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Mike Shanahan says Kirk Cousins could bring first-round pick

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Could Kirk Cousins, a fourth-round pick in 2012, land a first-rounder in 2014? (USATSI)

Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said Friday that Robert Griffin III could play Sunday if Kirk Cousins and Rex Grossman both got sick before the game. These comments, made during a radio appearance, came days after the coach announced RG3 would be inactive for the rest of the season.

It was the latest turn in the most bizarre story of the season.

During that same radio interview Shanahan also said that if Cousins plays well in the coming weeks, he could be worth a first-round pick.

"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 told ESPN 980, via Sports Bog. "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. ... And we're still getting a chance to see a guy that we've got a lot of confidence in go out there and play. And his value can only go up. It cannot go down. It can only go up."

The Redskins gave up three first-round picks -- including one in 2014 -- and a second-rounder to trade up in the 2012 draft and for the chance to take Griffin. So recouping one of those first-round picks could certainly help a team with needs up and down the roster. Except that we can't imagine a team parting with one for Cousins.

"If Cousins plays well and they get a second-round pick for him, great," an NFL front-office executive told Mark Maske of the Washington Post. "The next coach can come in and tell Robert Griffin, 'You're my guy,' and try to put it all back together.

"But that team is a mess right now. What if [Cousins] looks bad? What if they can't get what they want for him and he stays around? Then you've got Robert Griffin looking over his shoulder. You've got the fans and media calling for Cousins every time Robert Griffin has a bad game. You've opened that door. This could turn out bad."

And while it's noble for Shanahan to have the organization's best interests in mind, he also had a lot to do with the trade that landed RG3.

As CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora wrote recently, Shanahan has complete control of, well, everything in and around Redskins Park.

"Everyone in that building knows that Mike has total control," one former member of the organization told La Canfora. "That was never in doubt. That's never been in doubt. Mike is in charge. He runs that building. He has final say on everything. Dan Snyder isn't sitting in on personnel meetings. Mike tells Dan what he wants to tell Dan. Dan's not picking the quarterback. Mike got it all. He put together the staff, he got all the money, he set his son up."

One of the few remaining questions: How much longer will Shanahan be in charge?

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