If you weren’t enthralled by the thought of the Browns signing Geno Smith, then maybe today’s rumor will make you feel a little better: they might have an interest in acquiring Kirk Cousins from the Redskins.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk broke the news that Cleveland “may make a run at Cousins.” The problem is that if the Browns do make a play for him, he wouldn’t be crazy about his situation:
Per a league source, there’s a growing belief in some circles that the Browns will try to acquire Cousins via trade. Another source said that, when Cousins chose to sign his franchise tender last week, the one concern he had is that, after the tender is signed, he can be traded. He specifically was concerned about being traded to Cleveland.
I like Cousins, and adding him, coupled with a good draft, could make Cleveland a borderline playoff contender in as quick of a turnaround as anyone could’ve imagined after a 1-15 season. However, I wouldn’t even think about such a deal unless a contract extension was tied to it.
Some may argue that Cleveland took a calculated risk last year when they traded for LB Jamie Collins despite an extension not being in place. That involved lesser compensation (a third-round pick) than the Cousins deal would involve (possibly a first- and second-round pick), and I think the Browns got a bit lucky that Collins was willing to sign his deal before free agency hit.
The whole idea might be shot down before it can gain much traction, though. Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer says the Browns are unlikely to make a run at Cousins, and that three other teams who showed trade interest over the past two weeks were “quickly shot down.”