The Cleveland Browns have used 26 starting quarterbacks since the franchise re-entered the NFL in 1999, but they might have already identified their next signal caller.
“Per a league source, there’s a growing belief in some circles that the Browns will try to acquire Cousins via trade,” ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported Tuesday.
“Another source said that, when Cousins chose to sign his franchise tender last week, the one concern he had is that, after the tender is signed, he can be traded. He specifically was concerned about being traded to Cleveland.”
Kirk Cousins was franchise tagged by the Redskins earlier this month, but despite playing well for Washington over the last two seasons, the two sides haven’t been able to work out a long-term contract for the 28-year-old.
Cleveland currently has Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and newly acquired Brock Osweiler on its depth chart, and none of those players are franchise quarterbacks.
Cousins, who threw for 4,917 yards with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season, would be a significant upgrade at quarterback for the Browns. And he’s still in the prime of his career.
Still, giving up quality assets to trade for a player signed through only next season would be a huge risk for the Browns. Cleveland is not an attractive home for many NFL players, and Cousins has a much better receiving corps in Washington. There’s no guarantee he’d re-sign with the Browns.
The Browns obviously need to find a franchise QB, but there probably are better options than Cousins, both from a talent and financial perspective.
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