WASHINGTON — Ever since the “You Like That” game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2015, Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins has been the undisputed leader in Washington and one of the best statistical quarterbacks in the game.
It is for this reason–regardless of how he performs on Sunday–that Redskins legend Mark Rypien says Cousins deserves the market rate on a long-term deal to stay in Washington.
“It’s a win [and] you’re in situation, but I don’t think that should in any way, shape or form have an impact on Kirk and what he’s been able to do since the last half of last season to where he’s at now,” Rypien told Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan on Friday.
“He’s played at [the level of] one of the top-five guys in the NFL and deserves a contract that warrants that. Sign him up for a long-term deal because I think he is the real deal.”
The numbers certainly support that, but the debate still lingers on if Cousins will be the first quarterback to lead the team to postseason excellence for the first time in a generation.
In 45 career games, he has completed nearly 66 percent of his passes, for 11,826 yards, 71 touchdowns and 40 interceptions. He also carries a very respectable 94.0 passer rating.
Rypien also credited the intangibles that don’t show up on the stat sheet.
“He’s shown that he’s very durable. He can get outside the pocket and make things happen,” Rypien explained. “He can extend plays–not with his feet–but just by moving, kind of like Drew Brees does or Tom Brady does, guys that have been successful do.
“He’s a heck of a player, he’s a good man, he’s a good team player, and I think he’s a guy who can do some great things for years to come.”
That notwithstanding, Rypien understands that Sunday is the cherry on top, as Cousins can show his grit and ability to lead the Redskins to the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since Rypien roamed the backfield.
“This game is obviously for Kirk and his ability to say, ‘Hey, I want to take this team to the playoffs and we’re not going to settle for not making the playoffs each and every year.’
Eventually, we’ll get to the point like we were in the 80’s and early 90’s, where just making the playoffs wasn’t good enough. We have to go deep and hopefully hoist a Lombardi Trophy before we really felt like we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish.
“From where we’re at now and we haven’t been back to the playoffs, I think you start with that. But I don’t think that in any way should it detract from what he’s done or his ability to get a long-term deal.”