Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is coming off a career-best season. It’s a performance that saw him lead the NFL in completion percentage while tallying 4,166 yards and 34 total touchdowns.
It’s also a performance that led to Cousins getting paid big time. He’s playing for a ripe $20 million under the franchise tag.
On the heels of an uneven performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season opener, Cousins took time to critique himself. It wasn’t your normal company talk on how he needs to improve.
During Tuesday’s wrap-up press conference following Washington’s 38-16 loss to Pittsburgh, head coach Jay Gruden called Cousins a “work in progress.” The following day, Cousins definitely showed that he didn’t disagree.
“I think I’ll always be,” Cousins said. “I don’t think that Year 16, if you’re fortunate enough to play that long, I don’t think you feel like you’ve had it figured out,” Cousins said, via the Washington Post. “When I asked Tom Brady after the game last year, ‘When did it click for you?’ In a sense, I asked him, ‘When were you no longer a work in progress?’ His answer was what I would echo here, and that it’s still clicking. You’ve never figured it out. You’ve never arrived.”
Some may take this quote out of contest. How can you pay a “work in progress” $20 million per season? That’s money teams usually reserve for the best of the best.
As Cousins did indicate, it is a mentality Tom Brady uses to this day. The idea that you can always get better, no matter how good you are in the first place.
For the Skins’ starting quarterback, it surely did look like he was a work in progress on Monday. The former fourth-round pick completed 30-of-43 passes for 329 yards with zero touchdowns and two picks.
He’s going to have to perform at a much higher level moving forward if Washington is to repeat as NFC East champs.