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Shanahan wants to boost Cousins' trade value

The SportsXchange

That most recent noise from the Washington Redskins may be the other shoe dropping in this week's drama about shutting down quarterback Robert Griffin III for the season -- the reason and consequences of which are still Topic A debate material in the national media.

In Friday's installment of his radio gig with ESPN 980, coach Mike Shanahan acknowledged at least one of the many possible ulterior motives for the move. This one has little to do with RG3's health or his future and more to do with trying to balance the books on the huge cost of obtaining him.

To move into the second spot of the 2012 draft and snag Griffin out of Baylor, the Redskins gave the No. 6 overall pick in 2012, their second-round pick in 2012 and their first-round picks in 2013 and 2014 to the St. Louis Rams.

So, despite a bad record that usually results in a high draft pick to help a team improve, the Redskins head into the next draft without their first-round pick.

Shanahan is now suggesting that perhaps the team can mitigate this by showcasing quarterback Kirk Cousins, who was selected in the fourth round in 2012. Cousins is scheduled to start the team's remaining three games while RG3 is shut down. But to make that work, Shanahan will also address another curiosity -- that of his own coaching ability.

"If he lights it up, hey, maybe we can bring a first-round draft choice back to this organization, and say, 'Hey, who are we gonna take in the first round?'" Shanahan said on radio, as transcribed by Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post. "And I think by him playing and Robert not playing, it gives us a chance to have a few options for our organization that we wouldn't normally have, and the safety of our quarterback going into the offseason is preserved. ... His value can only go up. It cannot go down. It can only go up."

If Cousins plays lights-out, a la Nick Foles after he took over for Michael Vick in Philadelphia this year, perhaps Shanahan's revaluation of a former fourth-round pick, albeit in a great quarterback draft, might have some validity.

The more interesting question is: Will Shanahan even be with the Redskins when it comes time to play Let's Make a Deal with Cousins? So, perhaps the bigger scenario is that Shanahan may be showcasing not only Cousins' value as a quarterback for some other team but also Shanahan's value as a coach.
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