While his next destination isn’t known, it’s a given that quarterback Kirk Cousins will be signing with a team other than the one that made him a fourth-round pick in 2012. And so Cousins has bid farewell to Washington with a message posted at his website.
“As I’m about to make one of the bigger decisions of my life, I’ll be saying goodbye to my familiar life as a Redskin,” Cousins wrote. “After calling Washington home for the past six years, the team has decided to move on to another option and, in turn, my family and I will be moving on as well.”
Some would say that Cousins forced the team to move on to another option, because Cousins was unwilling to commit to the team. Cousins would say that the team failed to commit to him, opting to go one year at a time over offering him a fair deal that reflected his value and leverage.
Keep this fact in mind: When tagged by Washington, Cousins didn’t wait until Labor Day weekend to sign the tender. He signed promptly both years, and he didn’t stay away from the voluntary phases of the offseason program — even though he easily could have. Instead, he was all in for 2016 and 2017; the team ultimately wasn’t sufficiently all in for Cousins on a suitable long-term deal.
So instead of tagging him for a third time, Washington will trade for quarterback Alex Smith, who is four years older but considerably cheaper. And Cousins will move on. He could be bitter, but it doesn’t sound like he is.
“There is no way I would be where I am today without the leadership of the Redskins organization,” Cousins said. “Coach Gruden, Bruce Allen, Dan Snyder. Thank you all for the opportunity you gave me. When [my son] Cooper someday asks: ‘Hey Dad, what was it like playing for the Redskins?’ I’ll proudly tell him it was a dream come true. . . . Thanks for having me, Washington, and thanks for making me into the player I am today!”
In as soon as two days, some other team will begin the process of benefitting from the player Cousins has become.