After throwing for 9,000+ yards and accounting for 63 touchdowns (54 passing, nine rushing) to only 23 interceptions over the last two seasons, Kirk Cousins, it is fair to say, is a good quarterback.
But how good is he?
“I’d put him in the top 10 – easily in the top 10,” former Redskin and Super Bowl champion Joe Theismann said on CBS Sports Radio’s Reiter Than You. “His completion percentage was second or third last year, and he’s been consistent in that. It’s been high 60s, 67, 68, 71. His touchdown-to-interception ratio has been very minimal, which is a good thing. He throws more touchdowns than he does interceptions, and he played in an offense that threw the ball around. That won’t be the case this year. I think the Redskins will run the football more, I think they’ll be better defensively – I don’t see him throwing for 4,900 yards, almost 5,000 yards, in this coming season. Maybe somewhere between 4,200 and 4,500, which would be better for the football team overall if he doesn’t have to drop back and throw it as often. But I certainly feel like Kirk Cousins is a top-10 quarterback.”
And he’s getting paid like one. Cousins will make $24 million under the franchise tag this season and could make even more next season. The Redskins could have signed Cousins to a long-term deal last year but chose not to. If they want to keep him beyond 2017, well, it’ll likely take more than the $53 million guarantee they offered Cousins this offseason.
“That ship sailed,” Theismann said. “I think the Redskins were making a fair offer, and Kirk’s camp decided they didn’t want to counter, so they play under the franchise tag and we see how things go. I don’t believe that the Redskins could have offered any amount of money at this point that made any kind of sense that Kirk Cousins would have signed a deal – because I believe he’s counting on himself. He’s betting on this year. If he plays well, the team will probably do well. If the team does well, he’ll does well. If he does well, next year the numbers could go up. So I don’t see it as a gamble. You want Kirk to play well, and if they can afford to keep him, they will – but it’s going to bring other players to the table.”