For a quarterback that’s technically not on the free agent market, it sure seems like Kirk Cousins has generated the most buzz around the NFL since the new league year started last week.
Long linked to the San Francisco 49ers, reports previously surfaced that Cousins himself had requested a trade. Then, in an interesting turnabout on Tuesday, the Washington Redskins’ Pro Bowler denied that a request was ever made (via ESPN).
Cousins, who just recently signed the franchise tag Washington placed on him earlier in the month, continues to be bandied about in trade rumors as the NFL draft season begins. One such team said to potentially be interested in him is the quarterback-needy Cleveland Browns (more on that here).
In attempting to put out that fire before it even starts, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com is reporting that Cleveland itself is not expected to make a run at Cousins on the trade block between now and the draft.
“The Browns aren’t expected to make a run at Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, but three other teams have over the past 10 days or so and were immediately turned down,” Kay Cabot reported on Tuesday.
If this whole thing smells, that’s probably because it is rather stinky.
Whether they admit it, the Redskins have likely had trade discussions with San Francisco regarding Cousins. Short of another team reportedly showing interest, there’s no real leverage for Washington to use in said trade talks. That’s only magnified by Cousins’ reported interest in playing for the 49ers and the likelihood that he will hit the free-agent market next March.
It will surely be interesting to see how this whole thing plays out. Cousins has apparently indicated he’s not willing to discuss a long-term deal with Washington as long as Bruce Allen remains the team’s president. Are the Redskins intent on letting their franchise quarterback play out his contract year while potentially watching him walk in free next March?
That will be a discussion around the NFL water cooler between now and the start of the 2017 season this upcoming fall.
As it relates to the Browns, they are still in the market for a quarterback after acquiring Brock Osweiler in a trade with Houston last week. Meanwhile, San Francisco seems content with Brian Hoyer under center as a stop-gap option should things not work out on the Cousins’ front.