Had the Washington Redskins not traded for Alex Smith, Kirk Cousins staying with the Redskins in free agency this offseason may not have been too far of a stretch.
In an interview with ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that aired on NFL Live on Friday, the former Redskins quarterback spoke about the past several months leading up to him becoming the second highest paid player in NFL history.
In a response to DeAngelo Hall's "he really doesn't want to be here" comment from SportsCenter that aired a couple of weeks ago, Cousins stated that Washington was probably going to be the best free agency decision to him.
"I actually - when I was here Super Bowl week - very much thought Washington was in the picture to the point that I thought they made the most sense. I always felt like the grass isn't always greener on the other side and I'd had success there and why start over and hit the reset button if you don't have to. So, I was very much thinking that Washington would be in play, but the team didn't want to wait that long and so they had to do what they had to do."
Based on all of the interviews after the trade and the language used in his farewell message to the fan base, it is hard to not take him at his word. Of course, this interview with Paolantonio is well after-the-fact and could just be a case of Cousins protecting his image.
Had this been how Cousins felt, why did not he not directly address this with the team?
Still it is evident that Cousins would not have signed immediately with Washington based on the last half of his comment, 'the team didn't want to wait that long.' Bottom line, it appears Cousins wanted to go through the free agency process.
The 30-year-old also spoke about what was going through his mind during the trade with Kansas City.
"You learn... no news should surprise you too much. So, when I had heard they'd made the trade I'd thought 'okay this is now happening to me where you move on' and you never know what the next step is going to be. It caught me off guard a little bit, but I said 'okay, what's important now. We've gotta now find the best team that makes the most sense'," Cousins said.
Both sides have moved on, with Alex Smith as the lone starter in Washington and Cousins now in Minnesota. As the next couple of seasons continue though the 'what if' questions will continue to be asked.
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