If Cousins leaves, should Redskins sign Christian Hackenberg?
By Ian Cummings
Okay, hear me out.
The Redskins have quite the quandary at quarterback. In all likelihood, Kirk Cousins will be gone in 2018. It’s not a given just yet, but the writing has been on the wall for some time now. Kirk Cousins is asking for more than many think he’s worth. And the team, in the best interests of the roster as a whole, is hesitant to sign him and clog up the team’s cap room.
Paying a quarterback isn’t necessarily a mistake. After all, it’s the most important position in sports. But every quarterback needs a tangible supporting cast to function at a high level, and Kirk Cousins has shown that, to be consistent, he needs more than that. He’s played at a high level for three years straight. He’s been a top ten quarterback. But he hasn’t won the amount of games a top ten quarterback should, and he hasn’t brought the success that a top ten quarterback should. And ultimately, it’s hard for a team such as the Redskins to bank on a quarterback that, even after three years as a starter, is an unknown commodity. Of course, everyone has their opinion.
My opinion? Cousins can make all the throws. He’s fundamentally sound. He knows how to take command. There is no task necessary of a quarterback that he is unable to take on. We’ve seen him elevate the players around him. That said, we’ve also seen him lose games on his own. Can he take the Redskins to the Super Bowl, in their current situation? The team isn’t necessarily in rebuild, but they lack a surplus of stardom at the skill positions on offense. Chris Thompson is good, but he’s just one guy. Josh Doctson was supposed to make a leap in 2017. He didn’t. Jordan Reed has a monthly membership at the hospital. Moving on.
Simply put, Cousins is good. Some, like me, think he’s good enough to keep. It’ll be hard to find anyone better. But the Redskins seem to think differently. They’ve neglected to sign him for three years now, and after an up-and-down 2017, their stance seems unlikely to change. More likely than not, we’ll see Kirk Cousins suit up somewhere else next season. Thus, the Redskins are almost certain to add another quarterback in the offseason, whether it’s through the draft or free agency.
The Redskins aren’t in the most favorable range in the draft for a quarterback, but perhaps they can get Mason Rudolph or Lamar Jackson in the second round (if Jackson drops that far). Either way, neither quarterback is a lock in the pros, and they may need some time to adjust. Would it be a bad idea to add a third quarterback, with more professional experience and some upside, to compete for the job? Enter Christian Hackenberg.