The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday. In general, there has been a renewed focus on the NFL trade deadline since it has been moved back by a couple of weeks. This season especially, there has been an increase in trade rumors.
There has certainly been trade rumors circling the Chicago Bears in recent days.
Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery addressed trade rumors in his press conference on Monday afternoon. Emery admitted that the team has had conversations with other teams but those conversations have not been to the satisfaction of the Bears general manager. Emery insisted that he would want any potential trade to have value for the Bears and that value has not been there in any of the conversations that he has had. Emery is looking for something that is not there. If a team makes a trade during the regular season, it usually is out of desperation. Look no further than this season when the Indianapolis Colts offered up multiple draft picks for Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson. A trade that the Browns are now being applauded for.
In addition to finding value, Emery, if he were to make a trade during the season, wants to find a player who is not a short-term fix. Meaning the Bears general manager would prefer to trade for a player who can have an impact on the team for years to come.
One player that would seemingly fit all the criteria that Emery is looking for in a trade is Washington Redskins backup quarterback Kirk Cousins.
Cousins was drafted by the Washington Redskins in fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. The same draft that the Redskins selected Robert Griffin III in the first round. For obvious reasons, Cousins took a back seat to Griffin during the 2012 season.
Cousins opened some eyes in the NFL last season, though, when he was asked to start for an injured Griffin against the Cleveland Browns. In that December game against the Browns, Cousins was 26-of-37 passing while passing for 329 yards to go along with two touchdowns.
Cousins will almost certainly be blocked by Griffin for as long as the two quarterbacks are on the Redskins roster. Griffin certainly isn’t leaving the Redskins any time soon. That is why Cousins is a prime trade candidate. The Bears would be a prime landing spot for Cousins.
The reason why the Bears should trade for Cousins has nothing to do with this season. Josh Freeman proved on Monday with Vikings why it is very difficult for a quarterback to be acquired in-season and be successful for his new team that same season.
Instead, Cousins’ value with the Bears would be for the long-term. Regardless of what the Bears do with Jay Cutler this off-season–and make no mistake, the team should re-sign Cutler–the team is still going to be in the market for a developmental quarterback. The way the Bears would acquire that developmental quarterback is through the draft.
But instead of starting the developmental process from scratch, the Bears could dangle a draft pick in front of the Redskins for Cousins. Meaning the Bears then would have used the draft pick to acquire a third-year quarterback with promise as opposed to being uncertain about a rookie quarterback that they would have drafted.
While with the Bears, Cousins could seemingly grow into the mold of the type of quarterback that Bears head coach Marc Trestman wants. Say it takes one year for Cousins to truly develop. Such a scenario would mean that Cousins sits behind Cutler in 2014 and is ready in 2015. Then, the Bears would reach a point where they need to make a decision. Cutler or Cousins. Trade Cutler–who by then the team will truly know his value–or trade Cousins–who would give the team an opportunity to hoarder draft picks from a quarterback-needy team. Either way, the value for the Bears in acquiring Cousins is there.