Take a moment and travel back in time to Aug. 28.
It's a day before the Redskins third preseason game against the Ravens. Robert Griffin III, the team's starter at quarterback, is set to play the majority of the contest in Baltimore, and he'll need a strong performance in order to regain confidence — both his own and that of his teammates' — and prove to Jay Gruden that he's capable of leading the offense once the regular season starts on Sep. 13.
But then, a change of plans: It turns out that the concussion suffered by Griffin the week before versus the Lions will indeed prevent him from playing at M&T Bank Stadium when it was previously thought it wouldn't. Kirk Cousins replaces Griffin under center, posts an efficient outing against the Ravens, and is named the starter two days later.
From the second option to the primary one in a matter of days. Such is life in the NFL.
And now, 13 games into what has turned out to be a surprisingly productive 2015 for Cousins, the thought process around the 27-year-old has gone from, "Will he be a starter in 2016?" to "Where will he be a starter in 2016?" That's what a near 70 percent completion rate and an 18:11 TD/INT ratio will do for you in today's league.
But who will be among the suitors for Kirk's services? His contract is set to expire after the season, so it will be up to the Redskins to decide whether he's worth re-signing, and, if they decide to, at what price they're willing to do so. However, considering how important a solid passer is for any franchise, and considering Cousins has demonstrated he can be one in his first full year as a starter, there's bound to be a group of competitors that'll try to lure away #8 and have him become their next signal caller.
In anticipation of what should be an interesting bidding war, we've compiled a list of teams that could potentially be in on the Cousins sweepstakes. Building a gallery like this a few months ago would have seemed foolish, but now, it's necessary. The fourth-year Michigan State product figures to be a popular man this offseason, so let's see who'll likely be giving him a call if he's available at the start of free agency.