I like Kirk Cousins, a lot. I’m a “Kirk Jerk”. I think the Redskins should make him the highest paid Quarterback in the NFL, because that’s what the market dictates he should be paid.
However, there is a very realistic chance he signs elsewhere in 2018. I’ve seen some pretty remarkable comments from Redskins fans regarding Kirk recently, and not positive comments. I’m going to try and outline the potential post-Kirk landscape by looking at where the Redskins could turn if they make the unfathomably stupid decision of letting Kirk walk.
Just like real power rankings, I’ve somehow found 32 veteran Quarterbacks to rank. Be warned; most of these options are truly terrible, and (hopefully) highly improbable. But that’s kind of the point. The list is supposed to look ugly. Truthful, but ugly.
Viewer discretion is advised.
1. Alex Smith
Smith is on borrowed time in KC, that much is clear after the team drafted Patrick Mahomes. Exactly how much time is to be determined; with the Chiefs looking like a contender this season it seems unlikely they’ll want to pull the plug just yet. But Chiefs will probably fall short, over-react, and promote Mahomes thinking that gives them a better shot. And Smith is a lot like Kirk – smart, fairly dull, pretty dorky. The transition could be seamless.
2. Drew Brees
Yes, it’s flown under the radar, but Brees could technically become a free agent at the end of the season. Brees restructured his deal while the Saints were still bad, giving him the option to void his final three seasons and wash his hands of Sean Payton who has wasted many years with a future Hall of Fame QB. It looked very much like Brees wanted to give himself a shot at signing with a contender in his twilight years. As it turns out, the Saints are pretty good once again, so the probability Brees re-signs with them has seemingly increased. The Redskins aren’t likely to be a contender (for that reason I can’t put him at #1), but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try backing up a dump-truck full of dollars up to his front door if he doesn’t.
3. Ryan Tannehill
Coming off two serious injuries and a debacle of a will-he won’t-he surgery, it’s possible the Dolphins decide to get out of the Tannehill business. His contract structure makes this very easy to do. The Cutler experiment is failing badly, so it’s not looking all that likely right now, but the Redskins could do worse than Tannehill. A lot worse.
4. Andy Dalton
Andy Dalton isn’t a bad QB. In fact, in 2015 he was very good. That seems to be the exception though as he’s returned to rather meh-form since. That might be enough for the Bengals to decide their smart contract structure with its easy exit ramps is looking pretty good right now. You may not like Dalton, but keep reading. You might like him a little more soon.
5. Carson Palmer
Palmer is having trouble staying healthy these days. The Cardinals succession planners should be furiously working away on which is the best scenario to pursue. The benefactors? Somebody could pick up a guy who was a legit MVP candidate two years ago. But he might also be done, so there’s that.
6. Teddy Bridgewater
Intriguing, no? It’s not likely, but let’s say Case Keenum leads the Vikings into and through the playoffs, to whatever arbitrary point they get eliminated. All of a sudden the guy with the horrific knee injury that kept him out for two-years isn’t so appealing. Actually, it’s not that appealing anyway.
7. Jacoby Brissett
Say what you will about ex-Patriots QBs that have gone on to stink elsewhere, Brissett actually has shown a little something. On a truly terrible team he makes the occasional play and is nicely lining himself up for what could be a steady NFL career, and maybe more. The Colts will surely look to flip their new asset for a healthy profit in a market with far more buyers than sellers.
8. Sam Bradford
Really? Haven’t we already determined by now that Bradford is made of chalk and Swiss cheese and simply can’t make it through a season? Yes, yes we have. And yet, he remains one of the more appealing options. Think about that for a while.
9. Case Keenum
While it seems highly probable the purple-patch (pun intended) Keenum is enjoying is probably nothing more than a random freak occurrence, some credit has to be given to the nice job he is doing navigating a good team to a lofty record. In other words – a capable game manager. At this stage in the rankings, that’s about as good as you can hope for.
10. Blake Bortles
See? Maybe if the Redskins make more high-priced splashes on their defense, they can go get Bortles and try to replicate what the Jaguars are doing. If I were a bookmaker, I’d put better odds on Bortles being 2017 MVP than the Redskins replicated what the Jags have done.
11. Mike Glennon
Probably the worst thing that could have happened to Glennon’s career was getting a starting gig. Before then he was an enigma, a “what-if”, and a genuine option for QB-needy teams. Now, not so much.
12. Josh McCown
I actually really like McCown. By all accounts a great guy, super-smart, awesome presence in the locker room etc etc. Heck if Colt McCoy’s job were up for grabs, I’d be the one starting the petition to get McCown in to fill it. But Kirk’s? No.
13. Trevor Siemian
Siemian is very likely to start the 2018 season on the reclamation scrapheap. Working in his favor is that the terrible play he has on tape is still fairly limited in quantity, so it’s likely somebody will fancy their chances of making something of him. After all, he did earn John Elway’s seal of approval, somehow. Would you want the Redskins to be that team?
14. Cody Kessler
I don’t know what it is about Kessler. Nothing about him says he should be good, but for some reason of the 17 QBs that seem to have started for the Browns in the last year, there’s just something that tells me he’s shown the most potential. Having said that, I’d prefer my team to adopt a strict policy ruling out anybody that has appeared on the infamous Browns jersey of shame.
15. AJ McCarron
See “Glennon, Mike” for another engima QB who people seem to think is good despite the fact he’s barely played? For some reason I’m not at peace with starting a QB who’s wife is more famous than he is.
16. Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ah, Fitzmagic. It’s hard not to think of the guy in a Redskins jersey without smiling. Or maybe that should be laughing. File Fitz away 1 spot under McCown for guys I’d be happy to see holding the clipboard on the sideline.
17. Nick Foles
Nick Foles once completed a season with 27 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Seriously, that happened, and not all that long ago. Heck with numbers like that it seems almost outrageous he’s so far down the list. But therein lies the sad fact, he’s not too far down the list. At all.
18. Brett Hundley
Because Aaron Rodgers backups always enjoy great success elsewhere. I will throw Hundley a small bone, because with such a tiny (but very poor) sample size to go by, he still does have time to work his way up the list. Maybe by Week 17 he’ll be in a playoff position, but I don’t hold out much hope.
19. Brock Osweiler
Hold your nose because this is where the list starts to seriously stink, if it wasn’t pungent enough already. After a year-long vacation in Houston where he stole a lot of money, Osweiler is probably about to leave Denver for the second time in as many years with “career backup” tattooed to his forehead.
20. Matt Cassel
You could do worse than a seasoned, experienced veteran with starts and playoff appearances under his belt, couldn’t you?
…actually, yes you could.
21. Matt Moore
After Week 7, Dolphins fans were clamoring for Matt Moore to be handed the starting job. After Week 8, they were more than happy to hand the reigns back over to Jay Cutler. Enough. Said.
22. Tom Savage
Savage is a mountain of a man, with a molehill of talent. His most notable accomplishment is likely to go down as taking over the ship Deshaun Watson set sail in hope of treasure, and sinking it.
23. Matt Schaub
Schaub has won one playoff game in his career don’t you know. That’s one more than Kirk Cousins, who apparently keeps coming up short. Speaking of short, Schaub is 6’5″, and that’s about the most interesting thing I could find about him.
24. Jay Cutler
Wait, isn’t Cutler’s backup ranked higher than Cutler himself in this list? In a sane league Cutler won’t really be an option, he’ll cash in his $10m pay check and set off towards the broadcasting sunset, a move that has been on hiatus ever since Adam Gase got really desperate. Don’t put all your chips on this ever being a sane league, however.
25. Mark Sanchez
The Sanchize could get ¾ of the way through his NFC East tour if he signed with the Redskins. Sanchez is living proof of what can go wrong when you spend a 1st round draft pick on a QB. Anti-Kirkers should bear this in mind.
26. Chad Henne
It’s getting a bit of a stretch now, I admit that. Henne managed to lose a QB competition this year to Blake Bortles, which means whatever QB the Redskins currently have on their practice squad probably stands a better chance.
27. Paxton Lynch
Jerry Jones wanted him, John Elway drafted him… what could there possibly be working against Paxton Lynch I hear you ask? Being Trevor Siemian’s backup is one thing I guess. And Brock Osweiler being added to the roster doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement either…
28. Chase Daniel
Chase Daniel is doing it right. He’s earned a ton of money and managed to avoid doing anything silly like winning a starting job. His best chance of extending his career is probably to carry on exactly what he’s doing – not playing.
29. Nate Sudfeld
Why not right?! He knows the coaches, the playbook, the way to the training facility all by memory. That makes him more qualified than half the guys on this list.
30. Derek Anderson
Derek Anderson still owns the best QB record for the Browns in the last 23 years. That’s quite something. It makes you wonder why he never really got a fair crack anywhere else. Maybe the 2018 Redskins are destined to be that crack. Maybe we’ll all need crack.
31. EJ Manuel
Speaking of never getting a fair chance, the Bills washed their hands of EJ Manuel very quickly. Is there such a thing as being too much of a reclamation project?
32. Ryan Mallett
Yes, there is.