Dec 29, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (12) drops back to pass against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter of a game at MetLife Stadium. The Giants defeated the Redskins 20-6. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Browns already have Kirk Cousins in Brian Hoyer


With the hiring of Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns being official, the rumor mill surrounding Kirk Cousins will only increase.  Shanahan spent the last four years in Washington and the last two with Cousins, so naturally, the Browns are going to trade for Cousins.  Of course, they already have a Michigan State quarterback exactly like Cousins in Brian Hoyer and whether people have Cousins or Hoyer as the better of the two, trading assets for a reasonable facsimile is a waste of assets.

Unless the Browns are desperate to try to have a situation where if the starter were to get injured and they want a virtual duplicate to step in and play, there is not much to be gained from collecting former Spartan quarterbacks.  They share many of the same characteristics; both have average arm strength, rely on accuracy and ball placement and have found success in spite of physical attributes rather than because of them.  Both also have an extremely limited amount of playing experience in the NFL.

So why would the Browns give up picks for something they already have?  Cousins is slightly younger, barely taller and still has his hair, but that is not exactly a great argument for shipping off a pick to grab Hoyer’s doppelganger.  The Browns need to make a pick that has the potential to be a legitimate franchise passer.  Both Hoyer and Cousins are more likely to be middle of the road, bridge quarterbacks and the Browns have the ammunition and the opportunity to get a player that can transform the franchise.

And in the worst case, the Browns could give up a valuable draft pick to get the next A.J. Feeley or Kevin Kolb.  Kirk Cousins is a great backup option behind Robert Griffin III.  He has not shown anything all that impressive outside of dicing up the Browns defense as a rookie.  The last time a team handed out a contract based on beating the Browns was Scott Mitchell after Dan Marino tore his ACL.

The Browns need a franchise quarterback.  There is no reason for the Browns to trade for Kirk Cousins.  Even if they believed he was a good quarterback, he does not offer anything other than working hair follicles that would suggest he is any better than Hoyer, who the Browns already have.

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  • whosevelt

    One possible justification: Assume Hoyer and Cousins have identical likelihoods of being starting caliber quarterbacks, and the likelihood is about 33.3% for each. By trading one pick, likely a fourth rounder or so, the Browns can raise the probability of having an NFL quality QB from 33.3% to about 50% (if I remember middle school math) as well as gain a solid backup QB. Is that worth a fourth rounder?

    • Sam Gold

      “…likely a fourth rounder…” Why? Everything I’ve read suggests a second rounder is the going rate.

      • Pete Smith

        This is assuming either one can get that much better than they are already are and I’m not sure I buy that likelihood. I don’t know what Washington wants, but a second rounder is probably around the right answer. Cousins is a solid backup for RG3 and his contract costs next to nothing. A 4th rounder is what they paid to get him. Unless they are getting a profit, why move him?
        If not a 2nd, it is probably a 3rd and conditional pick the following year. Personally, I wouldn’t give up anything. Just draft your guy, have Hoyer there and find a 3rd string QB with potential whether it be Tanney’s and his mind blowing accuracy or someone else.

        • Sam Gold

          I agree with your original article premise and your response here: Giving up anything for what we essentially already have is pointless.

          Not sure if you’ve already written about this or plan to but do you feel any of the top QB picks are “natural” top 5 picks all things being equal? They all seem to have reasons to not be a top of the draft pick except for the false demand that’s always generated around the most important position but not necessarily the best available player. If so I’m inclined to take the best player available (Watkins/Clowney?) and select a QB later with raw measurables and a ceiling and let him compete and then start if he wins or sit behind Hoyer (or whoever) and learn. Just because we identify the qualities we want in a franchise QB doesn’t mean only the top guys have those qualities or have to demo them day 1 of the season. I certainly don’t want to reach for a guy let alone give up picks to reach.

          • Pete Smith

            It’s definitely not Watkins if you go BPA.

            If you believe a franchise QB is there, you can’t wait. I haven’t evaluated Bridgewater yet, but I expect I would take him or Derek Carr. Haven’t evaluated Bortles yet and I wouldn’t bet on Manziel there. If the Browns see a franchise guy, they have to pull the trigger.

  • Letterman007

    I see no justification in trading for Cousins, as I must agree with Peter, as Hoyer is probably better than Cousins as he proved last year! Why waste a draft pick on him when we have holes to fill in other places!!