Potential Kirk Cousins trade partners 

December, 12, 2013
12/12/13
11:08
AM ET
It really doesn't matter what the reasoning is behind Redskins coach Mike Shanahan's decision to bench Robert Griffin III; the bottom line is that Kirk Cousins is going to get a three-game stretch to prove his value as a starting NFL quarterback. If he plays well in this audition, the Redskins likely will have suitors interested in acquiring the second-year quarterback in a trade this offseason. In fact, ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen thinks that the risk inherent in drafting a rookie quarterback may convince some teams to consider Cousins instead.

“It’s one of those draft classes where you ‘kind of like the guys,’ but you hear a lot of negatives. This brings up the value of Kirk Cousins, and I think he will be traded in the offseason," Mortensen said on "Mike & Mike" on Thursday.

Depending on how well he performs, Cousins could garner interest as a starter, a backup or as one of a pair of quarterbacks battling for a starting job. Here are a few teams that make sense as trade partners:

  • Cleveland Browns: It appears their QB situation will be wide open during the offseason. Judging by how GM Michael Lombardi has handled things during his brief tenure with the team, it seems the price would have to be right for him to invest a draft pick to acquire Cousins, considering they could simply draft a quarterback.
  • Tennessee Titans: As we noted Sunday, the Titans are not expected to pick up Jake Locker's contract option for 2015 and are interested in Jay Cutler, who will be a free agent at season's end. Surely they could secure Cousins at a cheaper rate than Cutler, then pair him up with Locker for the 2014 campaign before deciding who would be their long-term solution for 2015 and beyond.