On one hand the Redskins quarterback position looks more stable than it has in years. On the other, planned 2016 Week 1 starter Kirk Cousins is not under contract, and currently, the team is on the hook to pay third-string QB Robert Griffin III $16 million.
Fans can expect RG3's release very soon, and speaking from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Washington coach Jay Gruden made clear the team wants Cousins back as starter.
"We’d like to have Kirk back on our football team no doubt," the coach said. "We feel great about his upside."
For Cousins, it's all about upside. 2015 was his first season as starter, and it went well, especially late in the year when he and the team got hot, winning the final four games of the year and taking the NFC East crown. Cousins broke most significant Redskins passing records in the process.
Gruden said one thing he liked in particular about Cousins was that there was "nothing at the QB position he couldn’t handle." The coach expects Cousins to continue to grow at the position, especially as he gets a full offseason in the top spot.
Hurdles remain, however, as Cousins and his agent Mike McCartney are in contract talks with Redskins President Bruce Allen. Depending on the report, the sides remain far apart in the negotiations, and a franchise tag looks likely, at least initially.
"They’re working with it. They’re trying to get something done," Gruden said of the contract talks. "We'll have to wait and see."
Eventually the conversation turned to RG3, and Gruden said he hasn't talked to Griffin recently. The coach explained that much of Griffin's career has been hampered by injuries, but Gruden also made clear that Cousins won the job in 2015; RG3 didn't lose it.
"It was more Kirk's play than anything," Gruden said, of what put RG3 on the bench for good in 2015. "It was more about Kirk, not as much about Robert as people think."