There was no shortage of niceties exchanged between Rams' head coach Sean McVay and Redskins' quarterback Kirk Cousins after McVay accepted the job in Los Angeles in January. The two couldn't have been more complimentary of each other, and the strides they'd made together in Washington.
The Redskins also have plenty of nice things to say about their quarterback. But something they're unwilling to do, apparently, is sign him to a long term deal. The team has until Wednesday to reach an agreement with Cousins (which seems unlikely) or franchise tag him for the second consecutive year -- which, as Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports notes, is turning out to be quite the financial debacle.
McVay has a long list of to-do’s this offseason if he's to field a respectable squad in 2017, but acquiring a high-priced quarterback in free agency isn't one of them. Instead, he'll set his sights on protecting Jared Goff and surrounding him with weapons.
And despite your thoughts on Goff and his rookie year struggles, don't expect to hear rumors of McVay and Cousins reuniting this offseason. But there is the possibility of them catching up with each other before a couple games in 2017.
According to ESPN's John Keim, the Redskins do have options outside of signing long-term or tagging: trading him. Cousins, per a source, is open to being traded...but only to one other NFL team:
The Redskins’ problem is that there’s only one team Cousins will sign with right now, according to one source: San Francisco. So Washington doesn’t have much bargaining power with other teams. This isn’t just about Cousins maximizing his financial value; it’s about putting himself in the best position. Reuniting with a coach (Kyle Shanahan) who loves you in an offense you love? That’s a win-win for Cousins.
That would certainly spice things up in the NFC West, and be a big get for the 49ers who went into the 2016 season with Blaine Gabbert as their starting quarterback.
Why would the 49ers consider this?
The crop of quarterbacks in the 2017 NFL Draft aren't getting much love from draft experts, so nabbing Cousins in free agency would theoretically allow them to plug-and-play, as opposed to waiting on a rookie to develop. You've got to think Shanahan is salivating at that thought of an upgrade -- Cousins finished 3rd in the NFL in yards last year, 27 yards behind Matt Ryan -- to a position of such importance.
Why wouldn't they?
The 49ers have the second overall pick in this year's draft, so they're in prime position to nab this year's top QB's if they desired. Taking a quarterback at No. 2, at least in this year's draft, is probably not likely though. If they're serious about drafting a QB, they probably move down a few spots, pick up a few more picks, and hope to land their guy. More likely, they stay put, draft a stud to help them on a depleted defense, and wait to see who's available at QB when they're back on the clock at 34.
Also, instead of giving Kirk a big pay day, they could plug holes on their roster by saving that money and spending it on multiple players in free agency, which begins on March 9.
The NFC West's 2-14 team from 2016 could very well make a huge splash in the coming weeks. Only time will tell if the 4-12 team McVay inherited, who is expected to spend a large chunk of their available funds on Trumaine Johnson, will.
Let the fun begin!