Browns must consider trade for Kirk Cousins

While the Cleveland Browns take the time to evaluate their quarterback position, considering a trade for Kirk Cousins should be on the table.

With the winds of change on the brink of blustering through the roster of the Minnesota Vikings, Kirk Cousins is a player who has been identified as a player possibly on the move. Minnesota has a coaching and GM vacancy and Cousins is in the final year of his deal which could provide the Browns with an opportunity to upgrade their own quarterback situation.

Things with Baker Mayfield have not quite worked out as expected after selecting him first overall in 2018 and a long term commitment between the two sides seems rather unlikely. Taking the opportunity to upgrade their own situation while giving Mayfield a fresh start elsewhere seems like a win-win. Kirk Cousins is not the most exciting quarterback option who may be available, but is much more attainable than the unlikely options of Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, or Russell Wilson.

Here’s the reality, Kirk Cousins is a better quarterback than Baker Mayfield, that is not really up for debate. The debate really comes up when discussing the amount of an upgrade he is versus what it would cost to acquire him. Cousins is at the top end of the tier of quarterback that Mayfield resides in, but is more consistent in his level of play. That consistency would go a long way for team that has lacked it not just during Mayfield’s tenure, but beforehand as well.

There is one more fact to consider in this equation. Browns vice president of of football operations Kwesi Adofo-Mensah is considered the favorite for Minnesota’s vacant GM position which would net Cleveland a compensatory third round pick in the upcoming draft and another in 2023. This follows a similar template from last season which saw Brad Holmes head to Detroit and subsequently trade Matthew Stafford to his former employer, the Los Angeles Rams. Kirk Cousins heading to Cleveland in a carbon copy deal is not as far fetched as it seems.

(Adofo-Mensah has since been hired as the Vikings general manager after this published).

Contract wise a new deal would be optimal as spreading out his salary over multiple seasons rather than take a massive cap hit for just one season would be more team friendly. This would also give the Browns flexibility to start Cousins for the next two seasons (and possibly a third) while allowing the team to address other needs in this draft that are not the quarterback position. Cleveland could then wait a year (if they wish) for what is perceived to be a better quarterback crop and hopefully draft the franchise quarterback that has eluded team for so long.

Does the addition of Kirk Cousins make the Browns a Super Bowl contender? Not necessarily, but it will allow for some growth in the offensive play-calling and a better idea of what the team has at the skill positions. Kevin Stefanski has been limited in what he has been able to do with Mayfield as his quarterback and has received criticism for what the offense has done on game day. Giving Stefanski a better quarterback would allow his offense to branch out in ways it currently cannot and finally provide the answer to which has been limiting the Browns offensively, the plays or the quarterback .Unfortunately for  a certain faction of Browns fans they will not like the result as the limitations of their current signal caller will only become much more apparent.

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