SNYDER: Cousins is departing, but debate isn't leaving

Deron Snyder
March 08, 2018 - 1:00 pm

Jay Biggerstaff/Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports


Look, we still talk about Robert Griffin III in Washington, six years after he arrived and four years after he left.

Using that scale as a guide, I figure Kirk Cousins will remain a topic of discussion locally through 2030.

He might've just retired, opening the floodgates on one final wave of commentary. No matter what transpires between now and then, no matter how he fares at his next stop, the rival Cousins camps will be ready for battle.

Either there will be proof that Cousins was a near-elite quarterback during his time here, or evidence will suggest he was merely an above-average starter in Jay Gruden’s high-octane system.

Washington will be proven penny wise and pound foolish for nickel-and-diming a QB it paid $44 million over two years. Or, hindsight will paint the Skins as uncharacteristically shrewd for letting Cousins walk instead of opening the vault for him.

Alex Smith, and Alex Smith’s eventual successor, won’t do anything in D.C. without some of us comparing it to whatever Cousins does – or doesn’t do. Cousins won’t be in burgundy-and-gold anymore, but his game-by-game referendum will continue, this time placed side-by-side against his replacement.

I know I’m going on a limb with this prediction, but Cousin' results will be better if he signs with Minnesota or Denver, opposed to the New York Jets or Cleveland.

He easily could take one of the former teams to a conference championship game at the very least, whereas he might never win a postseason contest with the latter pair. Predicting the subsequent talk around this town is easy.

We’ll hear either, A) “Those teams didn’t need a special QB to advance and that’s good because they don’t have one.”

Or, B) “There’s never been a QB good enough to overcome those sorry teammates and take them anywhere.”

I suspect we’ll have a hung jury in the end, regardless.

Cousins’ detractors will blame him if his team fails, but they’ll credit everyone except him if it succeeds. Cousins’ supporters will declare he would’ve done better in D.C., whether Smith has MVP-caliber seasons or becomes a total bust.

Battle lines were drawn over the last three seasons and talking about Cousins will forever be a no-win, no-lose situation.

He’s moving on, but the argument will stick around.

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