Wednesday 21 February 2018 / 08:38 AM


I want you to imagine for just one second, that a franchise would go through the trouble of trading almost all of their first and second round picks for two years and drafting a guy to be their future star. And within handing of the reigns, see him turn into a promising young talent and future star.

Now, imagine that future stud were to suffer some bad injuries, derail into a project and shell of himself, and have the franchise trade him for scraps and go full rebuild around the backup.

And finally, imagine that backup miraculously turned into a top-15 QB, drug you to the postseason in his first year as the starter, and followed it up with monster stats in his sophomore year.

That would the situation that you would be imagining would be the one the Washington Redskins have found themselves in. Now, any normal and breathing human being would thank heavens that they struck gold twice, and lock in their randomly found franchise QB to finally be a competitive franchise.

But you, however, would not the Redskins front office. Because instead of that scenario, the Redskins have dangled Kirk Cousins, said stud QB, and forced themselves into a bad situation.

During the years of RGIII, the Redskins already did quite the job of trying to fumble away their backup in Cousins. In his time thrown in to the action in relief of the oft-injured Griffin, Cousins looked the part of a potential NFL starter, but the Redskins kept coming back to Griffin, even at every chance to let him go.

And as Cousins’ frustrations grew more vocal, the Redskins front office kept both QBs in limbo for a whole season and managed to piss off both before finally booting Griffin and starting Cousins. Who could forget that wonderful escapade!

So fast forward through the first two seasons of Cousins, and the Redskins have actually started to be run like an actual franchise. They rebuilt the defense and doubled down on Cousins under center, surrounding him with Pierre Garcon and Desean Jackson, and putting up an offensive line that could actually provide some support.

The Redskins returned to the postseason in Cousins first season as the starter, winning the NFC East in a down year. Things were finally promising.

And the Redskins followed up the season by placing the franchise tag on Cousins, with an eye toward extending him over the long term during this season.

Only problem: that never happened. The Redskins drug their feet all last offseason and during this season, refusing to offer Cousins the market rate of starting quarterbacks. And things got so tense with the negotiations that rummaging of rumors started that Cousins would maybe be moved.

But no one believed them, until the Redskins AGAIN tagged Cousins, the first multi-tagged QB in NFL history, and pissed off his camp to the point that Cousins agent openly said he’d like to play in San Francisco.

And here we are. After struggling to find a competent quarterback for years, and after missing the playoffs constantly, the Redskins are on the verge of letting their closest thing to a franchise quarterback potentially walk away with nothing in return.

The Redskins would be hard-pressed to find another top-15 quarterback without yet another rebuild, and even if they keep Cousins this season, seeing him walk in free agency next year would be a really tough pill to swallow.

I get that some decisions are hard, and take your franchise some time to get it right. But if two years of insane numbers aren’t enough justification for a small-market team to pay their franchise QB, the Redskins deserve to lose him.Re

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About the author

Austin Albertson

Austin is CBS' senior NFL and NBA analyst, bringing you commentary on everything between the lines and inside the hashes, from the film room to the scoreboard.

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