Published: May 15, 2017 at 09:03 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2017 at 12:09 a.m.

Kirk Cousins ... franchise QB? Opinions vary on Washington Redskins starter

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On Monday night's edition of NFL Network's "Top 100 Players of 2017," Kirk Cousins was revealed at No. 70. Ranking three slots higher than six-time Pro Bowler Philip Rivers, Cousins has a pretty high standing on this list, which was voted on by the players themselves. Interesting that the players are so high on Cousins' game when his team doesn't appear to be quite as certain.

For the second straight year, Cousins is set to play under the franchise tag, having been unable to strike a long-term deal with the Washington Redskins. Consequently, the future's unclear for this 28-year-old signal caller who has posted some pretty impressive numbers over the past two seasons: 17-14-1 record with a 99.3 passer rating, 68.3 completion percentage and 54:23 TD-to-INT ratio.

So .. Is Kirk Cousins a franchise quarterback?

Cousins isn't elite, but he's most definitely someone to build around
Yes. It'd be a different story if you were asking if Cousins is elite. That is rarefied air he might never catch a whiff of during his career. But he already has shown that he is a franchise quarterback.

Cousins led the Redskins to the playoffs in his first year as a full-time starter. He set the team record for passing yards in a season -- and ranked in the top 10 in passer rating -- in each of the last two years. Cousins also has done all this while trying to prove to his bosses that he deserves a long-term deal.

People need to stop wondering if the Redskins will be lucky enough to find their own Tom Brady someday. The guy they have has given them plenty already.
Does Cousins elevate those around him like Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady?
So much of Kirk Cousins' success is dependent on his supporting cast, so I would say he's not a franchise quarterback. He's had the opportunity to play with one of the best receiving corps -- with DeSean Jackson, Jordan Reed and Pierre Garcon -- and a talented offensive line. Also, the last two years, he was playing in a system that was tailor-made to his game. With the departure of Jackson and Garcon, we get a chance to see if Cousins is good enough to carry a team. Franchise QBs are expected to raise the level of play of their teammates. Can that happen in 2017? I'm skeptical.

Will he be a franchise quarterback in the future? I don't think he will be. I don't see him as a $30 million quarterback.
Cousins has the potential to become a franchise QB -- in time
The need for a quarterback in this league is so high. There just aren't a lot of good signal callers out there, to be honest. I still have so many questions about whether Kirk Cousins can carry a team. I think he could become a franchise quarterback in time, but I wouldn't say he is right now.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T? Cousins doesn't get the credit he deserves
Yes, I think Cousins is a franchise quarterback. He has proven to be an accurate signal caller and his production the last few seasons speaks for itself. Granted, he's been surrounded by playmakers, but still -- let's give the guy some credit.

I believe Cousins is underrated in the minds of most. Yes, he's had a few awful games during his career, but the good far outweighs the bad.
This signal caller has shown me everything I need to know
Ever since establishing himself as the full-time starter in Washington, Kirk Cousins has continued to play better every season. A lot of people doubted him when he was named the starter, but he's proven them wrong. There's been a lot of turnover in the organization -- and Cousins' playmakers have had some injuries, as well. With all of this going on, Cousins has played well. Therefore, I think he's very much so a franchise quarterback.
Cousins represents what a franchise quarterback should be
Washington has tagged him twice, so I'd say yes. He represents everything you want in a franchise quarterback. He wants the ball in his hands, lives for the fourth quarter and loves the big moment. He's a leader and teammates gravitate toward him. The tough thing is disassociating the contract aspect from his play because he's played well the last two seasons. The business side has just been tough.
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