Kirk Cousins never got a long-term deal in Washington, leaving him free to head to Minnesota for a fully guaranteed three-year contract as a free agent this offseason.
He’ll be replaced as the starting quarterback by Alex Smith, who got a new four-year deal immediately after being traded from the Chiefs to the Redskins for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick. After passing on a commitment to Cousins and making a big one to Smith, head coach Jay Gruden said this week that the team is “without a doubt” better off at the quarterback position.
You wouldn’t expect Gruden to say otherwise as head coaches that criticize the decisions made by their organizations tend to have very short futures. The coach went on to explain why he sees Smith as an upgrade.
“It’s not one thing, it’s everything. It’s the entire body of work,” Gruden said, via ESPN.com. “He’s very good at the intermediate ball. He’s good with the quick game. He can run zone reads, the [run-pass options]. Very exciting. … The ability to ad-lib, make plays that aren’t there and keep plays alive. Coaching him for the first time will be exciting because I don’t think there’s a limit on what he can do. He has all the things you want a quarterback to be able to do.”
Gruden said you “could argue” the point all day and those who would argue for Cousins would likely point to three straight 4,000-yard passing seasons that all topped Smith’s career-best 4,042 yards while playing with a deeper well of offensive talent in Kansas City last year. It will likely be something that those in Washington continue to think about as 2018 unfolds with Smith running the show for the first time.