A number of teams probably didn’t like what they heard when Louisville junior Teddy Bridgewater announced he’s considering a return to school for his senior year. Together with the uncertainty around Johnny Manziel, it might make a trade or NFL free agent pickup more desirable for some. At the top of the list is probably Washington Redskins backup Kirk Cousins. Of the several needy teams, which ones might cough up the draft choice?
New York Jets
Mike Shanahan said Cousins could yield a first round pick if the final three games go well for the 25-year old. While that is not likely, there is a strong possibility of landing a high second round select, which would be a big help. Among teams that might hold interest include the New York Jets. Their selection of Geno Smith this past April has looked more and more like a bad misfire. Rex Ryan is clinging to his job by a thread, praying Smith can string some wins together. If it doesn’t go down that way, the Jets will want to try to avoid using a first round pick to correct their mistake. Cousins would be a good fit for their new West Coast offensive system under Marty Mornhinweg and the front office could use the first round pick to give him a weapon at wide receiver.
Jake Locker is not in the best standing with the Tennessee Titans. Despite a promising start to 2013, a pair of unfortunate injuries destroyed his progress and largely set him back to square one. Titans ownership is growing tired of the underachieving roster and could look to make some changes next year. Mike Munchak could be gone and Locker right along with him. They might select a quarterback in the first round, but could circumvent that by getting Cousins and shoring up their defense with their top pick. Cousins would enjoy having Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter to throw to.
Christian Ponder isn’t the primary reason the Minnesota Vikings are terrible this season but his lack of numbers despite having a vastly upgraded array of weapons is discouraging. The front office will likely want to focus on finding a defensive playmaker early, so giving their second round pick away for Cousins would make sense. He would have Adrian Peterson in the backfield and some quality weapons at receiver including Greg Jennings and the blossoming Cordarrelle Patterson. The real wild card of the situation is Josh Freeman. Minnesota signed him in hopes of being a long-term answer and shut him down in order to let him learn the playbook. If he shows progress next off-season, would the team forego a bold move and stick with him instead?
Gus Bradley is a defensive coach. He could’ve had his pick of any quarterback in the 2013 draft at any point during the process but decided instead to stick with Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne while rebuilding the defense. Given the quality defensive talent expected in the 2014 NFL draft, it’s hard seeing him pass that up with a first or even a second round pick for Cousins. However, the move make a ton of sense. Bradley would want a young player but preferably one with prior experience. Cousins has wins under his belt in spot duty for the Washington Redskins. He is the ideal solution for the Jaguars who then would have a chance to land somebody like Jadeveon Clowney or Anthony Barr.