Now that the Redskins have been eliminated from the playoffs, many fans and some in the media are calling for the Redskins to give backup quarterback Kirk Cousins some snaps or even a start. The idea is that the team could showcase Cousins for a possible trade during the offseason.
It seems unlikely that it will happen.
Mike Shanahan said today that he is not planning on starting Cousins over a healthy Robert Griffin III. Nor did he plan on giving other young players a shot at playing “just to see what he can do in a game.”
Shanahan said that in his experience, pulling players off of the bench when a team is out of playoff contentions sends the wrong message.
“Players know when you’re playing for the future. Players know that your job is to play the best players that give you the best chance to win,” Shanahan said. “If you want to see a team turn on you, just go start playing younger players and start playing for the future.”
Cousins is a different case from, say, guard Adam Gettis or safety Bacarri Rambo. The quarterback could be considered trade bait and some believe there should be consideration given to letting the rest of the league see what he can do.
“No, I get a good feel of value because I get to see people practice every day,” said Shanahan. “Now, if you’re talking about outside people evaluating, obviously they don’t know, but I do know.”
But wouldn’t it be wise for the Redskins to let the rest of the league get a peek at Cousins?
“You don’t [do that] unless somebody gets hurt, somebody goes down,” said Shanahan. “When they do, you have to take advantage of your opportunity and that’s why when someone does go down, it’s always the next-man-up type mentality. That’s when you’ve got to take advantage of it.”
Cousins does have some work on film for other teams to examine. He started one game in place of an injured Griffin in 2012 and has finished three others. There is some work during the 2012 preseason and from this year, although his 2013 exhibition season time was limited this year due to an injury.
And, barring the unexpected, the Redskins may shop him in 2014 based on just those performances.