COMMENTARY | The Kirk Cousins sweepstakes is just beginning to heat up.
In Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons, the second-year quarterback of the Washington Redskins began what is essentially a three-game audition for the rest of the NFL. With the 2013 season now a lost cause for the Redskins, Washington is likely letting Cousins run their offense with the intentions of trading him to the highest bidder during the offseason.
Of course, any conversation involving a skilled quarterback that is on the market will always include the Cleveland Browns, whose struggles at the position have become a running joke in NFL circles. While it might be tantalizing for the Browns to take a stab at acquiring Cousins this offseason, I'm of the opinion that they shouldn't, and these are three reasons why:
Cleveland Already Has A QB In The Mold Of Cousins
Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer is a couple of years older than Cousins, but the two share quite a few similarities.
Both Hoyer and Cousins played for Mark Dantonio at Michigan State, and the two players are nearly identical from a size standpoint. Hoyer never started a game while he backed up the perennially healthy Tom Brady during his three years with the New England Patriots, but he did play well after getting thrown into the fire for the Browns this season, just as Cousins did when he was pressed into action in December 2012.
Knowing that, there's not much incentive for the Browns to pick up Cousins, because even though Hoyer is recovering from a torn ACL, he already knows Cleveland's playbook and offensive personnel.
There's Not Always A Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow
While it remains to be seen if Cousins will turn out to be a solid starting quarterback in the NFL down the road, there have been too many times over the past few years where teams have chased hyped-up backup quarterbacks, only to watch them fall flat on their face.
Matt Cassel, Matt Flynn, and Kevin Kolb were three of the biggest quarterback flops of the last half-decade as teams tried to find the next Matt Schaub. Schaub made just two starts in his first three NFL seasons with the Atlanta Falcons before finding success with the Houston Texans, who acquired Schaub in a March 2007 trade. The Texans got a few good years out of Schaub, but that has been more the exception than the rule when it comes to acquiring a backup quarterback.
That being said, the Browns would be tempting fate by gambling on Cousins to buck this trend.
The Price Isn't Right
The Redskins are reportedly eyeing as much as a first-round pick for Cousins, which is just way too high of a price for the Browns to pay.
Even though the Browns will have two first-rounders in the 2014 draft because of the Trent Richardson trade, trading even the pick acquired from the Indianapolis Colts for Cousins would be a foolish move for a Cleveland team that has quite a few holes on its roster.
The Browns have glaring needs at running back and on the offensive line, and the overall depth of this football team must improve if Cleveland expects to contend in 2014. With Hoyer in tow, and the aforementioned two first-round picks, Cleveland can afford to take a flyer on a quarterback in the draft and let him mature under Hoyer for a year or two.
Shaun Heidrick is a Yahoo Contributor who has followed the Cleveland Browns for over 25 years.
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