.
Outside of the 49ers, there could be other suitors for Cousins in 2018, but he would most likely have to go into a new city, and learn an entirely new offense. He said last off-season he worked too hard on mastering the offense, and he came in flat because of this. Going to a new team would obviously require even more off-season work to prepare.
So, how much does Cousins really want to remain a Redskin? The team has recently invested a lot of money in a player who is not considered by most to even be a top 10 quarterback in this league. Is he very good, and can the team win with him - absolutely, but should he be holding the team hostage over a contract that is very likely to make him the highest paid quarterback in the league? The Skins have also invested heavily on the offensive line to protect Cousins, and have given him weapons on the outside to be a prolific passer.
The Redskins have committed $43 million to Cousins over the last two years. It's time for Cousins to show some appreciation to the organization for 1) drafting him after many other passed him over - and considering they did so after mortgaging the farm to trade up in 2012 to select Robert Griffin; 2) giving him a shot to become a starter in this league, even after some early struggles and his propensity for un-timely turnovers.
Hey Kirk, D.C. and the fans believe in you. Do you believe in this team?