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  1. #1

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    B Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    Examining the circumstances surrounding Kirk Cousins there were two mistakes that made along the way. Are the Redskins about to make a third mistake?

    We take you back to the late afternoon of January 10, 2016 and the Redskins were eliminated from the playoffs only a few minutes prior. In early December the team figured to be out of the playoffs with a 5-7 record after a tough game at home against division rival Dallas. The 19-16 loss had local media and fans thinking of the offseason and future players that could fill the roster via free agency and the draft. The main question focused on quarterback.

    The Redskins won the next game over the hapless Bears, but even at 6-7 the Redskins were not in realistic playoff contention. Fortunes reversed sharply the following week as the Redskins evened their record at 7-7. The next game was for the division title and what seemed like a distant dream became a memorable reality with a victory over the Eagles.

    After another late season win the Redskins were in the playoffs, but sputtered against the Packers. The late season charge was led by Kirk Cousins and his superb leadership. Extending him was tricky at that juncture. Would the Redskins give Cousins a franchise contract after a remarkable half season of football? Of course not. It was wise to wait another year, but a bigger mistake was made by exercising a first round option on Robert Griffin’s contract after the 2014 season and guaranteeing a $16 million salary for 2015. This would be the first misstep in a series of blunders from the front office. There was nothing to indicate that Griffin would regain his 2012 form or become a pocket passer.

    Fast forward to the 2016 season. Griffin was gone – exiled to the woeful Cleveland Browns and Cousins was playing on the franchise tag. The front office wanted to see him perform in a “prove it” season. Cousins responded with a record breaking season, but came up short of making the playoffs. The front office chose to franchise him for a second straight season – that was mistake number two. If the Redskins would’ve transition-tagged him at that juncture, they could’ve matched any offer and likely would’ve done so. The contract was probably going to cost about $23 million to $24 million for five years – similar to the deal that Alex Smith has now.

    The 2017 season was one of promise, but turned to futility as injuries and various problems took a toll. Cousins still had a good season, but the team was ready to move on from the signal caller. He could not elevate his game late in the season in 2016 and 2017. Combine that with lamentable efforts in critical games (including the playoff appearance) and it was painfully obvious that it was time to move on from number eight. However, are the Redskins about to make mistake number three?

    Is it possible that Kirk Cousins would’ve signed a new deal after the 2015 season? The answer we now know is emphatically in the negative. He never wanted to negotiate with the Redskins once Griffin had that option exercised. Cousins was insulted by that move and while that may seem like an outrageous reaction, it is simply the reality of that mistake by the front office. Number eight was never going to negotiate a long term deal. The only way the Redskins could’ve kept Cousins was to match a transition tag offer after the 2016 season. Hence, mistake number two.

    The Redskins simply can’t afford to make mistake number three. There are reports that the Redskins want to transition or franchise tag Cousins one more time, but with the idea of trading him for compensation. This would be mistake number three. There are too many scenarios to discuss here, but tagging him one more time could be extremely costly in many ways. The Redskins have a quarterback now who wants to be with the organization and is excited to be in town. Kirk Cousins wanted out of town a long time ago. We could argue the many reasons why he soured on the team, but that would accomplish nothing.

    It is time for the Redskins to move on and let Kirk Cousins walk on March 14.
    Last edited by Boone; 02-13-18 at 01:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    BB - forgive me, but I thought your post had little to do with current draft/FA stuff, but more importantly deserved its own thread.

    That's a pretty concise summary for me of what transpired. Some additional thoughts I have:

    1) I think the Cousins situation was doomed from the start by definition of an eventual starter being drafted numerous rounds after a 'star' QB. Cousins likely believed he was the superior QB (and he was), so seeing Griffin get the star treatment, all of that attention and glory, and eventually the $$, it must have really eaten away at him. By the time his value was recognized by the team, he had been here long enough to price himself out of our market. The irony is, it was the Redskins high regard for Cousins in the first place that resulted in them drafting him before any other NFL squad, even in a situation where they didn't need to draft a QB. But rather than appreciating that, Cousins has always seemed to resent it.

    2) I think a lot of these resentful feelings were brewing when the Shanahans were sent packing. Say what you will about the Shanahans, but I think Kirk held them in high regard and vice versa. Their firing could not have set well with Kirk. It may have been that act that set the outcome of all this in concrete, as I can only imagine all of the negative conversations Cousins had with the Shanahans after their firing. Many point to McCloughan's firing as some major event but I doubt Kirk was impacted by that at all.

    3) This will sound like criticism - but it actually isn't. Cousins is one of those guys that 'needs to feel loved'. I had a former boss say this about me after stepping down from a position not too long ago. At first it stung me - but the more I thought about it, the less like a criticism it felt like. I don't want work to be just 'tolerable'. I want to love who I work with, and I want them to 'love' me. Just how I'm built. I think that while Cousins respects Jay Gruden, and has acknowledged that he helped him become an NFL starter, Gruden isn't about 'showing the love', unless we're talking about the 'tough' variety. Gruden is blunt, has high expectations, and isn't shy about expressing himself when it comes to a QBs positives as well as negatives. He almost always says what he thinks. I can't think of an approach more different than that of Cousins, who is sensitive, needs a lot of moral support, and who hides his true feelings behind a mask of Boy Scout niceties.

    Sometimes, an employee just isn't a good fit with the staff around him, the job expectations, or the environment. I know that as Redskins fans, we just assume (and perhaps rightfully so) that the 'environment' is a purely poisonous one in Ashburn. I don't know that this is exactly true. I just don't think Cousins wanted to be here - and that may have been the case from the moment he was drafted by us.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    No problem. I just thought this was the week to write and post this piece as there is no FA activity or prospects news. The tags will be applied next week and since that is FA related, I thought that putting it in the offseason thread would suffice. But again, no issues with the decision.

    I agree with your points, but did not want the blog to be too long and wordy. Other members will likely have many other points to make as well. This was just to say that it is time to move on.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    Good summary B.B. I don’t think the Redskins will tag Cousins in any way, but I believe they discussed it as they should have. And if they had an honest discussion about it, they would realize there is no way they should actually do this. As you mentioned, the risks are high and it benefits Cousins in no way to sign a tag to be traded.

    Now, we’ve seen the Redskins do stupid stuff before, so I’m not going to say it will never happen. But I don’t think it’s likely to happen. I think they realize the best move is to just let it go at this point.


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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    I liked your write up B.B.

    No way in hell we need to tag a mufuh again with the risk involved. Now if there’s a way to bring him & his agent on board and somehow & get it in writing they won’t dick us the team may be able to help facilitate where he wants to go. He would have no problem incentive to assist unless it’s to semi pay us back for taking $40M+ in 2 yrs.

    J/K his agent is the devil and KC would never help the team out, & certainly wouldn’t feel a debt towards them. IDK it seems it would be some kinda nd of tampering too.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    I wish Kirk Cousins was to be our QB for the next 5-6 years. There! I said it!

    It's not that I think he is a great QB, I don't...however he is a good one.
    It's not that I think he's worth mega money, he's not...we could have had him for cheap 2 years ago.
    It's not that I think Alex Smith is not going to be a qualified replacement, I think we ended up where we shoulda been with Kirk.
    It's not that I like or dislike Kirk.

    What it would have said if he'd been locked up a couple years back is that this front office developed a young player they got on the cheap and turned him into a top 10 QB in this league.

    Unfortunately, errors were made as BB detailed, and we are once again looking at a front office, wondering WTF?!?!?!
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    cousins was not the superior qb when they were both drafted if Griffin hadnt been injured, I have no doubt he would have been a very solid qb for at least a few years. btw i odnt think excersizing the option should be seen as a mistake, its the hindsight that shows it was. at the time Griffin was a great young talent that we paid through the nose for
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    Cousins does benefit from being tagged btw, it drives his price up far more than if he is just signed
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    Quote Originally Posted by Rymanofthenorth View Post
    cousins was not the superior qb when they were both drafted if Griffin hadnt been injured, I have no doubt he would have been a very solid qb for at least a few years. btw i odnt think excersizing the option should be seen as a mistake, its the hindsight that shows it was. at the time Griffin was a great young talent that we paid through the nose for
    Agreed. People tickle me with their hindsight prowess.

    The 1st mistake was drafting Cousins to begin with. After the cost of drafting Griffin, spending a 4th on another QB was poor use of our remaining picks.

    Now, HINDSIGHT may make it seem like the right move. But it wasn't. The smarter move, with the benefit of my awesome hindsight, would have been to keep all the picks we traded for Griffin, draft Cousins in the 3rd, and see how things turned out. I know that many put the trade solely on Snyder. But the way it went down, it lies squarely at the feet of Shamahan.

    So then, if Cousins had been the coddled QB, which he seems to covet just as much as Griffin, maybe he would have become a true franchise QB, and all this mess would have been avoided. Of course, it's just as possible that he still would have wound up as the average, at best, QB that he is. One needing to be part of a winning team, yet unable to ever lead the way. And, if he still had his early struggles, which were quite significant, while Griffin still went on to be ROY for another franchise, it's quite possible Snyder would have sent Shammy packing earlier than he did.

    Hell, maybe even Gruden would have gotten lucky and found his own QB in his 1st season, if not Cousins, and we'd be seeing that guy starting to enter his prime right now.

    Anyway, about the only new mistake we could have made with Cousins would be to keep him.
    Exploring any possibility to recoup something for him is warranted. If they screw it up, well bad on them. If not, all this has just been fodder for bitchin.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    The one caveat to all of this is in re Mistake #1 :

    The Redskins and Cousins were facing losing teams down the stretch in 2015 in Chicago and Philadelphia, teams that would finish in last place.

    The fact Washington 'made a run' at the end to then beat the Cowboys who themselves would only finish 8-8 didn't exactly set the table for the decision that based on those games Cousins was going to be a Super Bowl quarterback or a guy that necessarily was worth a multi-year deal for more than mid-tier money.

    The Redskins relative standing was shown quickly in the playoffs at home in a game where the team was ahead early but ended up getting clobbered 37-11.

    Losing by 26 points and only scoring 9 points on offense (recall that Preston Smith had a safety) didn't exactly make the case we had the 'answer' in the backfield.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    One thing I take issue with - something many parrot as a 'fact' when it's really an 'assumption'...

    Many state that all the team had to do is offer Kirk a reasonable LTD at some point prior to the 2016 season, and that he'd have signed it. I gotta tell you, I think that's highly questionable. I don't know when Kirk decided he didn't want to be here long-term. It could've been the moment he was drafted to sit behind a lesser QB. It could have been upon witnessing the hero worship of RG3. It could've been when the Shanahans were moved out. It could've been when McVay left. It could've been when McCloughan left.

    To me though - Cousins total refusal to even negotiate a LTD - at ANY point after his initial contract expired supports the idea that he was never going to voluntarily sign a LTD to spend the bulk of his career in DC.

    I think it's absolutely correct that the team had a window where the chances of getting a Cousins LTD done at a workable cost, and that they didn't aggressively make an offer that got it done. But the flip side of that is that it's quite possible Cousins was never going to make that deal. I don't want to hear about what Cousins or his agent said they would have done. I don't believe a word that comes out of either's mouth because their actions every step of the way speak otherwise.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    Exactly right, Boone.

    Cousins himself said he was ready to sign the offer made after the 2015 season. He said he thought it was fair. But then his agent told him not to, cause he was worth more money. So, he didn't sign.

    Moral of the story is, many players have gone against the advice of their agent, and instructed them to "just get a deal done", because they want to stay where they are, and not be a distraction. But the desire for more money won out. If Cousins EVER wanted to be here, long term, then he would have. He used gaudy, yet insignificant numbers, along with lies of a desire to remain here, to make $43mil in two seasons, and run.

    The $43mil allows him to now take a deal for a little less money, if he chooses to, and then make the claim that it's not about the money. And that he just wants to win.

    Some people will actually believe it, too.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    Then when he doesn't win... it's because they don't have the right pieces around him.

    I long for the days when people balked about paying RGIII $15m, even though not a single penny of it was guaranteed LOL!

    Both sides had opportunity, but only the 'Skins made an actual numbered overture, then ultimately made him a very rich man. He was treated soooooo badly... that's the ironic part in all this.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    I think the quick action to get Smith shows the Skins aren't considering anything but watching capt mediocre leave and go rip someone else off. I could be wrong and I'm almost never wrong but I think Cousins is headed to the fire swamp.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    He posted on Twitter yesterday 'It's all good'. First of all - I hate vague posts like that - which usually intend to communicate something nearly the opposite of what is really felt. I call Facebook 'Vaguebook' for that reason. If you aren't going to actually spell out what you are feeling or feeling the need to express, just keep it to your damn self imho

    Here's my thing - it's NOT 'all good'. Cousins, of course, absolutely has the right to play wherever he wants for whatever money he wants. Totally up to him. But he has lied repeatedly to this fanbase, including guys like me who have given him unwavering support from day 1. He never wanted to be a Redskin long-term and yet has said he did over and over and over again.

    People can talk about him being a good guy all they want. But I am a Redskins fan first and foremost - and the minute it became clear all he was about was his own ego and financial gain, he's dead to me.

    You don't get to lie to a fanbase, ultimately make it all about you, and expect that it's going to be 'all good' with the fanbase on your way out.

    Sorry Kirk. Do you like that?
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    I have already put ex#8 in the rear view and look forward to someday rarely being subjected to regurgitated articles and posts about his time with this team.

    Good luck and good riddance, Kurt.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    Captain Passive Aggressive.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    Are we really revisiting RG3 and his potential...if only?
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    I had this post originally in the FA and mocks thread due to how it could affect the opening days of free agency. I knew that some discussions could stray a bit, but the focus was meant to be on the possibility of making one final mistake with Kirk.

    Yes, the Redskins could somehow pull off a miracle and finagle a draft pick or two out of the situation, but that is highly unlikely. If the discussions were to stay solely on topic, this is what we would be talking about.

    Yes, there are several factors that led to where we are today and all of them are welcomed to be discussed in this thread. I have no problems with anything that has been said here this week. All of it is relevant.

    However, I do think we should move on to a larger degree once Kirk is signed, sealed, uniformed, and delivered to a new team.
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    Default Re: Skins Should Avoid Making a 3rd Cousins Mistake

    We're generally going to let threads go where they go - only exception is if conversations get nasty or if there are *other* threads more appropriate to have a particular convo. We don't quote numbered rules to members. We aren't England, we're the 13 colonies - if you get my drift.

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