When former Washington coach Mike Shanahan justified his decision to shut down quarterback Robert Griffin III for the final three games of the 2013 season by suggesting that solid performances by backup Kirk Cousins could yield a first-round pick in trade, the cat was out of the bag.
The Redskins may now be trying to stuff the cat back into the bag.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Redskins “have no plans nor interest in trading” Cousins. Added Schefter: “He’s not going anywhere.”
While it makes every bit of sense for the Redskins to keep Cousins around, given the injuries suffered by Griffin and a style of play conducive to more, it’s hard to completely rule out the possibility that the Redskins are simply trying to increase trade value by creating the impression they don’t want to trade him.
Last year, it was the Vikings who publicly declared they have “no intent” to trade receiver Percy Harvin. And then the Vikings traded Harvin to the Seahawks.
With the NFL’s muckety-mucks already gathered in Indy for the last two days, there’s a chance the Redskins have gotten some initial feelers from interested teams about potential trade value, and that the Redskins didn’t like what they were hearing. So now they’re putting out the word privately that they have “no plans nor interest” in trading Cousins.
Which may be just different enough from “no intent” to get people to actually believe it.