WASHINGTON — On Day 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft, a curious report involving Kirk Cousins, the Redskins and the Browns surfaced, quickly sparking speculation that a blockbuster draft-day trade might be afoot.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network — the same reporter who floated a quickly debunked Tony Romo-to-Washington report back in March — was the source of the report. This report, too, was quickly shot down. By both organizations involved.
At the time the Cousins-to-Cleveland report surfaced, Redskins officials — team owner Dan Snyder included — were literally laughing it off, CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora says.
“You have to be a reporter. You have to make phone calls. You have to have multiple sources,” La Canfora told Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan. “They were laughing inside the Redskins war room. I mean, laughing.”
“So wait a minute, Snyder and literally everybody’s in one room, but somehow there’s a Kirk Cousins trade going on that nobody knows about inside that organization when Bruce is in the room, and Dan’s in the room and Doug? Like, everybody? A trade like that, if it were actually going to happen on draft day, which is in and of itself kind of a ludicrous proposition, I’ve got news for you: the owner’s involved in it.
“So they were like, ‘Where the hell is this coming from?’ Like, it’s ridiculous. Now, I can tell you that I started getting calls and texts maybe around 2 o’clock that afternoon. Like, there was just this rumbling out there somebody’s trying to trade for Cousins.”
“Now, I never heard any team,” he explained. “I reached out to all anyone you would think would be a normal suspect. I reached out to the Skins, who were not engaged with anybody. I reached out to the agent, anybody at that firm: ‘You guys getting anything going on there? Did you guys get permission to talk to another team about a contract?’ Because you’re not trading for Kirk Cousins on the franchise tag not knowing what the salary’s gonna be. Nope. Notta. So it didn’t take much to suss out that that was just a bad, sort of ridiculous rumor. I guess it is what it is.”
“Sometimes they’re sort of obvious culprits, or you can see why things get reported that are so much fake news that you can kind of glean its origins,” La Canfora went on to say. “This one, I don’t know. It wasn’t coming from his camp, and it certainly wasn’t coming from the Skins. I don’t know.”
“But I can tell you, there was a vague sort of thing out there in the ether, if you’re sort of in this business, that something’s going on with Cousins today,” he said. “I got a couple texts from actually agents who don’t represent Kirk Cousins [who were] saying, ‘Keep an ear out. We’re hearing that somebody’s trying to trade for Cousins today.’
“And that’s all I heard, and once I actually started talking to people who would be involved in something of that scale, it was baseless.”