On Monday evening, the NBA world was shocked and confused when the Clippers traded Blake Griffin to the Pistons; this was a trade no one expected and sent NBA Twitter into a tizzy. However, the NFL, not wanting to ever be upstaged, decided to send Twitter ablaze with a crazy trade when the Redskins traded for Alex Smith.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 31, 2018
The parameters of the deal were soon released, the Redskins sent the Chiefs a 2018 3rd-round pick in the upcoming draft and 2017 3rd-round pick, cornerback Kendall Fuller. The shock didn’t stop there as immediately after the trade, it was then reported that Smith would receive a 4-year extension worth $94 million and $71 million in guaranteed money. This left many wondering why the Redskins wouldn’t just commit to Kirk Cousins if they would commit to Smith and now where does Cousins end up?
Immediately, reports of almost every team needing a quarterback being in on the Cousins sweepstakes came out. The Browns, of course, desperate for a quarterback since 1999 were thrown into the mix. The Browns are one of a few teams, including the Jets, Vikings, and Bills that can offer Cousins the $30 million a year he may go for in free agency.
This means Kirk Cousins goes free agent, and likely over $30M per year. https://t.co/4KPdMjR8Oa
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) January 31, 2018
The Browns have the money to spend as they’ll have $118 million in cap space this upcoming season and Cousins seems like a no-brainer to use it on. There will be other teams like the Broncos who are more appealing landing spots but would have to offer significantly less money. The Browns can offer the most money to Cousins, and frankly, I don’t think many would be that upset if they even overpaid for him.
There is another option that the Browns can take to pursue Cousins and that would be to trade for him before he is ever able to hit the market. The Browns, of course, have a huge stockpile of picks in this upcoming draft and using a few of those to get Cousins wouldn’t be the worst thing, however, it would depend on if Cousins would be willing to sign long-term in Cleveland.
Landing Cousins could be the first domino to fall in a series of other huge moves the Browns could then make this offseason. Currently, the first pick in the draft for the Browns is sure to be used on a quarterback, however, Cousins would solve that problem. Meaning the Browns would either take the best available player, Saqoun Barkley for instance, or auction that pick off to the highest bidder and continue to stockpile picks and bring in more and more young talent.
The next few months are sure to be an absolute whirlwind for Browns’ fans as there are sure to be rumors about Cousins linked to not just the Browns, but numerous other teams throughout the league. NFL free agency begins on March 14th and with Cousins being one of the most high profile free agents in years, it could be one of the wildest offseasons in recent history. With the amount of cap space to lure Cousins or the number of picks to convince the Redskins to trade him, Browns’ fans should like their chances of having Cousins next season.