In case it wasn’t already clear, on Tuesday it was proven once again that Washington’s football team is a complete mess. First we learned the team’s general manager, Scot McCloughan, is absent from the team and not involved in its free agency plans, then we got the following report:
That’s right, Kirk Cousins, the man Washington just franchise tagged for nearly $24 million, is likely to wind up with the San Francisco 49ers at some point. Throw in the fact that receivers Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson could be on their way out of town and you’ve got the makings of a complete disaster. Washington finished the 2016 season third in yards per game league-wide, and Cousins threw for 4,917 yards. Now the team could lose it’s top two receivers, leaving Jamison Crowder and tight end Jordan Reed as its top targets.
The Cousins situation has been bungled for more than a year, and now he’s got all the leverage. If he wants to go to San Francisco he could either force a trade, or just wait out the 2017 season and go there as a free agent next season. Washington would get nothing in return if he walked away next offseason.
It’s clear Cousins doesn’t want to be in Washington long term and, given how the franchise has treated him, that shouldn’t be surprising. Daniel Snyder and his front office must find a way to trade Cousins and at least get something in return for him. If Washington loses its top two wideouts, that’s not a playoff team next season anyway. Trade Cousins for a haul of draft picks, get a stop-gap veteran under center, tank and set yourself up to take a quarterback next year during what should be a deep draft at the position.
Right now it looks like there is no chance Cousins signs a long-term team with Washington. Unless something dramatic happens it looks like he and his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan are headed for a reunion in the Bay Area. Washington must protect itself by trading him.