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Shanahan’s comments could make it harder to get a first-rounder for Cousins

Mike Shanahan AP

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan capped a bizarre week by openly talking about possibly getting a first-round pick for quarterback Kirk Cousins, if Cousins plays well in the final three games of the season.  Which will be played against a trio of average-to-bad-defenses.

Shanahan possibly blurted out flipping Cousins for a first-round pick in response to the intense criticism he has received for shutting down franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III.  Even Shanahan’s own son didn’t like the move (a position that could help Kyle when the time comes to move on).

Regardless, talking about getting a first-round pick for Cousins could make it harder to get a first-round pick for Cousins.  These are high-stakes negotiations, driven by all sorts of subtleties and tells.  The rookie wage scale has made first-round picks even more valuable to the teams that have them.

If it’s believed that the Redskins are now motivated to move Cousins, they’ll get a first-round pick for him only if they can provoke an auction between two or more teams.  By talking about trading Cousins, the “if you don’t want to give us a first-round pick we’ll keep him” position becomes far less convincing.

From Cousins’ perspective, Shanahan’s remarks could be regarded as a carrot.  If he plays well down the stretch, he’ll be rewarded for two years of loyal service via a trade to a team where he’ll get to play on a regular basis.  And Cousins won’t care if the Redskins can’t muster a first-round pick; now that the cat is out of the bag, Cousins will want to get out of D.C.

The only way to put the cat back in the bag could be to part ways with the guy who let it out.  If Shanahan is gone, the team can revert to its position of saying nothing at all about trading Cousins, keeping him around as a capable backup to a starter who seems destined to get injured again.  And again.

Which brings us back to where we were a week ago.  Shanahan apparently wants out.  Undermining the team’s ability to maximize Kirk Cousins‘ trade value could be just another example of Shanahan’s effort to get himself fired.

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16 Responses to “Shanahan’s comments could make it harder to get a first-rounder for Cousins”
  1. dartwick says: Dec 15, 2013 10:03 AM

    Shanahan probably is NOT trying to sabotage trade values. Thats not in his long term interest.

    He probably is trying to motivate Cousins which is greatly in Shanahans long term interest.

  2. abninf says: Dec 15, 2013 10:04 AM

    Ummm, the Redskins might want to keep Cousins.

  3. abqhawk says: Dec 15, 2013 10:14 AM

    Shanahan’s comment on Cousins was designed to garner interest in making RGIII available for some form of a trade, not Cousins. Lots of people think RGIII’s problem is the Redskins, not RG, and that may be the case. The Redskins need a lot more than just a QB so a trade may be in their best interests where they can get multiple players of value.

  4. pooflingingmonkey says: Dec 15, 2013 10:16 AM

    The Raiders will trade a first AND a second for almost any quarterback. Just ask Carson Palmer.

  5. jasong31 says: Dec 15, 2013 10:19 AM

    No chance for a 1st rounder if Chicago is open to trading McCown, who is much more appealing as a franchise QB. Let alone the talent in this years draft (if they decide to come out)

  6. jpb12 says: Dec 15, 2013 10:27 AM

    Ryan Mallet > Cousins.
    Neither is a 1st rounder

  7. rgmememe says: Dec 15, 2013 10:32 AM

    They play Atl, Dal, and NY. Defenses who scare no one by putting the ball in the air.

  8. norcalmafia says: Dec 15, 2013 10:32 AM

    Wouldnt it be ironic if Cousins just started lighting it up and got traded to the Rams then became their franchise qb?

  9. kd75 says: Dec 15, 2013 10:33 AM

    If Robinson Cano can get 10 years and $240 million at 32 years old…Nothing would surprise me.

  10. bears0492 says: Dec 15, 2013 10:34 AM

    As much as I think the majority of this Redskins circus is media-driven and potentially receiving information from untruthful sources with hidden agendas, Shanahan is still not who I would want if I were a Redskins fan. He’s just done and said too much and there are far better coaches out there.

    Better yet, try and find the next Marc Trestman. I’m sure he’s out there somewhere.

  11. romospersonalsnuggie says: Dec 15, 2013 10:41 AM

    Anyone who gives up a first round pick for Matt Flynn Jr needs to reevaluate thier career

  12. daddyb1gdrawz says: Dec 15, 2013 10:43 AM

    There is no way Cousins gets a first or second. Do we have to revisit recent traded eagles qbs? Many thought the packers could trade Matt Flynn. He barely got a sniff as a free agent. Shanny maybe over playing his hand.

  13. pftstory says: Dec 15, 2013 11:13 AM

    Why trade a first Rounder for Cousons? The teams that need a QB pick early in the draft and have plenty of options.
    We may not all agree they are all good options (and some won’t be), but those QB’s will be picked.

  14. skinsfan80 says: Dec 15, 2013 11:24 AM

    Could he be trying to get Kirk cousins traded to a team he MIGHT be coaching for limited value?

  15. lfarrell2012 says: Dec 15, 2013 11:28 AM

    Did somebody up there say they would trade for Josh McCown as a franchise QB? Really??/ He’s 35 and I believe he will be a free agent anyway…

  16. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 15, 2013 12:27 PM

    When they see Cousins play, I think fans may want to flip Rob Griffin instead.

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