Predicting who'll be in on the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes this offseason
We'll start with the obvious one: Kirk's current team. Robert Griffin III's time in Washington is all but over, and Colt McCoy isn't full-time starter material, either. Unless the Redskins have plants to draft a rookie quarterback with a top pick in April's draft, they should be (very) in on the chase for Cousins, because they don't have a viable option to replace him with.
San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick's demise is similar to that of RG3's: A speedy dual-threat who hasn't been able to mold into a pocket passer and now looks to be on his way out of the city that he was drafted into. Blaine Gabbert, meanwhile, has been fine filling in for San Fran, but no organization in their right mind would plan to start him in 2016. The 49ers will be looking to turn the page at QB, and Cousins could be someone they target.
Cleveland would so badly like Johnny Manziel to be "the guy," but instead, he keeps getting in off-the-field trouble and playing sporadically on it. Like any other talented 23-year-old, the glimpses of growth are there, but will he show them often enough in the Browns' last three contests to claim the job in 2016? That remains to be seen. But for a team that has reportedly been linked to Cousins in the past, he looks like a logical choice should they decide to end the experiment with Money Manziel.
St. Louis Rams
Nick Foles was supposed to at least be an average passer for the Rams when they acquired him from the Eagles in exchange for Sam Bradford, but he was benched 11 games into the season after throwing for a measly seven touchdowns. The rest of St. Louis' depth chart at the NFL's most vital position isn't too appetizing, either, so the Rams will almost definitely be looking for someone else to take the job, or at least compete with Foles, going forward.
As it turns out, neither side of the Foles-Bradford deal really benefitted from the swap. The Eagles are in the hunt for the NFC East, sure, but Bradford has been very up-and-down all season. Plus, he's a constant injury fear. Perhaps Chip Kelly will try to steal Cousins from Philly's NFC East foe.
New York Jets
Ryan Fitzpatrick has been a surprising treat for the Jets this year, but he'll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and just turned 33, so the team will have to weigh whether they want to stick with him or move on for a younger guy. Geno Smith has yet to show that he can play the position competently, and New York has also supposedly called Washington about acquiring Cousins before. Could Kirk be heading for the Big Apple? It's not that far-fetched of an idea.
Bill O'Brien has been switching between quarterbacks in Houston this year like they're bad TV shows, alternating between names like channels on a remote. But while Brian Hoyer has been OK as of late, the ship on him being someone you can roll with for a full year has sailed. The Texans have a lot of pieces in place to be a contender, and if they could snag a player like Cousins, it'd be a huge boon for the organization.
This is Matthew Stafford's seventh year in the NFL. Let that wash over you for a moment. What has he proven in those seven years? Well, not as much as he or Detroit probably wanted him too. The Lions have undergone a lot of turnover on their coaching staff and in their front office, and should they choose to part ways with the former No. 1 overall pick, Cousins' phone number is one they may look to dial.