When it became apparent that Sean McVay was a serious head coaching candidate, many Redskins fans got nervous.
The anxiety stemmed from the possibility that McVay might want to bring along the quarterback who helped make him successful, Kirk Cousins.
It was a two-way street. Cousins went from being a backup with an uncertain future to being a starter who passed for nearly 5,000 yards in 2016 under McVay. But Cousins will have to go forward without McVay and McVay will have to figure things out without Cousins.
That’s because the Rams already have their quarterback.
They gave up a boatload of draft picks last year to move up to No. 1 overall to take quarterback Jared Goff out of Cal.
Goff had a rough rookie season, starting seven games, completing 54.6 percent of his passes, averaging 4.3 yards per pass attempt and posting a passer rating of 63.6. The first job for McVay is to turn Goff into a competent NFL quarterback.
This doesn’t mean that the fans will turn down their worry meters. Falcons offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, who held the same job for the Redskins during Cousins’ first two years with the team, is a strong candidate for the 49ers head coaching job, which remains vacant.
The team is likely to franchise tag him, which would retain his rights. The only way for Cousins to get to another team would be to for the Redskins to trade him after tagging him. You can’t rule that out but if the Redskins want to hold on to Cousins in 2017 they will be able to do so.
Now, if Shanahan gets a head job and is willing to wait until 2018 to get Cousins to be his quarterback, that could be a different story. If the Redskins haven’t signed Cousins to a long-term deal by then the cost to franchise tag him would skyrocket to $33 million for the season.
That would raise the chances that the Redskins could lose him as a free agent and he could wind up reunited with Shanahan.
But we’re a long way from that. And with McVay and the Rams likely committed to Goff for at least the next few seasons, the chances Cousins will end up in LA are slim.
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