Cleveland may make a run at Kirk Cousins

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Regardless of whether Kirk Cousins did or didn’t demand or request or whatever a trade from Washington, Cousins may be getting one.

Per a league source, there’s a growing belief in some circles that the Browns will try to acquire Cousins via trade. Another source said that, when Cousins chose to sign his franchise tender last week, the one concern he had is that, after the tender is signed, he can be traded. He specifically was concerned about being traded to Cleveland.

Although it has been reported that Cousins would accept a trade only to the 49ers, his one-year, $23.94 million contract can be traded to the Browns or any other team, if the Browns or any other team is willing to trade for a guy who is under contract for only one year.

The Browns, who have dumped $16 million into a quarterback they’ll never actually put on the field, could easily justify paying $23.94 million to Cousins in 2017, and if necessary to give him a 20-percent raise in 2018 ($28.78 million) via the transition tag. They also would have the opportunity to try to persuade Cousins to sign a long-term deal through July 15.

If they’re willing to absorb Cousins’ contract without a long-term deal, the question becomes whether Cleveland would offer enough to get Washington’s attention via trade. The easiest way to do it would be to dangle the supposed Garoppolo package (No. 12 this year and the second-round pick acquired from Houston in the hot potato Osweiler trade).

How could Washington reject that? For Cleveland, it’s easy to justify the offer; they get a proven quarterback instead of a roll-of-the-dice rookie with the twelfth overall pick, and they give up the extra second-round pick they bought from the Texans.

That doesn’t mean a Cousins-to-Cleveland trade will happen, but it’s on the radar screen. And even though Cousins may not want to be traded to the Browns, it may not be a bad thing. Coach Hue Jackson runs the same offense as Jay Gruden does in Washington, and the expectations in Cleveland are about as low as they could be.

So stay tuned. Cousins may want to go to San Francisco and San Francisco may want him, but if the Browns are willing to stand in Washington’s shoes and at the same time to load Washington up with some picks, Cousins could be the next name on the back of that jersey that carries all the names of the team’s starting quarterbacks since 1999.

100 responses to “Cleveland may make a run at Kirk Cousins

  1. Are the Browns really that bound and determined not to draft a QB this year? Given their recent history I understand, but if the Browns are that sour on this QB class the candidates really must stink.

  2. Cousins isn’t all that great. He’s an average QB at best, and his skills are somewhat limited in comparison to people like Rodgers, Newton, Luck, Winston, Mariotta, etc. He’s better than anyone the Browns have at the moment, but he’s no long-term answer at QB for anybody.

  3. The Browns make the most sense in this scenario since Kirk is from Michigan. Cleveland has much more to offer than San Francisco for any aspiring, young player out to prove himself. Go make it happen young man!

  4. If they could sign him to a long-term contract, this is the best possible move for the Browns.

  5. Let me guess……The Redskins are a dysfunctional team and they are completely stupid for letting this happen(although it didnt happen)……C`mon haters I know this is what you are going to say

    Cousins already said He did not ask for a trade,It was fake news and haterade for all of the haters!

    Now the Browns want him and this means they are dysfunctional???……Child Pleez!!!

  6. This is a diversion story to steer you away from the outlandish claim that the Browns actually have an interest in Geno Smith. That story makes zero sense considering Brock Osweiller is a significantly better QB than Geno.

  7. pau49ers says:
    Mar 14, 2017 4:26 PM
    Why would a team want to trade for a player that doesn’t want to play for them?

    ——————–

    If this is the standard that Cleveland applies to all trades, then they won’t get anybody.

  8. It’s hard to believe any team is dumb enough to fall for the old “backup QB” scam again.

  9. I respect Cousins’ willingness to bet on himself and work the system to his advantage as a result. In a league full of sub par QB play it is no longer an insult to say someone is an adequate QB. That said and with all due respect in consideration, it is slightly preposterous that Kirk Cousins is the guy driving the QB salary market bus. It is a sad comment on the state of the veteran QB market and the not ready for prime time candidates coming out of college programs.

  10. bassplucker says:
    Mar 14, 2017 4:30 PM

    Are the Browns really that bound and determined not to draft a QB this year? Given their recent history I understand, but if the Browns are that sour on this QB class the candidates really must stink.
    _____
    Best guess I have is that these Moneyball guys really do rate players completely different from everyone else, and no one in this class rates high in their analytics.

    Either that or they’re trying to tread water until they can get Lamar Jackson…..

  11. As a longtime Redskins fan it is utterly depressing that a talented starting QB like Cousins is so determined to get away from our dysfunctional owner/Bruce Allen. Why does Allen still have any personnel authority there??!!

  12. Could the Browns trade for Cousins with their #12 and 2018 2nd rounder (knowing Cousins wants to go to San Fran but Washington won’t trade him there), then turn around and trade him to San Fran for SFs #2 overall?
    Seems like a lot of moving parts but given the front office’s recent trade for Osweiller, it looks like they’re willing to think outside the box and it may be a smokescreen to cover up the fact that the QB they want in the draft is going to be long gone before #12….

  13. $26M for cousins…. According to PFT my Browns are like that drunk guy at last call making a run and any/every broken toothed, lazy eyed, acne scarred fattie still propped upright against the bar. Pry open that wallet and start buying before the lights come on and you have to face what you’re actually throwing money at. Eeesh….

  14. I think Cleveland is trying to make it seem like they’re interested in a LOT of QBs…. I’m guessing that they asked the Bengals for McCaron but the Bengals wanted too much, so Cleveland is trying to get the Bengals to lower their demands by creating “fake” interest in other QBs.

    Jackson coached McCaron, so I’m guessing that’s his #1 choice.

  15. “but if the Browns are that sour on this QB class the candidates really must stink.”

    I’d say it’s the opposite. Given who the Browns have liked in recent years, then whichever QB’s they don’t like are probably sure fire Hall of Famers.

    Remember when they didn’t need Roethlisberger because he was just some unaccomplished small school QB? “Nah he won’t be any use to us, let’s draft some clownshoe offspring of a TE instead”

    Or when Carson Wentz would never even be a top 20 QB, but hey let’s give Bob the 3rd multi years and guaranteed money!

    Or when they wanted Manziel so badly that they TRADED UP TO GET HIM when Derek Carr was still on the board?

    Yeah, i wouldn’t trust their judgment that much.

  16. “the garapolo package” has always been a pipe dream.

    and anyway, the moment the pats priced him out of everyone’s range, it was obvious the pats either want to keep him for another year, or jimmy g already has a wink and nod to only negotiate with a few teams, and said teams are willing to wait.

    unless it is an emergency, or a superstar player, nfl teams don’t just give away their first rounders on players that they will also have to sign to huge extensions.

    jimmy g, while good, is still an unknown commodity.

    by drafting a talented player teams can get production at a reasonable price.

  17. Or they may not. For all the bashing they are taking the Browns front office has done okay so far at keeping everyone guessing as to what they are going to do. For Browns fans it has to be encouraging to see them being a player this off season and not one of the played.

  18. Put a decent team around Kessler and they’ll be fine. Seriously, he’s not top tier but he showed promise on a bad, bad team.

  19. Smoke and mirrors. Cleveland drafts Garrett at one and then depending when they can, they grab a QB at or before 12. Based on the rookie scales, a QB’s base salary effectively balances taking on Osweiler’s contract and cap hit. So it’s essentially dollar cost averaging.

    Regardless, I don’t think the Browns will keep Brock on board. The kid is too pissed and would not want to be around after being traded like he was.

    I’m thinking Os gets cut and ends up upgrading a clipboard position somewhere like Detroit or New Orleans.

  20. This would be a godsend for the Skins. This would allow move on from the Cousins debacle and maybe draft their qb of the future.

  21. Trade 2 important draft picks for a guy on a 1 year $25MM deal that has 0 interest in signing a deal long-term… yup sounds Browns enough to me.

  22. TheDPR – Kessler is a backup. An undersized limited skill set backup. Not someone you build around, not even close. He can’t even survive 3 games in a row without getting hurt somehow, so how do you expect to count on him consistently for years to come? Good guy to have in a pinch, can be serviceable in short term spurts, but anything more than that is foolish to expect.

    And for a team that hasn’t had a franchise QB in decades, you think they really wanna settle for a “meh, he’s alright, i guess” kinda guy? Give me a break.

    They have had enough backups shoehorned in as starters, time for them to find a REAL answer.

  23. goooooobrowns says:
    Mar 14, 2017 4:55 PM
    $26M for cousins…. According to PFT my Browns are like that drunk guy at last call making a run and any/every broken toothed, lazy eyed, acne scarred fattie still propped upright against the bar. Pry open that wallet and start buying before the lights come on and you have to face what you’re actually throwing money at. Eeesh….
    ***********************************

    If you stopped saying “yes” they would stop making runs at ya.

  24. I still don’t get all the fuss over Cousins. He’s a sub .500 starting qb over his career, his best year is 9-7 and he’s 0-2 in the playoffs, with both losses at home and this year’s loss due to his awful pick. Everyone is so in love with stats. Every qb throws for a ton of yards and tds these days, it’s the way the nfl is. Send him to Cleveland for a year. His market value will return to what it really is.

  25. I’m sure Cleveland has done their due diligence looking at every QB that may be available this offseason. The FA moves suggest that they believe that they can be competitive this year with the right QB. If the asking price for Garappolo is higher than what they are willing to give, then it makes sense to make an offer for Cousins. He may be available, and is a more proven commodity having passed for over 4000 yards each of the past two seasons.

  26. All a smokescreen to make the Patriots think they don’t want Garrapolo. Bill needs draft picks and is trying to get as many and as high as he can. Watch in the end it will be Jimmy G to Cleveland for #12 and a 2nd.

  27. John X says:
    Mar 14, 2017 4:33 PM
    The Browns make the most sense in this scenario since Kirk is from Michigan. Cleveland has much more to offer than San Francisco for any aspiring, young player out to prove himself.

    _________________________________________

    And besides Cleveland has such a rich history of success….
    lol #delusional

  28. As a Browns fan, I specifically do not want Kirk Cousins. I remember him from Michigan State. There’s nothing special about him then or now.

  29. Seems like everyone calls any QB who isn’t Brady, Rodgers, or Brees “worthless” or “garbage.” Guess what? Guys like that, who can put on a whole team on their back and will them through the playoffs, are really rare. That’s why they end up in the Hall of Fame. Cousins is not a superstar, but he’s proven himself a solid QB. Yeah, he is 0-2 in the playoffs…with a pretty weak team surrounding him. You can’t win in the playoffs without a good team, unless you’re a Hall-of-Famer. If you think Cousins is so terrible, look around the league. There are some truly awful starting QB’s.

    And Cousins can still get better. He’s young enough. People ragged on Matt Ryan as a mediocre QB who couldn’t win a playoff game. Then all of a sudden he won the MVP, and only a miraculous comeback by maybe the best player in league history stopped him from hoisting the Lombari Trophy. So everyone just take a breath, before you get your wish and jettison Cousins, and end up with Luke McCown under center.

  30. Eventually, everyone will realize that Cleveland isn’t interested in trading for Cousins, or Garoppolo, or Romo, or any other veteran QB, and that it won’t be drafting a QB in the first round either. It is building up the rest of its roster before making its big QB investment, but that won’t prevent it from smokescreens to try and make other teams think it IS interested in QBs.

  31. The Browns are willing to pay $24 M for a QB who doesn’t want to play for them. Pay $16 M to a QB they plan on cutting. Trade #12 pick and several more picks to a backup QB who can’t finish 4 games without getting hurt YET, they wouldn’t match $8 M for a WR with a 1,000 yrds in his first year EVER at the position, even after he gave them a second chance to match it?!!! (Basically, pulling a RT Mitchell Schwartz on him)

    Is this how MONEYBALL is supposed to work? Harvard egos!

  32. The Browns said they would try to trade rock bratwurst and so the phone calls. The rumored trade to ‘skins actually could happen w/o the #12 pick.

  33. The Browns are doing a good job of staying in the headlines. I guess they’re trying to get that out of their system before the season starts. If Hue Jackson has any confidence at all, he’ll try to make it work with Osweiler. The kid has all the tools.

  34. I said it before. Niners cannot play any games if they want Cousins. 2 first round picks and you have your QB now. Enter Cleveland, they can offer 2 first round and even include this years 2nd round pick. As a Skins fan, I don’t want to lose the only QB worthy of betting your future on available either coming out of college or as a free agent. But we need so much, I don’t mind getting picks now if he wants to go elsewhere.

  35. If I was Cousins, I’d go to Cleveland. They just sunk a huge chunk of change into their offensive line and all 5 starters grade out pretty well. They’re not the Cowboys OL by any means, but it’s looking pretty good right now on paper. If the Browns are willing to trade a 1st round pick for him, then they’ll also be willing to make him the highest paid player in the league long term.

    I know it’s the Browns, but a long term deal is a long term deal. If the Skins won’t give him $100 million, Cleveland will.

  36. oswizard says:
    Mar 14, 2017 5:58 PM
    I said it before. Niners cannot play any games if they want Cousins. 2 first round picks and you have your QB now.
    _________________

    2 high firsts for an average NFL QB that is already under his second tag? regardless of want no one is giving that up for a player that they would only have one additional year of cost prohibitive control over. Never mind a team with as many holes to fill as SF.

  37. All a smokescreen to make the Patriots think they don’t want Garrapolo. Bill needs draft picks and is trying to get as many and as high as he can. Watch in the end it will be Jimmy G to Cleveland for #12 and a 2nd.

    9 2

    ——

    nailed it

  38. 4 first round picks for Palmer.
    He’s got a little left.
    Greatest trade ever in the NFL?
    Anyone?

  39. Geno rumor made zero sense.

    This one is intriguing, at least, especially if it’s some sort of master plan to get SF’s #2 overall…OR…they’re trying to get SF to act quickly on Cousins, leaving Mitch on the board at #12.

  40. I love PFT. This is the only place that I get my NFL news from while overseas…but come on. The Browns are interested in every QB in the league apparently. Which blog should I believe?

  41. tylawspick6 says:
    Mar 14, 2017 6:27 PM
    All a smokescreen to make the Patriots think they don’t want Garrapolo. Bill needs draft picks and is trying to get as many and as high as he can. Watch in the end it will be Jimmy G to Cleveland for #12 and a 2nd.

    ——

    I don’t see such a trick working. Belichick has laid out his crazy high price for JG and they can take it or leave it. If they want to pass thats perfectly ok with Belichick. There is no bluff to be called here.

  42. For all the Kirk haters, here’s some info for you.

    He was ranked 6th in total QBR.

    He was ranked 1st in air yards, yards where the ball is thrown from scrimmage and caught, not YAC.

    He was ranked 5th in Total EPA, which is a measurement used to rank how much a player contributes to winning.

    He was ranked 3rd in yards per attempt.

    He was ranked 3rd in total yards.

    Kirk statistically faced the toughest schedule of opposing defenses out of all the QBs.

    Saying Kirk is average is just an opinion of those ignorant to the facts.

  43. Why would Washington trade Cousins for a first and second round pick? Who would be their QB?

    They found a decent, serviceable QB. Half the teams in the league have one, the other half of the league have no chance of winning until they get one.

    Would be a dumb move by DC.

  44. scmems07 says:
    Mar 14, 2017 5:37 PM
    There is no way you’re going to get me to believe that a team would rather have Cousins over Gee-no Smith….
    ——————————————————————
    scmems07 is Geno Smith’s mother’s screen name.

  45. Nothing would make me laugh harder than if this happened and Cousins took the Browns to the playoffs while the Redskins fall apart. Then they would truly be the uncontested worst franchise in the NFL and Snyder could ascend to his rightful throne of undisputed worst owner in football.

  46. Lets not forget that second round pick cost them $16 million. It wasn’t free. If you add that to his contract, that is the cost to the browns.

  47. u4icgroov says:
    Mar 14, 2017 6:07 PM

    If I was Cousins, I’d go to Cleveland.
    *************************************************
    Life is short. Cleveland would be my last choice for places to spend any time in this country. Buffalo would be my second to last choice.

  48. How could Redskins refuse that? Easily, and for the same reason the Browns would be willing to make the trade: he’s worth more than the number 12 and a second round pick, if the Redskins think he will sign I’m to a LTD. Which he probably will. All these crazy Cousins rumors are being started by the teams who want Cousins.

  49. Cleveland trades 33 over all pick to Washington for Cousins.
    Cleveland trades Cousins and their #12 pick to San Francisco for the #2 pick.
    Cleveland gets their QB (Mitchell?) of choice and Garret.
    San Francisco gets their QB of choice and the #12 pick.
    Washington gets #33 pick for a player they are going to lose next year anyway.
    win-win-win.
    SF will not pay more than that since they have a good chance of getting Cousins next year for free anyway.

  50. Washington trades Cousins to Cleveland, they could then sign Smoking Jay Cutler! Google Smoking Jay Cutler, then click on “Images” and you’ll see what I mean… a true Marlboro man if ever their was one!

  51. I realize its a slow news day, but you reached way too deep into speculation.

    1st and 2nd for one year from a guy that doesn’t want to be there? If they can’t get an extension, they aren’t trading for him.

  52. the question is: with whom have the Browns agreed to give up Osweiler, the 2017 #2 and the 2018 #2 to, and for whom?

  53. Everyone who things the Redskins won’t pay him $35million next year on the tag are wrong. It is too much but still averages only 26 million for the third consecutive year. That is within the vicinity of what he will be paid on his next contract. This will only be done if he has a great year and he will not want to leave if he has a great year. The window on the Niners or even the Browns ever getting is closing faster than they think.

  54. dmca12 says:
    Mar 14, 2017 5:18 PM
    I still don’t get all the fuss over Cousins. He’s a sub .500 starting qb over his career, his best year is 9-7 and he’s 0-2 in the playoffs, with both losses at home and this year’s loss due to his awful pick. Everyone is so in love with stats. Every qb throws for a ton of yards and tds these days, it’s the way the nfl is. Send him to Cleveland for a year. His market value will return to what it really is.
    **************************************************
    The Redskins were not in the playoffs this year, but thanks for paying attention.

  55. How’s that deal coming along for the Browns and Kirk Cousins? What.. still nothing changed PFT? Let me show you my shocked face. Don’t worry though, people will have forgot you even posted this… Except me. I’m going to remind you every single day for the entire season.

  56. I love Cleveland and hope they turn it around, Hue Jackson is hard to vest interest into, is he really the answer? Nice guy but Cleveland needs a young hungry defensive coach… Is Marv Levy still available…

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