WASHINGTON — There is only one more guaranteed start in the Kirk Cousins era in Washington, as the Redskins enter an offseason of uncertainty with a number of well-suited competitors for his services.
One of those teams could well be the Denver Broncos, who have been reminded of the importance of quality at the quarterback position this season. Among Trevor Siemian, Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch, the Broncos have a collective passer rating of just over 70, nearly 30 points lower than Cousins.
While Denver’s general manager John Elway and Broncos head coach Vance Joseph are unlikely to talk about it publicly, the team’s top defenders said everything that needed to be said about Cousins.
“Kirk’s a great quarterback,” All-Pro linebacker Von Miller told reporters after Sunday’s game. “I’ll say that every day of the week. A lot of teams would kill to have a quarterback like that.
“We couldn’t get any pressure on him — quick passes. He was connecting. He was on fire.”
Anecdotally, Cousins had a great performance, shaking off some early setbacks with a strong second half. Statistically, this was just another game for Cousins, who has thrown for as many touchdowns three other times this season, thrown for more yards five times this season, tallied a higher passer rating seven times, and completed a higher percentage of passes in all 14 other games.
And yet Cousins has detractors in the home fan base. But people who get football get why you love Cousins.
People like Joseph, who praise Cousins in the week leading up to the game.
“I think he’s a special guy. Numbers-wise, he’s top 10 in all the major QB categories,” he said of Cousins. “If you watch the guy play, he’s poised, he’s smart, he’s got a really strong arm.
“He’ s a tough guy. He’s a special guy. It starts with him offensively.”
Those are the kinds of things that any head coach would want to say about his quarterback–not pine after him from the other sideline.
Whether the Redskins let Cousins hit free agency remains to be seen, and what sort of deal Cousins is looking for is yet unknown. If he did hit free agency, the Broncos might have interest, but Cousins may also price them out.
But if the stars aligned for Cousins to end up in Denver, it sounds like he already has the respect of the players he would call teammates.
“He runs the show. He’s a real NFL quarterback,” cornerback Aqib Talib told the media before the game. “There’s a difference, if you really look around the league. There’s a handful of guys that really know their offense and run it to a ‘T’.
“He gets the ball out of his hands, he can create time in the pocket, he’s very accurate, he’ll take the check down when it’s there. He plays like a real NFL quarterback.”
If you don’t believe in Cousins to quarterback the Redskins, don’t take it from the talking heads and the so-called experts. Take it from the people who understand football and might be out to get him in free agency.