The 2014 NFL Draft class is deep at most positions, and that includes the quarterback position. Despite the criticisms levied against just about every quarterback in this class, there are four QBs who have evident franchise potential (Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, and Johnny Manziel), as well as a host of other QBs worth trying to develop or scooping up as backups (David Fales comes to mind as a standout example in the latter category). Quarterbacks on the trade block like Ryan Mallett and Kirk Cousins aren’t expected to fetch any value in draft-day trade discussions, though I’m sure the New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns will end up receiving a couple of feelers from teams looking to at least gauge the market and do due diligence. Since both quarterbacks fill key roles as backups and have very little trade value at this point, both teams are fully expected to keep those QBs around for at least another season (Mallett is an impending free agent).
In his latest mailbag, ESPN NFL Nation’s John Keim was asked if he’s heard “any movement” regarding a potential trade involving Kirk Cousins, and Keim responded that nothing has been going on, which should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody. Cousins is fully expected to stay on the Redskins roster for another year, and it would be a surprise for a team to show significant enough interest to make an offer worth the Redskins time. He played poorly last season, but he has talent, youth, potential, and is a top backup behind Robert Griffin III.
Anyway, Keim stated that he thinks there will be talks on draft-day, and his belief is that Cousins’s future could depend partially on the Cleveland Browns belief in Brian Hoyer as a stopgap/backup. If they don’t believe in Hoyer, then former Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan could help push the Browns towards making a trade. If I were the Browns, I would much rather draft a top QB like Derek Carr or Teddy Bridgewater instead, and they already signed two veteran backups in Vince Young and Tyler Thigpen. That said, the Browns have been in Cousins-related rumors, so we’ll have to see what happens.
So how much is Cousins worth on the market? Not much, and I would be surprised if a team is willing to give more than a mid-round pick for him, which makes him completely not worth trading for the Redskins. But Keim spoke to an executive about Cousins, and the exec told Keim that Cousins is worth a third-round pick at most. In all honesty, I would be shocked if anyone wanted to deal a third for him, as his value is probably around a 4th, but the exec’s price range is right about where it should be, including teams that are high on Cousins.