Former Skins general manager Scot McCloughan explained on Denver radio Friday why Washington should be cautious about investing too much in the free-agent-to-be.
"He's a good player," McCloughan told 104.3 The Fan. "Is he special? I don't see special." McCloughan added that when he first tagged Cousins in 2016, Washington was "building a roster around him to make him special." While Cousins is "talented" and he "works his tail off", McCloughan warned that for Cousins to succeed, a team needs more than just the signal-caller.
"You just need to have some talent around him," McCloughan warned, "because you don't want him to be throwing the ball 35 to 40 times to win the game."
Cousins has been tagged for the past two seasons, both times by McCloughan, at a cost of nearly $44 million. If Washington was to tag Cousins for a third time this offseason, the price tag would be nearly $35 million.
Naturally, the debate leading up to the March 6 franchise tag deadline is whether Cousins is worth it, or more accurately what is Cousins worth in this market, given Washington's miscalculation years back? The venerable Chris Wesseling detailed the Cousins conundrum earlier this month.
McCloughan didn't outright say what his former club should do with Cousins, but intimated that the QB will be prepared whether Washington attempts to tag him again or not.
"I can promise you this. [Cousins] has done his homework, probably too much, about each roster, who his receivers are, who his backs are, who his O-linemen are, who the coach is. Not just the head coach, but the coordinator, position coach, the system they run," McCloughan said. "I promise you he has notebook after notebook for each team. He is very, very intellectual about knowing what's best for him. He understands he's getting older, he's been in the league a little bit. He wants to win. I know that.
"Personally, knowing him, it's not about the money. It's about the right fit, where he knows he has stability, he has good coaches, he has good players and he has a chance to be successful. I don't blame him. He's put himself in that situation with what he's done the last three years."
Potential landing spots for Cousins include, well, every QB-poor franchise in the league: Washington, Denver, Jacksonville, Arizona, Cleveland, New York Jets.
Since assuming the starting role in Washington in 2015, Cousins is fourth in passing yards (13,176) and third in completion percentage (67.0) among qualified passers.