"In the worst way," senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams told NFL Network's Steve Wyche on Up To The Minute Live on Friday. "Let's face this thing, the last two years, Kirk Cousins has had tremendous years. And one thing in this league that's hard to find is that guy to run the football team and Kirk does a tremendous job doing that. And with the weapons that he has and the offensive line that he has and I think our defense is a little better than what we were last year, quite naturally you want Kirk Cousins as quarterback."
Williams said that negotiations have already been going on between Cousins and team officials and that he won't stick his head into administrative matters. That didn't stop him from making a sales pitch.
"All I can do is hope and pray that Kirk looks at the big picture and looks at this football team and realizes we do have a pretty solid football team, solid offensive line, he's got something to work with," Williams said. "Having said that, [vice president of football administration] Eric Schaffer and [president Bruce Allen] have been on this negotiation for a long time. I think it's unfair for me to stick my head into it at this time. Now, I'm aware of what's going on, but as far as my two cents into it and talking to Kirk and what have you, I think I have to step back from that."
The interview is well worth your time, diving into what alternative route the Redskins might take if Cousins brings his talent to the free agent market. It's highly unlikely the Redskins would franchise Cousins for a third straight season, guaranteeing Cousins almost $35 million for one year of play -- an insane amount of money that would earn Cousins roughly $10 million more than Colts quarterback Andrew Luck makes in a year.
Williams mentions 30-year-old backup Colt McCoy as a potential placeholder or "long distance" starter in the future.
"If that doesn't happen, if Kirk doesn't sign a long-term contract -- which I hope he does -- that tells if not, we gotta go to work," Williams said. "We gotta search long and hard to find that guy. But at the same time, we got a capable backup here in Colt McCoy, who can hold the fort down for a while or even take it the long distance."
Williams is wisely putting some distance between himself and whatever is happening between Cousins and management. In the new collaborative Redskins front office, it seems like Williams is content to stay in his lane of acquiring, developing and selecting players -- one that will become extremely challenging if Cousins ends up elsewhere next season.