Joe Thomas: If it were up to me, I’d sign Kirk Cousins

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In a column for SI.com endorsing the team’s decision to retain head coach Hue Jackson, Browns left tackle Joe Thomas wrote that he thinks the team has a chance to make progress quickly because of their cap space and draft picks.

Thomas wrote the team could sign Kirk Cousins to play quarterback with some of that cap space and went a bit further during an appearance on ESPN Radio. Thomas was asked by Trey Wingo what he would do if he were General Manager John Dorsey and started by making Cousins his top target before revealing who he wants in the draft.

“We have $118 million in cap space. So we have plenty of money to do whatever we want,” Thomas said. “But I would actually sign Kirk Cousins and then I would use the first and fourth pick on the best players available. Probably [Penn State running back] Saquon Barkley and one of the defensive players. I’m not exactly sure where they go, where they rank all the quarterbacks. For me, I would rather sign Kirk Cousins because we have the money. Then you don’t have to trade a draft pick for Alex Smith.”

By mentioning Cousins and Smith, Thomas leaves little doubt about his feelings about experience and youth at the quarterback position. He isn’t the first veteran player from another team to express a desire to add Cousins in free agency, although it still remains to be seen if Cousins will be leaving Washington at all this offseason.

One potential wrench in any Cleveland plans would be Thomas deciding that he isn’t going to play in 2018. Thomas has yet to commit to playing and says his physical condition will be the deciding factor, although one imagines adding talent at both quarterback and running back would make a return a more appealing prospect.

30 responses to “Joe Thomas: If it were up to me, I’d sign Kirk Cousins

  1. Joe why dont you concentrate on being a quality player like you were 4 years ago,instead of politicking.

  2. They could get good quick, but that’s assuming they’re actually going to spend that cap money. I don’t.

  3. J. Thomas has been the Browns best player for 10 years and has just endured a 1-31 stretch as his career winds down. I’m sure he doesn’t give a diddly damn about “tampering.”

    The man is simply begging for a .500 season. Give it to him!

  4. He’s absolutely right. But I wonder what his current teammates, Kizer and whoever else they have at QB, think about him wanting them to sign a new QB.

  5. Joe Thomas…..somehow has become the greatest non QB player in the league. All while being nice and comfy losing every week, every year. He likes his max vacation time.

  6. Watching the Senior Bowl practices and bowl games I doubt that Allen, Darnold or Rosen would succeed in the short term while Mayfield is tainted by the Manziel debacle so a veteran is essential to stabilize the franchise and begin to rebuild the fan base. Fortunately for the Browns the question may be resolved when the arbitrator rules on AJ McCarron’s grievance set to be heard in mid February. If McCarron wins the Browns can offer more cash than any other team; he knows the AFC North, Hue Jackson and will be on an even terms with all offensive players trying to digest Haley’s system. The Browns will not make the playoffs but they will stay the course. If McCarron loses the Bengals can reinstitute the trade. Obviously the Bengals do not have a high opinion of McCarron if they were willing to trade him within their division but he had some success when he played. McCarron can operate as a bridge to Kizer or whoever is chosen in the draft.

  7. Everyone knocking J. Thomas like he’s uninformed. The man has put in 10 years with the Browns and never complained or been a distraction for the team while also being their best player. I think he’s earned the right to at the very least voice his opinion on what he feels they need to get to .500.

  8. Cousins, Bradford, whoever. But the league needs to make a special rule for the Browns that bans them from picking a QB in the first round.

  9. I’d go Smith. I trust him more in clutch situations than Capt’n Kirk. You have a playoff QB from day one. As for who to draft? Who knows. I do know if Cleveland has the opportunity to get Le’veon Bell if he walks from Pittsburgh…they better be first in line to pony up. Hopefully he likes Todd Haley…

  10. I get where he’s coming from; it sounds crazy to say it, i know, but I think the Browns personnel makes them look like a 10-6 team waiting to happen. But a lousy QB sure will go a long way towards undoing some if not all of that potential. I’m not sure Cousins is the guy, but hey, he’s gotta be better than what they put out there last year, right?

  11. If they sign Kirk Cousins to the Browns for what he wants in particular, they would be mediocre for years to come. Kirk Cousins can play a short, highly scripted TE passing system like they run in WAShington, but he has never shown that he can play a WR based deep passing offense forcing him to make all the reads. In such systems he was a turnover machine and it continues to this day. Kirk Cousins is incompatable with the type of system Hue Jackson or the Steelers (New OC) have run. He would be throwing more picks than Kiser.

    Right now, he is getting all the press based on his two years of 4000 plus yards based off of that safe system. Right now, based on him being in the news with Washington tagging him twice, he seems have the perception of him being a stud or something. But in actuality, even in the system designed EXACTLY for his strengths, non of the new players have thrived, nor has Cousins played at a high enough level to win against playoff caliber teams. So, this would be a coach firing for sure. People are going to be surprised if Cousins goes to another team how much of fools gold this guy actually is. He has bottom third stats throwing in tight NFL windows, and his red zone play is not solid. These are the money skills. No team makes it in the playoffs if they cannot do those things-even with a great defense.

  12. As if con man Haslam will let them spend much of that cap space. They’ll be at least 50 mil under the cap again and remain totally uncompetitive.

  13. I’m still trying to figure out this salary cap deal, if the whole purpose for the cap was to insure all teams played on an even playing field…then why does a team like Cleveland have that kind of cap space? They aren’t spending money like other teams and why they are 1-31 the last two years.

  14. rgtre10 says:
    January 24, 2018 at 12:55 pm
    I’m still trying to figure out this salary cap deal, if the whole purpose for the cap was to insure all teams played on an even playing field…then why does a team like Cleveland have that kind of cap space? They aren’t spending money like other teams and why they are 1-31 the last two years.
    ———————————————————————————
    I am in no way shape or form an expert on the Cleveland cap situation but here are a couple of things to consider. Between letting go of Joe Haden and Osewiler there is 25 million dollars of additional cap space for the Browns. They were also allowed to carry over some of the unused cap from previous years into next year. Next. they haven’t had a good quarterback for years and everyone knows how much a good quarterback eats up the cap space. Finally, I would hate to thing that a team that was 1-31 was actually spending near the cap. That would be criminal mismanagement.

  15. Thomas’ feelings about experience and youth at the quarterback position are probably influenced in no small part by the reality of being a 33 year old NFL player, he doesn’t have time for a young guy to develop.

  16. IDK, but the Browns could be really good if they go this route.

    If the Browns signed Cousins, they’d have a competent to very good QB.

    They have some nice pieces on defense already.

    Their OL is good, especially if Thomas can play.

    They have the #1 and #4 picks in the draft, so they can add two immediate weapons on either side of the ball.

    They also have those same picks, plus a later pick, in the second round, where they can add three more playmakers across the board.

    That’s Cousins + 5 immediate upgrades at pretty much any position the Browns desire.

    If they sign Cousins early enough, other free agents might see a chance to play for a team on the upswing AND get that big paycheck. Here’s where they could, at the very least, beef up their depth with quality players and borderline starters, rather than roster flotsam.

    And the bonus of all that is you now have Kizer, with no pressure to perform, and the opportunity to calm down and learn how to play the position the right way. Who knows, maybe you make something out of that arm of his and give yourself some QB options 2-3 years down the road.

    With Ben on his last legs and no idea when either the Bengals or the Ravens will get their act together, this is the perfect time for the Browns to rise up.

  17. Thomas’ opinions are very informed since he’s not just the Browns best player he’s literally the best left tackle to ever play the game. Similar to Peyton Manning and Lebron James the league and his team respect him enough to ask his opinion about things like this. He also knows the offensive playbook enough to know if the problem was the coaching or the rookie QB and also knows what it’s like to block for good QB’s from his time in the pro bowl.

    I assuming the people bashing him are fans of teams that have players who give their opinion without earning the right to do it. Thomas has more than earned that right.

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