Manny Benton often tweets random thoughts regarding the Washington Redskins at random times of the day that typically bring interesting dialog. Now from Monday through Thursday around 9 a.m., you can find those Twitter-sized thoughts in "Morning Manny." Complete with explanations!
A tag and trade could be a legitimate option for the Redskins with QB Kirk Cousins
This isn't a matter of stat totals and catch phrases. This is all about whether or not GM Scot McCloughan and company believe Cousins is the team's long term answer at QB and at what price they're willing to pay. Let's be real, if the Redskins weren't willing to budge on the reported $16 million offer they handed Cousins last off-season, what makes you believe they'd jump-up $9-$11 million this year? I fully expect the team to hand Cousins a healthy offer this offseason. However, I doubt they will match what the QB wants and would receive on the open market.
If you entered 2016 with questions about Cousins, chances are those questions weren't answered. While he flashed some high level play, specifically in the month of November, he was still very consistent at being inconsistent. For second and third tier QBs, that level of play is okay and something plenty teams have to settle with. The issue is, at what cost are you willing to "settle" for that level of play? I'm not certain the Redskins are ready to dump the Brinks truck at Cousins' home.
So let's say the team offers Cousins a deal better than last year's and he rejects it. If he's not going to meet you at a number, which he doesn't have to (he has a lot of leverage), then you're stuck with applying the franchise tag on him again with a cost this time around $24 million. It's highly unlikely that he'd be tagged again in 2018 -- price jumps over $30 million --, and tagging him twice will probably push him further out the door next offseason. So why not try getting something in return for Cousins this offseason? It appears he'll have at least one very strong suitor.
With Cousins' former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan expected to become the San Francisco 49ers head coach post-Super Bowl, this is an obvious fit. It's been reported that Shanahan would have a lot of say in personnel and it's no secret that he likes Cousins.
It's also been reported by ESPN that the 49ers could even give up their 2017 first round pick -- second overall -- for Cousins. Honestly, if the 49ers offer that as part of the package, I find it hard to believe the Redskins wouldn't strongly consider making that deal. They could massively improve their defensive line with that pick. Of course, it's a premium pick and probably not likely. But I wouldn't dismiss the possibility. There's numerous ways you could negotiate that including a first round pick swap and additional pick(s).
I think the mentality of holding on to something because there isn't an obvious replacement is a poor business mindset. Great business minds don't operate with that formula. The New England Patriots have perfected this over the years at other positions. Just two years ago, young defensive stars like Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins were key figures on their Super Bowl roster. Not to mention, long-term vet Vince Wilfork. The team moved on from all three of those stars and have found themselves once again playing on the big stage with a defense that's still good. Scot McCloughan is a long-term thinker. If he doesn't see Kirk Cousins in this team's future, then he'd be smart to attempt getting something in return for him now.
You can find Emmanual on Twitter @manny_benton.