You knew the Redskins were going to screw this up two years ago, when the front office first decided to kick the Cousins can down the road with a franchise tag for the QB in the place of signing him to a long-term deal.
That move presupposed last year’s sequel – Franchise, Part Two: This Time, We’re Not Even Pretending to be Serious.
Cousins has thrown for more than 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns with 13 or less interceptions in each of his three full seasons as a starter in Washington, but the problem is that the franchise is still where it has been for much of the past 25 years, i.e. not competitive.
After winning the NFC East in 2015 with a 9-7 record, Washington missed the playoffs in 2016 at 8-7-1 and missed again in 2017 with a 7-9 finish.
That would seem to suggest that Cousins isn’t the solution, but if that’s the case, what does it say about the job security of coach Jay Gruden, who just wrapped his fourth year without a playoff win?
The Redskins seem intent on letting Cousins go, and the word now is that they’re going to try to do it with a transition tag that would at least give the team a chance to get something in return through a trade, either a high draft pick, a player or a combination of the two.
If that ends up being what happens, then, you get Gruden, in year five, starting over with a new quarterback, either a draft pick or a free agent, ostensibly cheaper than Cousins, with the added pressure of having to develop whoever this new signal-caller is really quick, because, can Gruden survive another season without a playoff berth?
I’m surprised, honestly, that he survived Black Monday, knowing that the Cousins scenario was going to play out as it is right now.
Why not start over with a new coach, a new quarterback, new everything?
But, no, what Washington fans get instead is an obviously lame-duck coach trying to break in a new quarterback that you have to presume is going to be auditioning for his job with whoever the new coaching regime is going to be in November and December, or whenever it is that the Redskins are officially eliminated from playoff contention in 2018.
This is just plain dumb, as if you didn’t already know that.
Story by Chris Graham
The book, with additional reporting by Zach Pereles, Scott Ratcliffe and Scott German, will take you from the aftermath of the stunning first-round loss to UMBC in 2018, and how coach Tony Bennett and his team used that loss as the source of strength, through to the ACC regular-season championship, the run to the Final Four, and the thrilling overtime win over Texas Tech to win the 2019 national title, the first in school history.