The general thinking when it comes to Kirk Cousins is that, after a sluggish start to the 2016 season, the quarterback has been playing much better as of late. However, despite being second in the NFL in passing yards, Cousins has only thrown for 12 touchdowns, and some are blaming the team's red zone issues on him for dialing it back inside the 20-yard line.
It's that lack of drive-finishing plays — which has hampered Washington in the first half of the year — that may be harming the quarterback's reputation, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post.
"I still think that they are evaluating [him], but I think there's kind of a thought right now that, 'Man, we kind of would be about the same if we had Colt [McCoy] right now," Jones said during a call with the Sports Junkies Wednesday. "Listen, Kirk has thrown for a lot of yards, but he's left a lot of throws out there, too. He doesn't take any chances."
The Redskins' top priority the rest of the way is figuring out how to get hot and reach the playoffs for a second consecutive campaign, something that the franchise rarely accomplishes. Second on that list is deciding whether No. 8 is productive enough and consistent enough to warrant a major contract.
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As things stand at the bye, Jones has his doubts about Cousins.
"For right now, Kirk has not done enough to show what you need to see to give that guy $50 million guaranteed," he said. "He's playing like an $18 million quarterback right now."
"Is that your opinion, or have you talked to people in the organization?" Jason Bishop asked.
"That's my educated opinion," Jones responded. "Unless Kirk goes out there and starts balling out in the second half of the season, they have so many needs, they cannot kill a bunch of cap space on a guy who is just going to be very safe and throw for a lot of yards, but it's a bunch of fool's gold yards. That's not $25 million a year."
Bishop then pushed back against Jones, stating that Cousins would be far better than any other available passer if the Redskins do choose to move on from him this offseason. That's when Jones, who up until that point had been using his "educated" opinions, implied that some tied to the team don't exactly think that way.
"There are people in that building who believe that they have options," he said.
What those options potentially would be are still unknown. In these next eight matchups, it's on Cousins to prove to Washington's decision-makers that there's no need to pursue them.
Watch the full segment of the Junkies and Mike Jones talking about Kirk Cousins in the video player above.
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