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There’s a new regime in the nation’s capital and first-year coach Jay Gruden has made one thing clear already: Robert Griffin III is his starting quarterback Week 1.
With no competition at the position, backup Kirk Cousins has told members of the Washington Redskins organization that he is open to being traded, sources told ESPN.
Cousins believes he is ready to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, according to the report. And since Griffin — the 2012 Offensive Rookie of the Year — was anointed the starter for the 2014 season, Cousins has told members of the front office he would like the chance to pursue a starting opportunity.
Cousins will not be eligible to be traded until March 11, the official start of the 2014 league year, but the team is expected to take calls from interested teams.
The Washington Post refuted ESPN’s report, though, indicating that Cousins did not request a trade but would welcome the opportunity to go elsewhere and start. According to the Post, that is the stance Cousins has maintained since he was drafted by the Redskins. Cousins would rather remain a backup until he hits free agency than to be traded away into a “bad situation” just so he can be the starter.
According to the latest NFL trade rumors, one team that may have an interest in him are the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are set to hire Kyle Shanahan as their offensive coordinator after Shanahan served as Cousins’ offensive coordinator the past two seasons in Washington. Shanahan’s familiarity with Cousins and the fact that he was a part of the decision to draft him two years ago could come into play.
Cousins started three and played in four games last season in place of the injured Griffin. He threw for 854 yards and four touchdowns, compared to seven interceptions. In his career he has appeared in eight games, totaling 1,320 yards, eight touchdowns and 10 picks, and completed 56.2 percent of his passes.
Cousins was drafted in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft — the same one in which RGIII was selected — so it seems unlikely he would be traded for anything better than a third- or fourth-round pick in this coming draft. In the past, former Redskins coach Mike Shanahan valued Cousins as a first-round selection.
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