This should surprise nobody, but the disaster that is the Redskins front office has bungled the handling of QB Kirk Cousins, and he’s almost certainly a goner next offseason. Here’s how badly the Redskins botched things:
Cousins led the league in completion percentage two years ago; he threw for 4,917 yards and 25 TDs last year. He’s the first QB in over two decades to lead the Redskins to back-to-back seasons above .500; they made the playoffs in 2015, but narrowly missed the postseason in 2016.
Cousins will be the first QB in NFL history to play consecutive seasons under a franchise tag. Washington can tag him again in 2018, but will have to pay him $34.7 million, which is $10 million more than any NFL QB will make in 2017.
It’s rare that star QBs hit free agency – only three in recent years have won a Super Bowl (Brad Johnson, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning) – but Cousins certainly will be highly coveted next summer. Of course, one team stands out: The San Francisco 49ers. They’re coached by Kyle Shanahan; he’s the QB who worked with Cousins early in his career.
The pairing is too perfect. San Francisco doesn’t have a QB.
Where does this leave the Redskins? When you lose a Top 15 QB in the NFL – I have Cousins ranked 11th heading into next season, ahead of Eli Manning, Cam Newton, Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco; two of those guys have won Super Bowls, and one has been an MVP, and the other has the numbers for the Hall of Fame – you can expect to fall back into 4-5 win territory and a high draft pick.