This is one entry in a six-part series about where Kirk Cousins will land as a free agent for the 2018 season.
Sure, laugh all you want. Get it out. No, I’m not trolling, and yes, I really think it could happen. Most of all, I think it could be a great situation for Kirk Cousins to end up in Cleveland.
The Browns own the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in this year’s NFL Draft. Everyone assumes Cleveland will use one of those top picks on a quarterback. But the Browns also have a ton of salary cap space — second-most only to San Francisco, which no longer needs a quarterback thanks to the rise of Jimmy Geezus. And while there are some promising arms coming out in this year’s college crop, they all have their question marks.
So, instead of taking another one of those question marks — as Cleveland has done unsuccessfully so many times in the past — why not take a proven, respectable, middle-of-the-pack signal-caller like Cousins? They have the money. Cousins won’t need two or three years to develop, and the Browns can instead spend their draft capital on an elite pass rusher (hello, Bradley Chubb) and either a top offensive lineman (Quenton Nelson) or a star running back (Saquan Barkley). Heck, they can even use their leverage to trade down and amass even more picks (they have two additional second rounders, as well an extra fourth and fifth round pick), immediately helping them stock their young talent.
They own the 33rd and 35th overall picks, too, either of which they could use on a young receiver to help improve the pass game. But don’t forget – they’ll have a full season of Josh Gordon back next year alongside Corey Coleman. With Ben Roethlisberger possibly retiring and the Ravens and Bengals both playing mediocre football, there are winnable games inside a once formidable AFC North next year.
Besides, Cousins grew up on the eastern shores of a Great Lake and is a Midwest guy through and through. You don’t think he’d appreciate the chance to be the guy who turned around the most moribund franchise in modern football? Who would be laughing then?
The case for the…