Following the Redskins big victory in Cleveland on Sunday, commentators and fans alike are sounding off about Kirk Cousins‘ future as an NFL quarterback. This conversation may seem a bit premature to some folks, but given what we’ve seen thus far from Captain Kirk, the guy can play and the conversation must be brought up. In Cousins’ appearances, he has shown leadership, poise and the ability to learn from his mistakes in the midst of a big game away from home. Cousins’ performance versus the Browns undoubtedly opened some eyes and if he starts versus the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday, he has the chance to help his stock even more.
A look back at two notable NFL trades shows that teams are willing to give up a high draft pick for a relatively unproven quarterback with untapped potential. The trade between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Arizona Cardinals saw the Eagles acquire Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second-round pick for a young, unproven quarterback named Kevin Kolb. The New England Patriots were able to trade quarterback Matt Cassel and linebacker Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City for the Chiefs’ second-round pick as well. Before filling in a full season for the injured Tom Brady, Matt Cassel hadn’t started a game the previous seven seasons dating back to his days as a USC Trojan. Cassel showed potential in his one season as the Patriots starter which is why the Chiefs made the push to trade for him. Currently, there are teams such as the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals who could benefit from having a capable quarterback under center.
Right now, the Robert Griffin III era is just beginning in D.C. and the Redskins faithful is elated to to have their team in a position to win the NFC East. But, this season hasn’t been all glory for RGIII who has been dealt numerous big hits throughout the year. Griffin III suffered a concussion in week 5 versus the Atlanta Falcons, which knocked him out of the game thus giving Kirk Cousins his first taste of regular season action. Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, Griffin III was again knocked out of a game, this time thanks to a major hit from Haloti Ngata.
While Redskins fans have learned to love this years revamped offense, it is blatantly clear that almost every play puts RGIII in a precarious position. This is partially due to RGIII’s unworldly athleticism. A loss can turn into a gain and a two yard run can turn into a 60 yard dash up the field. The kid is dynamic to say the very least. But, sometimes that two yard run ends up being simply that, a two yard run. And a lot of the times on those runs, Griffin III finds himself absorbing big hits. Now, I am not here to drum up the debate of safety and whether or not all these hits will affect a player like Griffin III in the future. On the contrary, I believe that in the spirit of competitiveness and the game of football, you have to take advantage of RGIII’s athletic gifts and keep running this style of offense as long as he can make it work.
The question is, when (and yes, I believe it’s when not if) will this style of play catch up to the Redskins and RGIII? He’s not the biggest guy in the world and as we’ve seen all too often this season, he throws caution to the wind when he’s running around the field making big plays. RGIII has run the ball more then 10 times in 5 games this season and he’s run the ball more then any other quarterback in the league with 112 attempts. As these numbers continue to grow, so does the probability that RGIII will go down again.
So, why not keep Kirk Cousins? Why the rush to showcase and trade him? Many people will argue that Washington should try to sell Cousins to a needy team as soon as possible and try to recoup some of the draft picks that were lost in the trade with St. Louis this past off season. But, as a life long fan of the Burgundy & Gold and having suffered through so many failed QB “saviors” and “experiments”, I must say that having two young quarterbacks that can lead the team to victory is better than one.
I would love to see the ‘Skins hang on to Cousins and develop him behind RGIII. You know, plan for the “what if” scenario. I liken it to a first aid kit. When you take your child to the pool or camping, along with your other essentials, you probably pack a first aid kit. Not because you know your kid will get a bump or bruise, slip or fall. No, you take that first aid kit just in case an accident does happen and above all, you always want to be prepared. While they may not want to consider the scenario, the Redskins top brass must ask the question, what if RGIII gets injured again? And what if the next time, that injury isn’t a mild or minor one? I would say that in our bag of multiple running backs and wide receivers, we should have an extra quarterback that is capable of leading our team to victory.
What do you think the Washington Redskins should do? Is it too early to determine Kirk Cousins’ future? Leave a comment below.