Kirk Cousins on free agency: 'I want to be where I am wanted'

The final game of the Redskins' 2015 season was a disappointment, because it was a loss to the Packers at home in the playoffs. But the season as a whole was a victory, with Washington establishing itself as a talented, young team. Maybe even a young team with a franchise quarterback.

One problem: Kirk Cousins is a free agent. Cousins specifically spoke about a young "nucleus" of guys on the Redskins' roster, even though he isn't on it for much longer himself, from a contractual standpoint.

I walked away feeling like this loss catapults our offseason to enable us to have a little bit of an edge, and say, ‘Where did we fall short?'" Cousins said. "We made the playoffs, but we want to advance in the playoffs and we weren’t good enough to do that, so what do we have to change and what do we have to grow in, in the next several months to be able to get back here and win?’ Hopefully it will challenge us as a young team to grow in that area.

"I feel good about where this organization is headed and the nucleus of guys that we have. It’s year-to-year, so we will see where we are at going into next year."

So you've got a young man very much invested in this organization, at least by the way he's talking. The reciprocation is the tough part. Cousins will want fair market value for his services. The Redskins may balk a bit at paying him the "franchise quarterback" rate out there today.

Asked about free agency after the game, Cousins simply said he wants to go "where I am wanted."

"I think I want to be where I am wanted," Cousins said. "You want to be with people who believe in you and we are going to find out, because we haven't discussed it yet, how much I am wanted and where that'll go. But I'm sure you know it's a business and the team is going to operate with that mindset and this is my first time going through that process in the NFL. It's new to me, I don't know a whole lot about it, so we'll see how it goes."

Kirk Cousins is ready to cash in. (USATSI)

The general belief is Cousins' reps and the Redskins will sit down and hammer something out. The two sides need each other. Cousins looks like he can be an average to above-average starter in the league, with upside. It sounds silly but getting someone like that locked down is critical for a franchise.

The NFC East was trash this year, but Cousins and the Redskins still made their way to the playoffs, even if he's not out there manhandling good teams.

Paying someone $18 million a year to be just OK at their job is a little unnerving, but so is the prospect of going into the draft and free agency with no plan at quarterback.

You've either got a quarterback or you're looking. And the people who are looking have a limited window with which to figure things out before jobs start getting examined.

It's why the Redskins want Cousins and why he'll -- likely -- end up where he's wanted. Which is where he's been all along.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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