Reports surfaced last week that Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was so dissatisfied with the team that he personally inquired about being traded but Cousins says that’s not quite how it went down.
During an interview Tuesday on ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter’s podcast, Cousins explained that he didn’t demand the Redskins shop him elsewhere, but said he did call team owner Dan Snyder and President Bruce Allen to ask if they were considering moving him.
“I’m not sure how it got out, but I did just inquire as to Mr. Snyder and to Bruce Allen if there was any interest in trading me just to get an understanding of their perspective,” Cousins said. “And the answer I got back was Mr. Snyder communicated his belief in me and his desire for me to remain a Redskin and his desire to help me by surrounding the quarterback position with all the players and coaches that you need to succeed, and that’s the kind of message you want to hear from the owner of your team.”
Cousins said he didn’t hear about the report, which came from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, saying he’d asked for a trade until later in the day when he was in a shoe store with his wife.
Mortensen’s report said that Cousins “appealed personally” to Snyder about trading him but was shot down. Cousins would have had limited power to demand anything of Snyder, anyway, especially since he also said that he wasn’t going to threaten holding himself out of offseason practices.
Cousins and the Redskins have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal. Otherwise, Cousins will play the 2017 season under the franchise tag, which would earn him nearly $24 million fully guaranteed.
Mortensen reported that Cousins asked for a trade right while the Redskins seemed to be in full melt-down mode and the rumor mill was at full swirl. The report came out hours before the Redskins announced that they had fired former General Manager Scot McCloughan and on the first day of free agency.
Schefter asked Cousins how he felt about the state of his current franchise, but Cousins deflected.
“You know, I think it’s just a part of the offseason,” Cousins said. “When there’s no football games to be played there’s a lot of other things that can be talked about and it opens the door for speculation and just all kinds of different reports and it’s just part of the deal. Honesty I’m not there and I don’t know the day to day and what’s going on.”
A team firing its GM on the first day of free agency amid anonymous reports of alcohol abuse isn’t normally “part of the offseason,” but Cousins should be excused for not wanting to step into the fray. He added that he’s not concerned over who’s running the ship.
“I do trust the people in charge and believe that at the end of the day they’ll make the right decisions and we’ll move forward,” Cousins said.
Cousins said that the sense he has gotten from the Redskins is that they want to keep him around. While he’d like a chance to test the open market, the franchise tag makes that impossible and, given the pay day, he’s happy to accept that. Still, while it’s unlikely Cousins will be traded, he said he knows never to count any possibility out.
“Players can get blindsided all the time with decisions,” Cousins said. “They’ll cut you on your birthday, they’ll cut you on the day your child is born, they’ll cut you on Christmas eve. I mean, you just never know what’s going to happen so I’m always going to keep an open mind.
“I try not to get blind sided, but from what I heard in the conversation I felt very much supported and I felt that the owner and the president of the team wanted me to be the quarterback there and want me to be the quarterback there for a very long time.”