Former Washington General Manager Scot McCloughan spent a lot of time around Brett Favre, Russell Wilson, Matt Hasselbeck and Alex Smith during stints with the 49ers and Seahawks. McCloughan said he didn’t spend as much time around Kirk Cousins in his two years in Washington.
Still, McCloughan questions whether Cousins is “special.”
“He’s a good player,” McCloughan told Denver radio station 104.3 The Fan, via the Washington Post. “Is he special? I don’t see special. But also, we were still building a roster around him to make him special. Jay Gruden does a great job play-calling. [Former Washington offensive coordinator-turned-Rams coach] Sean McVay did a great job play-calling to put him in positions to be successful. He’s talented. Talent is good at quarterback in the NFL. He’s won games. I know his record overall is not over .500. I know he has not won a playoff game. But he’s competitive. He works his tail off. He’s so methodical. Every day he has planned out. He’s always in the building; he’s always watching tape; he’s always talking to coaches; he was talking to me. From the standpoint of the tangibles, they’re excellent. You just need to have some talent around him because you don’t want him to be throwing the ball 35 to 40 times to win the game. You want to have a running game, have a good defense, good [special] teams, and then let him do what he does.”
Cousins’ future remains in doubt, with Washington in a bind. The franchise tag for a third consecutive year is cost prohibitive, so the team likely either keeps him with a long-term deal or he goes elsewhere in free agency.
“The thing about it is, when I was there, we tried to get a long-term deal done and were unable to do it,” McCloughan said. “He’s respected in the building. He’s a really good football player; he’s a leader; he’s a smart guy; he does everything right. But he has all the leverage now. . . . If they tag him for a third time, that’s $34 million for one season. It’s good if you’ve got a guy that you know can win a world championship for you, but it affects the other guys, teammates, because of contracts. You’re investing so much money in one position, you’re going to lose some good players, some good young players, and that, from a GM standpoint, that’s how you have to look at it. You’d love to have him. I’m sure they’d love to have him back for another year. He’s had three solid seasons in a row, but it’s a huge investment, and it’s going to affect the team.”