Ex-Skins CB says 'late-quarter stat hound' Kirk Cousins will 'bankrupt the team'

There has been a healthy few months of Kirk Cousins debate, with people screaming and shouting about whether or not he deserves a rich new contract from the Redskins. Washington declined to end that particular debate by franchising him for a second straight season

And so, with Cousins laying an egg of sorts against the Eagles on Sunday, the debate continues. Some folks are taking a wait-and-see approach for Cousins, particularly as he goes against his old offensive coordinator Sean McVay, now with the Los Angeles Rams

Former Redskins defensive back Fred Smoot, appearing on ESPN 980 via Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post, is not taking that approach. He's going with the more popular and incendiary "burn it all" tactic, saying Cousins should not be "off the hook" for slow starts again this season and that Cousins will "bankrupt the team" if they cave on his contract demands. 

"We cannot let Kirk off the hook with this," Smoot said. "It starts with him, and he starts slow every year. People don't understand: Sometimes you've got to look at the package for what it is. We're talking about a quarterback that demands $20 million-plus a year, that hasn't won a playoff game, bad in the red zone, throws for four or five thousand yards but can't complete and end drives. He's also [29] years old."

The age thing is real and something that isn't talked about enough with respect to Cousins. He will be 30 years old by the time the season rolls around next year. Quarterbacks are playing into their 30's with regularity, but paying a somewhat unproven quarterback millions and millions of guaranteed dollars at the age of 30 can be a questionable move. It's probably why the two sides don't have a deal worked out. 

Smoot likened it to a dating situation (apropos of that, he would also remind you that the Vikings "Loveboat" scandal was overrated and has some interesting things to say about okra), in which some guy has to "guilt trip" a girl into dating him.

"The thing about it, you don't want to guilt trip that girl into dating you; you want her to date you because she loves you, because she wants to be with you," Smoot said. "And this girl has made it clear: She don't really like us that much. Kirk is the girl. At the end of the day, Kirk don't really like us as much as he says he does. Because either one [of two things] is gonna happen: Either he's gonna make us pay him all this money and bankrupt the team to the [point] that we can't get nobody to help him win and we're gonna be mediocre for the next five years, [or he'll leave]."

But wait, there's more! Smoot also said that the Redskins don't have an identity because Cousins' only identity is a "late-quarter stat hound."

"You wonder why we ain't got no identity on offense? Because he doesn't have an identity," Smoot added. "What, he's a late-quarter stat hound? He's a completion guy that can't throw outside the numbers? He's a guy that cannot get in the end zone? Look at the numbers in the red zone last year! That's decision-making. When the field gets small, it's all about pulling the trigger."

The Cousins debate was fueled heavily by two things: 1) we know that Cousins turned down a $53 million deal because Bruce Allen told everyone about it and 2) Cousins does put up huge stats but people don't think he's a WINNER. He didn't close out against the Panthers or Giants last year, causing the Redskins to miss the playoffs. 

The problem with (1) is that it might be a fair deal for Cousins in a vacuum, but we're not operating in a vacuum. Cousins has all the leverage and wants to max out what he can be paid. And the problem with (2) is that he's had moments when he stepped up (the Bears on the road right before those two meltdowns) and he took the Redskins to the playoffs the year before. 

Ultimately there will never be a consensus about Cousins. He is going to get paid this year based on the success of the team around him -- if he is paid by the Redskins we'll just start up the debate in a different form. 

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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