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Need to Know: Five possible veteran replacements for Kirk Cousins

Feb 4, 2014, 4:56 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, February 4, 93 days before the NFL Draft.

Nickel coverage

If the Redskins trade Kirk Cousins, who would serve as the backup for Robert Griffin III? Here are five possibilities from among pending veteran free agent QB’s.

1. Tarvaris Jackson, SEA—His experience as a starter (34 games) gives him some added value. It may take some extra money to pry him out of Seattle, where he will collect playoff money and a ring after Sunday’s game.

2. Josh McCown, CHI—He might not be too anxious to leave his current team and he may want to go someplace where he can get a chance to start. But not too many fan bases are going to get energized over their team bringing in a 35-year-old journeyman to start no matter how well he played last year in relief of Jay Cutler.

3. Matt Flynn, GB—Yes he bombed in Oakland but he wasn’t exactly surrounded by the best talent there, either. He struggled in Green Bay when they first brought him in but he ultimately saved their season by beating the Cowboys. And anyone who can beat the Cowboys should be welcome in Washington.

4. Shaun Hill, DET—He’s an old (34) Maryland alum so he knows the area. Might not thrill anyone who isn’t a Terp but he’s started 26 NFL games and has a career completion percentage of almost 62.

5. Rex Grossman, WAS—He would be stepping up a notch from third to second string, making the possibility that he might have to actually come into a game much greater than it has been. But there are worse alternatives out there and Griffin loves having him around.

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—It’s been 37 days since the Redskins played a game; it will be about 215 days until they play another one.

Days until: NFL Combine 15; NFL Free agency starts 35; Offseason workouts start 62; NFL Draft 93

In case you missed it

  1. kenlinkins - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Rich, With Kyle Shanahan becoming the new OC in Cleveland, would that increase the value of K. Cousins to the Browns? The Browns have a ton of Draft picks in the first 4 rounds (total of 7) and that would tie up a lot of the Cap Space they have on a vary large high round rookie draft class. Would a 2nd and 3rd (or a 2nd and 4th) be out of the question (looking at the Cap Savings to Cleveland)? Also, I do like Shaun Hill the best of the back up guys listed, if RG3 is going to develop into a true pocket passer Shaun Hill could be a very good teacher and RG3 would not be looking over his shoulder for a 34 year ago career back up QB. An extra 2nd and 3rd draft pick this year would go a long way to fixing the problems the Redskins face in a rebuilding year with a new head coach. Who do you give the edge to in a game of “Draft Day Chicken” between Cleveland’s GM and our own GM?

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:25 AM

      Kyle is the offensive coordinator, not the GM. Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi have very definite ideas of what to do at QB. They like Hoyer, who should be back from his ACL in time for offseason workouts. They will draft a QB, probably Manzel, in the first round. They have no use for Cousins. So, to answer your question, yes, high draft picks from Cleveland for Cousins is out of the question.

      • kenlinkins - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:03 AM

        Sorry to hear that, I really wanted those 2 extra draft picks.

        • kenlinkins - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:38 AM

          Rich, I really wanted to challenge you about Cousin’s going to Cleveland, but my Cleveland friends tell me that ONE Cleveland will take Manzel with the 4th pick, TWO Cleveland will trade up to pick Manzel using some of those draft pick they have stored, THREE, if they can not move up and Bortles, Bridgewater and Manzel are gone by the 4th pick they will take Watkins or Clowney and take Carr later in the draft, FOUR if all else fails they can work with C.J. McCarron in late 4th round and get 4 starters with their top picks. FIVE if 1 to 4 fails the GM better quit before picking in the 5th round as the Cleveland fans know where the War Room is. So, it would seem you hit the nail on the head. They have no interest in Cousins at all.

  2. hailyeah1 - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    well this is cleveland we are talking about stingy on contracts drafting is questionable so trading for cousins isn’t out of the question and giving us a good deal to boot .we could throw in ole rex and we could get weeden to back up Griifin.

  3. coachemup1 - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    Cousins isn’t going anywhere. He is a solid back up that hasn’t proven to be worth the second rounder it would take to gain consideration. We also need to do a durability check on RG before he goes anywhere.

  4. internetcareer - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Rich…it is almost unbelievable that you left off the most obvious name. PAT WHITE. He was on the Skins roster for the first few games last year and was very effective in Pre Season and mirrors some of the escapability that RG3 has. He would be cheaper than any of the ones you have listed…and probably as effective as a simple backup/mop up guy. but of course if we are talking about a long term answer or guy who can win 5 games in a row…NONE of those guys is likely to succeed with our current receivers and offensive line.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Pat White’s not an NFL QB. Would not want him as my top option if RG went down. He went unclaimed after the Skins cut him, not even sure if he got a tryout.

  5. coachemup1 - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Pat White is well worth bringing back for another preseason either way. Good call. But i wonder if a new staff will care.

  6. coachemup1 - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    I see the comment but didn’t everyone think he looked good in preseason? (PW)Lot of rust but i saw a big upside.

    • Rich Tandler - Feb 4, 2014 at 12:01 PM

      I saw a guy who doesn’t have an NFL arm do OK against a bunch of guys who didn’t make their teams. If the league was impressed with that tape somebody would have picked him up.

      • Derek Pignanelli - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        I would have to actually go back and look but I am sure someone did pick him up cause he was first one ppl said would come in if cousins got hurt at end of season when RG was benched but he was on a team.

        • Derek Pignanelli - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:50 PM

          I would take White over the guys you listed cause he knows a lot of the players and how they work. He showed enough in the pre-season that both the Bill’s and the Raiders brought him in for workouts after we cut him. I think him and rec would be a workable solution if RG went down for a game or two. If RG went down for longer we would be screwed. Thus I say keep Cousins till we are 100% sure about RG and his knee.

        • Rich Tandler - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:35 PM

          Were you watching the same preseason games I was? 56 percent completions, 59 rating, 0 TD’s, 2 INT’s, 6.6 yards/att, mostly against third and fourth string. He’s not the guy you want coming in if RG3 gets hurt. Not for a game, not for a series, not for a play.

        • Rich Tandler - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:37 PM

          Well, you can go back and look but he didn’t sign with another team. Like I said, maybe a tryout but I’m not even sure he got one of those.

  7. ray - Feb 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Michael vick best back up to see cousins trade with cleveland or anybody,for first rd pick,cleveland needs him ,hoyer sucks !!

    • murphsman - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:43 AM

      U really think Vick’s gonna come to Washington? What are u smoking? Lol

  8. murphsman - Feb 5, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    There has been surprising little talk about Grossman being a free agent. Do u think the Skins will resign him now that his buddy Kyle is gone and should they? Archives

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