Regardless of how you feel about Kirk Cousins, this much is true: He might be the most under-appreciated 5,000-yard passer in NFL history.
Okay, you got us. Cousins didn’t throw for 5,000 yards last year, but he did throw for 4,917 – not to mention 25 touchdowns. In fact, over the last two seasons, Cousins has thrown for 9,083 yards, 54 touchdowns and just 23 interceptions.
And yet, Washington wants to low-ball him and cry foul when Cousins doesn’t capitulate.
“Every time I hear them talking about him, they want to compare him to Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees – those guys are upper-echelon,” Super Bowl champion and CSN Mid-Atlantic analyst Brian Mitchell said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, they’ve been playing long enough to where they don’t get any criticism from anyone if they throw an interception. If Kirk Cousins throws an interception, you would think that we’re about to go to war against Russia. That’s the way it seems down here. He’s more scrutinized.”
If it’s not the turnovers, maybe it’s his draft status. If Cousins is so good, people wonder, why was he a fourth-round pick?
Just don’t use that line of thinking for the aforementioned Brady.
“Tom Brady was drafted in the sixth round, but look what he became because people gave him the right to be the quarterback,” Mitchell said. “They didn’t question everything that he did, they allowed him to grow at it, and then he became arguably – some people believe – the best quarterback to ever play. Everybody’s always criticizing this guy. I just feel it’s a lot of leftover stuff from the fact that Mike Shanahan believed in him. They never believed in Mike Shanahan – and I think they still see that when it comes down to Kirk Cousins.”
Cousins will make $24 million this season. His future beyond next season, however, is very much in doubt. Tiki and Tierney wonder if the Redskins will trade Cousins, who seemingly has no problem playing under year-to-year arrangements.
“I don’t see it happening, but if it does happen, it would probably be the best move for the team,” Mitchell said. “I think he’s a smart dude. He has a risk because he could get injured. But if he doesn’t get injured, he’s going to get paid.”