Kirk Cousins will definitely have a new home next season as Washington has acquired Alex Smith to take over at quarterback. We’ve known for a while that Cousins and Washington weren’t going to work out a long-term extension, but Tuesday night’s trade sent shockwaves through the NFL.
Cousins will hit free agency and should be the top target of every quarterback-needy team. The 29-year-old is coming off his third-straight 4,000-plus yard season. In his three years as a full-time starter in Washington, Cousins has completed 67.0 percent of his passes for 13,176 yards, with 81 touchdowns and 36 interceptions. That’s good enough for a passer rating of 97.5, which puts him in very good company.
Now it’s time to examine where Cousins could end up next season. Below is a ranking of the five best landing spots.
5. Cleveland Browns
I know, the Cleveland Browns will always be the Cleveland Browns, but maybe there’s actually some hope by the lake. The Browns have two of the top four picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, along with three second-rounders and two third-rounders. Combine that with more than $100 million in cap space and Cleveland has a chance to build something special.
As of now, most believe the Browns will spend the draft’s top pick on a quarterback, but if they could convince Cousins to come it would open things up to a ton of possibilities. They could trade down and stockpile even more picks, or they could go out and get two of the best four players available. Say, for example, Saquon Barkley and Bradley Chubb, or a dominant middle linebacker like Roquan Smith.
The Browns could strengthen the wide receiver position in the second round, while also building depth along both lines, giving Cousins the protection and weapons he would need.
Yeah, it would be a rough go in Cleveland but there’s a chance for a truly special rebuild there. New general manager John Dorsey just has to knock it out of the park.
Landing Cousins would be a great step.