All seems pretty quiet at the moment. Almost suspiciously quiet. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad – but I do know when the reports were coming out daily about the future of Kirk Cousins and the Redskins, it wasn’t perceived to be very positive. Does that make it a stretch to suggest no news is good news?
There was a narrative, which admittedly seems to have calmed somewhat, that Cousins is desperate to get out of DC. More specifically most seem to suggest he wants to play for Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers in particular.
Now, this is where we potentially get into the contentious “fake news” category. The media have built up the relationship between Kirk and Kyle an awful lot these past few months. It didn’t come out of nowhere – the pair were widely regarded to have formed a close relationship during Kyle’s tenure as the Redskins offensive coordinator (even though Kirk didn’t play much back then). But are they really so close that Cousins wants to throw away everything he’s built in Washington to jump into so many unknowns?
Here are the QB’s who have played under Shanahan the OC. It’s a pretty mixed bag; some early success with a limited player in Matt Schaub, and the terrific 2016 season which saw Matt Ryan crowned league MVP. It’s interesting there is no real sustained success yet though – a lot of that is down to the tools he was given but then there’s also oddities like a pretty average first season in Atlanta.
This brings me back to an earlier point. Kirk Cousins started all of four games while Shanahan was with the Redskins. Were those four games so impactful it left a long-lasting impression and desire to go and run the same plays? It’s not like he saw a great deal of positives sat on the bench in 2013, watching Robert Griffin throw his career away.
Moreover, the 49ers roster is bad. Let’s not mince words here, it’s more than bad, it’s pretty horrible. Since Jim Harbaugh left most of the best players followed him out of the door, some through pretty unfortunate circumstances admittedly. It’s a team that has managed seven wins in two years, has a rookie head coach and a general manager with zero experience having just stepped out of the broadcasting booth. Perhaps above all that though, Jed York just doesn’t seem to know how to run a football franchise very well. Call me crazy, but it seems like this particular project is going to take some time to bear fruit. Yes, Cousins would undoubtedly speed that process up, but is it really as appealing to him as some are suggesting?
Here’s an interesting thought – had the Rams not drafted Jared Goff last season, would we be hearing the same thing about Sean McVay? That would make a lot more sense to me, McVay was designing the offense and calling the plays that put Kirk where he is today. If he owes a debt of gratitude to anybody, surely this is more likely.
Here’s an addendum to that thought – imagine Goff stinks it up in LA this season and Cousins hits the open market. I’m no bookmaker but I’d be quick to install the Rams as the new favourite destination.