Jay Gruden: Redskins anticipate Kirk Cousins returning

Like most team scouts and coaches, Redskins coach Jay Gruden was down in Mobile, Ala., on Tuesday, reviewing the next crop of talent to come out of college. So while Gruden is looking toward the future this week, it's fair to wonder whether his quarterback will be a part of it.

When asked whether he expects quarterback Kirk Cousins to return to the team during the offseason, either through another franchise tag or a massive deal, Gruden was definitive.

"We fully anticipate Kirk coming back," Gruden said Tuesday, per the Washington Post's Mike Jones.

Redskins President Bruce Allen echoed Gruden's sentiments during an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday:

"Yeah. Kirk is our quarterback," said Allen, who added that Cousins' chances of returning to the team on a scale of 1-10 is a 10. "He's played well the last two years. I know there's other speculation, but it doesn't come from the Redskins."

Cousins enters the 2017 offseason with many options on the table, the likeliest one of all returning to Washington on a multi-year, nine-figure deal.

But there are other possibilities floating out there for the QB, namely a reunion with former Skins offensive coordinator, current Falcons offensive coordinator and likely new 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Shanahan was "integral" in drafting Cousins in 2012 and that the Niners would "make a run" at Cousins if Washington doesn't make him their franchise quarterback.

Gruden's response to those rumors is a good sign for those still invested in and excited for Cousins' future in D.C. Since being named starter in 2015, Cousins has thrown for 9,083 yards, 54 touchdowns and just 23 interceptions and in that time, the Redskins went 17-14-1. He's completed nearly 70 percent of his passes -- an incredibly high total on par with some of the game's best quarterbacks.

If Cousins does return, his coach might be calling the plays, too. Gruden said Tuesday that, with the departure of former Redskins OC Sean McVay to Los Angeles, he'd "like to dip his hat" back into play-calling duties in 2017. Matt Cavanaugh was hired as the new offensive coordinator just last week.

Whether that information is attractive to Cousins, maybe as a bargaining chip, remains to be seen.

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