Bill Polian says Browns should send first-round NFL draft pick to Redskins for Kirk Cousins


(AP Photo/Peter Morgan)

On Tuesday, ESPN NFL Insiders Bill Polian, Louis Riddick and Adam Caplan discussed the Cleveland Browns’ need for a quarterback heading into the NFL draft, and Polian presented an “ideal solution.” It involves Redskins backup and former third-round pick Kirk Cousins.

“If you have the fourth pick in the draft and it’s too high to take a quarterback there, and you don’t want Johnny Manziel, and you potentially get [Sammy] Watkins or Khalil Mack, go ahead and take them,” said Polian, the former Colts president and Bills general manager. “Now you have a pick at 26, and so you say to yourself: ‘Who’s better at 26? [Eastern Illinois QB] Jimmy Garoppolo? Whoever else is left on the board at that point? Or Kirk Cousins, who knows the offense, who played for Kyle Shanahan, who basically can coach it for all of the new players on offense, and who Kyle Shanahan apparently likes.’

“So why not make a deal at 26 with someone who is willing to give you Kirk Cousins, namely the Washington Redskins. What would that deal entail? Well, it really should be historically two [second-round picks], but maybe it’s 26, who knows?”

A first-round pick for Cousins? Did Mike Shanahan go to Cleveland along with Kyle?

“I would assume that Washington would jump all over that trade,” Riddick said. “Obviously, the staff that was there that drafted Kirk is no longer there, but there’s no question that they really were high on him, and a lot of people wanted him to play last year. And as Bill has already alluded to, the fit is very seamless, both from a personality standpoint as far as how would he interact with Kyle Shanahan in the meeting room, and as far as knowing the offense. You can hit the ground running from Day One, which is exactly what you want out of your quarterback position. … At that pick, I’m sure Washington would be like, hey, done deal.

If such a deal were to be made, Polian said it would come after the Browns made the fourth pick in Thursday’s first round. (Keep in mind that The Post’s Mark Maske is reporting that a draft deal involving Cousins “remains a long shot.”)

“Now, with all this conjecture, and that’s all it is, keep in mind that they really like Brian Hoyer,” Polian said. “Cleveland really likes Brian Hoyer. There are a lot of people in the building, including maybe the owner, who like Brian Hoyer a lot and think that he may be the answer, so they may not be so quick to want to make that trade. But, if you’re a general manager, you have to think about it. You have to talk about it with your staff, because it is an ideal solution, at least on the surface to the problem that they have.”

Caplan pumped the brakes on the deal, but from the Redskins’ perspective.

“If they do trade Cousins, what’s out there in free agency?” he asked. “Next to nothing. When Vince Young, who hasn’t been in a game for a couple years, gets a job, there’s really no one left. So that’s a tough pill to swallow if you’re the Redskins. Yeah, you could trade Kirk Cousins, but who can you get to replace him as the number two quarterback?”

Rex Grossman?

Scott Allen writes about all things DC sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.
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