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Art of the Max Deal: Details on Kirk Cousins' weekend round of golf with Donald Trump

Art of the Max Deal: Details on Kirk Cousins' weekend round of golf with Donald Trump

"Hey partner," Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, beckoned to Kirk Cousins.

"Get in," Trump said, as the Redskins quarterback arrived at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, N.J. on Saturday, June 10. 

Cousins arrived as a guest of Trump's for a personal round of golf, as first reported by the Washington Post.

The most powerful person in the country wanted the most powerful athlete in the nation's capital to join him for 18 holes.


Eric Shuster, CSN Mid-Atlantic's Director of Strategic Partnerships and close personal friends with the Redskins quarterback — who was acting independently — had a mutual connection with President Trump's golf partner and called Cousins to see if he would be interested. 

President Trump is an an avid golfer and sports fan. Of course he wanted to play a round with a member of the Redskins. Trump wanted to play with someone who is a "great person," a bill which Cousins fits perfectly.

So there was the biggest athlete in Washington, D.C. and the biggest politician in the country, riding together in the President's personal golf cart, engaging in a friendly match against one of Trump's golf partners and another friend. The President and the Redskins quarterback won the match by a lone stroke. 

It was just another day on the golf course, despite the gravitas of the two partners, with President Trump hitting a few long balls and being described as an "excellent putter." Like any weekend golf pair, the two complimented each other on their shots, with President Trump telling Cousins he has a nice form and will be a greater golfer when he retires. 

"Enjoyed the round of golf this past weekend," Cousins told CSN. "Grateful to Eric Shuster of CSN for making it happen. Never thought I would be able to do something like that. Another example of the incredible platform that exists in Washington, D.C."

The round was "as unpolitical as possible." The President, wearing his traditional golf outfit of blue slacks, a white golf shirt and a red "Make America Great Again" hat, was affable, cordial, and interested in getting to know Cousins. 

Despite two secret service members walking alongside the twosome, with multiple secret service members in golf carts flanking the group on every hole, the round was "peaceful" and "incredibly relaxing." 


But the day didn't start that way.  

Cousins wasn't even 100-percent sure that the round was going to happen. Pulling up to the Trump National security gate, the gravity of the day did not hit Cousins until the guards responded to their names with, "Oh, you're the POTUS' guests."

From there, politics was as far away as the White House or Cousins' hometown of Holland, Mich.

After the round, which took well under three hours, the golf group sat down to lunch in the Trump National grill, where a traditional All-American lunch was served. 

As an avid sports fan, the Commander-in-Chief talked to Cousins about everything the average weekend golfer would want to talk about.

He posed the same question everyone in the D.M.V. is asking, wanting to know if Cousins will be back with the Redskins in 2018. 

In typical Kirk fashion, the answer to the President was consistent with what he has been saying to the public, not giving specifics on the status of contract talks and focusing on football. 

The President spoke of his great friendship with Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and inquired with the rest of the group on who they believe would win the NBA Finals (The Warriors led the Cavaliers 3-1 at the time). 

The President also asked the same question sports fans around the country are asking, wanting to know if LeBron James is still the best basketball player on the planet, offering up no answer himself.

It was an incredible experience, one Cousins said would love to replicate with former presidents Barack Obama or George W. Bush, both avid golfers themselves. 

After all, who wouldn't love to play a three-hour round of a golf on a beautiful Saturday afternoon?

CSN's Mitch Tischler contributed to this story.

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Don't look now but Redskins drafts are starting to produce among the NFL's best


Don't look now but Redskins drafts are starting to produce among the NFL's best

For years, maybe decades, the Redskins did not treat the NFL Draft with the seriousness of the best teams in the league. 

The organization often traded away important picks for veterans, and when Washington did make picks, they missed. 

T.J. Duckett for a third-round selection? Sure.

Malcolm Kelly, Fred Davis and Devin Thomas in the second round? Sure.

A second-round pick for Donovan McNabb? Sure. 

The trade to acquire Robert Griffin III doesn't even need to be mentioned. That trade, while giving up a boatload of first-round picks, at least produced an NFC East title, even if it ended spectacularly. 

Anyway, enough about how things used to be run. Things are run differently now, and the results are obvious. 

The 2018 Redskins defense contains plenty of draft picks. The team found first-round success with Daron Payne and Johnathan Allen, but also late round picks like Greg Stroman and Matt Ioannidis.

Offensively, many of the biggest names came through the draft, even if some are injured now. Jordan Reed, Chris Thompson, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Josh Doctson. All draft picks, some early, some late, some mid-rounders. 

Add it all up and it shows the Redskins have overhauled their personnel philosophy. The NFL draft has become the centerpiece of team building, not free agency. 

This procedural change was a long time coming, and it's working. 

Keep in mind the above stat means draft picks still playing in the NFL but doesn't necessarily mean still playing on the team that drafted them. For the Burgundy and Gold, that means players like Kendall Fuller of the Chiefs, Ryan Grant of the Colts, Spencer Long of the Jets and Brian Orakpo of the Titans. 

Bigger picture, however, it means the Redskins are drafting and drafting well. Nearly half of the current 53-man roster came from Redskins draft picks, and that doesn't include undrafted success stories like Quinton Dunbar, Maurice Harris and Danny Johnson. 

The Redskins have become a team focused on acquiring more picks in each draft, even letting their own home grown players walk to pile up compensatory picks. 

It's a formula many successful teams like the Packers and Patriots have used for a long time.

In Washington, it's a relatively new way to design the roster, but it seems much more effective than the old way. 


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Who to root for in Week 11 if you are a Washington Redskins fan

NBC Sports Washington/ Bob Youngentob

Who to root for in Week 11 if you are a Washington Redskins fan

If you are Washington Redskins fan, you're probably just worried about the team making the playoffs. You're not worried too much about how the rest of the NFC Playoff Picture is playing out.

Well with a 6-3 record you can be, and you should be, looking at how the postseason bracket will shape up. So we will help you out on which teams to root for this week. 

In a rare situation, the Redskins hold their postseason fate in their own hands. Win out and the team is the division champion at 13-3. With a record like that, there is the potential for more than just a division title. 

No one reading this is naive to believe that Washington is built to run the table the rest of the way. The NFL is not like that. At the same time most other teams won't win out either

The following results would significantly help the Redskins make the playoffs with a highest seed possible.

Redskins Week 11 Rooting Guide

Green Bay Packers (4-4-1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (4-5)
Thursday at 8:20 p.m.

Ties are confusing when it comes to the playoff picture. To make it easier for everyone involved just keep Green Bay out of contention even though the Redskins have the tiebreaker over them. On top of that, the Seahawks have a worse winning percentage so it all works out to Root for the Seahawks.

Dallas Cowboys (4-5) vs. Atlanta Falcons (4-5)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

If the Redskins take care of business and win the division it will not matter either way. As a Washington fan though it's always easy to root against the Cowboys and it could boost that division lead. While the Falcons do have the win over Washington to carry them over, it would take the Redskins falling to a Wild Card spot to be an issue. Root for the Falcons.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6) vs. New York Giants (2-7)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Neither of these opponents should be a factor in the Redskins playoff outlook. While there is one game left against the Giants, overall it should be a non-threat. Technically there are probably better odds for the Buccaneers to come back in the Wild Card than the Giants in the division, so Root for the Giants.

Carolina Panthers (6-3) vs. Detroit Lions (3-6)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Even with the head-to-head over the Panthers, Washington should not be comfortable that it will come down to that. Carolina is a good team, that not only is the biggest threat to the Saints in the NFC South, but is a team that currently holds the top Wild Card spot. If for some reason Philadelphia or Dallas makes a push for the division title some breathing room in the Wild Card race would be nice. Root for the Lions.

Oakland Raiders (1-8) vs. Arizona Cardinals (2-7)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4:05 p.m.

AFC vs. NFC. Cardinals are still alive in the playoff picture. Root for the Raiders.

Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) vs. New Orleans Saints (8-1)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 4:25 p.m.

The Saints are two games ahead of the Redskins in seeding. Factoring in that New Orleans has the tiebreaker, it might as well be a 2.5 game advantage. Washington probably will not have a chance to surpass the Saints, but that lead in the division is not safe. Root for the Saints.

Minnesota Vikings (5-3-1) vs. Chicago Bears (6-3)
Sunday, Nov. 18 at 8:20 p.m.

This matchup is essentially a push. By a fraction the Bears have a better winning percentage, but there is more confidence the Vikings will comeback and have a better finish. General rule of thumb, never assume the future of a team. Root for the Vikings.

Kansas City Chiefs (9-1) vs. Los Angeles Rams (9-1)
Monday, Nov. 19 at 8:15 p.m.

Does any reasonable person think the Redskins can pass the Rams? No. Could something crazy happen? It's the NFL so yes it could. No reason not to Root for the Chiefs in this one.