The Washington Post hasn’t skimped on its coverage of Kirk Cousins’s fan forum last Friday. In fact, our approach has been whatever the opposite of “skimped” is. This was likely the most-covered season-ending fan forum in Washington Redskins quarterbacking history. And we’ve also gone over Cousins’s revelation of the team’s interest in signing him to a long-term deal late in the 2015 season, both in our live blog of the event and in Liz Clarke’s wrap-up.
Still, that portion of the quarterback’s extensive remarks seems to have captured the most interest locally in the ensuing days, and I wanted to have the complete text handy, just in case I need to reference it 752 times over the next few months. And if I transcribed it anyhow, you might as well be able to read it, right? So here it is. Have fun.
This revelation was prompted, believe it or not, by a question about whether Cousins would just play another season in Washington if he receives a transition tag, or if he would explore his options by visiting other teams.
“Really, I’m trying to be thorough, so I’m gonna do my due diligence, go around and gather all the facts I can, and take advantage of that opportunity,” Cousins said. “So I certainly would be thorough and go gather information and make visits and understand what’s out there. You know, knowledge is power, so I’m gonna try to go learn as much as I can, understand what’s out there, and then from there, talk to [agent] Mike McCartney and make a decision.
“And I just will say that I have a lot of peace, too, in this process because of Mike McCartney. I mean, from the day I was drafted, he has just counseled me time and time again. And even when I was like, ‘I don’t know that I like to hear that, want to hear that, that doesn’t make me feel really good,’ he was right, every step of the way.
“I remember 2015, we go to Chicago, we go to play the Bears with four games left. Mike’s from Chicago, so Mike meets with the group from the Skins, and Mike’s message, he called me and he said ‘Kirk, you know, I think for them to see you in the light that I see you, you’re gonna need to play four more games, and you’re gonna need to do more. You’re gonna need to play better. Because they just aren’t viewing you in that light, for various reasons.’
“And I didn’t like to hear that. And they were ready to do a deal. And Mike said no, I think you should finish out the season. You should put the risk on yourself, finish it out, and then we’ll go from there. Now, going into this game, I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know that I want to do that. You know, I kind of like the comfort and security of what the Redskins are offering.’
“And Mike said, ‘You don’t want to do that. You want to play this out, and then go from there.’ Well, I was the NFC offensive player of the month or whatever it was those last four games, we won all four and we went to the playoffs, and the rest is history. So Mike’s counsel through this has been very valuable to me, very important. And so I really trust his insight and the way he views it, even when it disagrees with what I’m thinking. Usually I shut up and listen, and follow his counsel.”
Grant Paulsen, the 106.7 The Fan co-host of this event, suggested that this was a new piece of information, and asked again if the Redskins were ready to do a deal.
“Yeah, I mean, [former GM Scot McCloughan] was ready to do a deal really from the jump,” Cousins said. “But he wanted to do it right. He wanted to do it when it felt like it was a bargain [for the team]. And then I think that month happened, and I think Scot’s going, ‘Nah, I don’t know about now.’ They came to Mike before that Bears game, and Mike just said, they need to see a little more. And we understood that. We said great. Let’s play well then down the stretch here. And we played about as well as we could.”
Paulsen then asked whether Cousins has talked much with McCloughan since his departure from the team nearly a year ago.
“Not really,” Cousins said. “I mean, not a long, drawn-out conversation. He called me last winter just to let me know that he was moving on, and then I think he texted me when Cooper was born, and maybe one or two other times, just in a congratulatory sense. I’ve always respected him. I’ve always felt good about Scot, and enjoyed working alongside him, and enjoyed the experience he drew on, being around guys like Brett Favre and Alex Smith and Russell Wilson. And I felt like he was a football guy, who knew football guys.”
McCloughan, for what it’s worth, has admitted that the team didn’t handle the Cousins situation correctly.
“The guy is really intelligent, the guy is a solid, solid quarterback,” McCloughan said last summer. “You know, we kind of messed up in Washington not getting him done earlier, from the standpoint of the contract.”
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