Ex-Washington GM: Kirk Cousins has hit his ceiling

Kirk Cousins could earn $25-plus million on a new, long-term deal.

According to former Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCoughan, Kirk Cousins is as good as he’s ever going to be.

“His ceiling is where it’s at right now,” McCloughan told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier of 106.7 The Fan (h/t ESPN). “He’s a good player who has proven he can win a division and that’s hard to find — and a chance for two years in a row to go to the playoffs. That’s what you’re looking for.”

It’s funny. On one hand, McCloughan is saying Cousins is “a good player,” while on the other hand he’s saying that’s all he’ll ever be.

No wonder Washington and Cousins couldn’t work out a long-term deal while McCloughan was in control. The former general manager clearly doesn’t see the quarterback as an elite prospect worth paying elite money.

“Everyone says it’s the most important position on the field,” McCloughan said. “I understand he touches the ball every snap, but it’s the guys around him. If you’re paying the quarterback, then you’re losing an offensive lineman, you’re going to lose the defensive lineman, you’re going to lose the corner. With the cap, you can’t afford it.”

These comments clearly indicate how Cousins is viewed, at least by McCloughan, if not by others currently in Washington’s front office. Franchise quarterbacks can carry a team and oftentimes make up the difference when their huge salaries mean other positions have to be neglected somewhat. This was a compromise McCloughan wasn’t willing to make with Cousins, who it seems he sees as merely a better than average quarterback.

It’s going to be fascinating to see what Washington decides to do with Cousins going forward. He’s reportedly interested in joining Kyle Shanahan with the San Francisco 49ers after this season, and if he hits the market as a free agent he’ll likely have more than a few options.