WASHINGTON — At least twice in his young NFL career, quarterback Kirk Cousins could’ve donned the greenish threads of a Philadelphia Eagles uniform, but for a few pivotal decisions outside of his control.
In the lead-up to the 2012 NFL Draft, the Eagles were high on Cousins, working him out extensively along with Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson and Nick Foles, his one-time teammate at Michigan State.
Tannehill went in the first round to the Miami Dolphins, allowing them to focus on defensive picks in the first two rounds, keeping true to their draft board. When Wilson went to the Seattle Seahawks with the 75th overall pick, 13 picks before the Eagles’ next selection, a civil war broke out in the Philly war room.
On one side was general manager Howie Roseman and the scouting staff, who preferred Cousins. On the other side were Andy Reid and his coaching staff, preferring Foles. How close was it? According to Mark Eckel of NJ.com, it was razor thin:
When Cleveland took defensive tackle John Hughes of Cincinnati with the 87th pick, the Eagles were still in debate mode between the two quarterbacks, with the scouts on one side and the head coach on the other. Reid, of course, won the battle and the pick was Foles.
One member of the organization, who left the room at the time, was shocked when he came back and saw the team didn’t take Cousins, and instead had selected Foles.
According to his source, it was Reid’s seniority that won out, bringing Foles to Philly and leaving Cousins for the Redskins at 102nd overall pick.
Fast-forward nearly four years, and Roseman narrowly missed out on Cousins again. Heading into the start of the 2016 season, Cousins and the Redskins were at an impasse on contract negotiations, and Cousins and the Eagles reportedly had a mutual interest in rekindling their forbidden love.
A source told N.J. Advance Media that there was mutual interest between the Eagles and Cousins and the Eagles would have been the first team Cousins’ people would have called Monday when teams are first allowed to talk to other team’s free agents.
The Redskins were wise to this situation and upgraded plans to apply the transition tag again, using the franchise tag instead. Cousins signed the contract tender and the Eagles signed Sam Bradford to a two-year, $36 million contract.
Fast-forward 18 months and Cousins remains with the Redskins on another one-year deal, the Eagles drafted Wentz (which really irks Redskins coach Jay Gruden) and traded Bradford to the Minnesota Vikings.
The NFL is a wild league. But maybe someday, somewhere, Cousins and Roseman can finally be together.
Roseman probably even pronounces Kirk’s name correctly.