Two things came to light in the past couple of days. The Cleveland Browns brought on former Washington Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan to run their offense, and word got loose that Shanahan “loves” his former pupil, Kirk Cousins.
With Shanny junior now in Cleveland and Cousins already making it known that he’s open to a trade, the dust could end up settling in such a fashion that could land Cousins in Cleveland.
Cleveland seems intent on separating itself from failed first round experiment Brandon Weeden, while Jason Campbell is a cut candidate. The only other quarterback on the roster is Brian Hoyer and the Browns are also expected to be in the mix for a quarterback in the first round of this year’s draft. The likes of Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles have had their name brought up in draft rumors involving the Browns.
However, is the Cleveland brass agree with Shanahan and are high on Cousins, perhaps they’d pass up spending a first rounder on a quarterback and trade a mid-round pick to get their guy in Cousins.
It could end up matching up, but solely banking on Cousins still seems to be a reach. A former fourth round pick, Cousins has flashed starter ability, but doesn’t have elite arm strength and has been inconsistent in his starts. On the plus side, he knows Shanahan’s offense and has the intelligence and skill-set to succeed in the right situation.
That being said, Cousins is a safe option that wouldn’t involved much risk and arguably doesn’t carry a ton of upside. Drafting a quarterback high in the 2014 NFL Draft clearly carries risk, but all of this year’s top passers all carry solid potential – specifically Manziel and Bortles.
Cleveland seemed to be exercising the safe route by trading away Trent Richardson for a second first round draft choice last season, but at some point they need to land difference-makers on offense. They have two in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron already, but adding a true star under center has to be the next move to take their team to the next level. Swinging a trade for Cousins probably won’t accomplish that.