Depending when you ask the question, Redskins fans would scream when asked if GM Scot McCloughan should bring back QB Kirk Cousins after this season when his contract expires. If asked after an ugly loss to the Jets, fans would likely scream no. Ask after the comeback win over Tampa, and the answer would be a loud yes.
Regardless what the fans think, those in and around the NFL know what Cousins is: A player with significant value if he enters free agency. There is a lot of bad quarterback play in the NFL, and though Cousins can struggle with turnovers at times, he has flashed enough potential to warrant millions upon millions of dollars should he hit the open market.
Former Redskins and Texans GM Charley Casserly said the QB economy would dictate an extension for Cousins somewhere in the $16-$20 million range. Washington also has the option to slap the franchise tag on Cousins, but a franchise tag at the QB position will cost a lot, enough that it could "strangle the cap" in future years, according to the former GM.
"That's what the market is," Casserly said of the $20 million price tag. "If he gets to free agency? Absolutely. There's a lot of teams that need quarterbacks."
Casserly said he expects McCloughan to try and get something done with Cousins well before the free agency period begins in earnest next March. Many Redskins fans, however, will be dealing with the reality that is the departure of Robert Griffin III, who can also be a free agent after this season. It would be remarkable if four years after both QBs were drafted, the Redskins part ways with former star RG3 to keep former understudy Cousins.
What should the Redskins do? Bring back Cousins? Franchise him and hope another team makes an offer so Washington can receive compensatory draft picks? Let us know what you think in the comments.