1:00pm: Addressing today’s report and his earlier comments, Cousins told reporters – including Boyer (Twitter links) – that he wants to clarify his stance. According to Cousins, he’ll “roll with it” if he’s the backup for a fourth consecutive year in 2015, and he’s not making any demands.
Of course, not demanding a trade doesn’t mean Cousins wouldn’t be open to one if there’s an opportunity for more playing time with another club. As I noted below, that appeared to be his stance earlier this year, and it doesn’t seem as if that has changed.
12:02pm: Jay Gruden and his club closed the book on a disastrous 2014 season yesterday after being blown out at home by the Cowboys, and a day later, one of Washington’s quarterbacks is already looking ahead to 2015. Kirk Cousins indicated today to Dianna Marie Russini of NBC4 (all Twitter links) that if Washington names Robert Griffin III the starting quarterback without an open competition, his preference would be to be traded.
According to Zac Boyer of the Washington Times (Twitter links), Cousins didn’t explicitly say he wants to be traded or that he wants to leave Washington while speaking to a group of reporters, so it’s not clear if the signal-caller made separate comments to Russini or if the two reporters just interpreted them differently. Boyer did acknowledge that Cousins said he wants to be a starting quarterback, so it makes sense that he’d be open to a trade if Washington doesn’t even given him the opportunity to battle for the No. 1 job.
That stance sounds similar to the one Cousins took earlier in the year, when he suggested he’d be open to a deal if it meant he’d have the chance to start for another team. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the Browns had interest in that point, and could revisit the possibility of a trade with Brian Hoyer facing free agency and question marks surrounding Johnny Manziel.
The Buccaneers and Titans, armed with the top two picks in the draft, could be eyeing a rookie rather than a veteran like Cousins, but given how thin the free agent market is for QBs, several other teams with a potential need at the position could do their due diligence on Cousins.
Of course, before we make a list of potential suitors for Cousins, Washington must decide what it wants to do with him. Even if he enters 2015 as Griffin’s backup, Cousins may be more valuable on Washington’s roster than on the trade market, given the minimal trade return on a player like Ryan Mallett earlier this year. Like Mallett last offseason, Cousins will be just a year away from free agency in 2015, so if he’s not traded, he’ll have an opportunity to reach the open market and explore other opportunities in 2016.