Joe Theismann dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Tuesday to discuss his former teams: the Washington Redskins and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, particularly as it relates to quarterback play. Kirk Cousins has Washington (8-6-1) one win away from a playoff berth, while DeShone Kizer has declared for the NFL Draft.
Theismann has thoughts on both. We’ll start with Cousins, who, according to Theismann, should be the Redskins’ long-term quarterback regardless of what happens at home against the Giants (10-5) this Sunday.
“I think Kirk Cousins has got to be the guy in Washington,” Thiesmann told Jody McDonald, who was filling in as host of CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “You’ve invested the last two yeas in teaching him how to play the position. Last year, you said, ‘Well, he didn’t have much of a body of work.’ Now you’ve put together 16 games where he’s played at a very high level. The important thing about a contract that will be the size of Kirk Cousins’ – somewhere in the neighborhood between probably $110-and-$120 million – is both sides have to understand that the contract has a value when it helps the other part of the football team as well. Remember: You got DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon both as free agents. If you franchise Kirk one more time, I think it sends a message to everybody of, like, what do you have to do to prove to an organization that you have value?”
Shopping for quarterbacks, Theismann said, is sort of like shopping for houses. Every quarterback – and every property – has a value relative to the competition. So if Jay Cutler, Matthew Stafford and Joe Flacco are making elite money, Cousins – who has 53 touchdowns to 21 interceptions over the last two seasons – deserves elite money as well.
“You say, ‘Well, Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl,’” Theismann said. “Yes, but Matthew Stafford hasn’t. Jay Cutler hasn’t. It should be a seven-year deal so that you can pro-rate the money. That’s the most important thing. And then the bonus and the injury guarantee. Those are the three elements that I think have to be looked at, and the guaranteed money. Those elements are the important part of his contract. But I believe they should sign him.”
As for the aforementioned Kizer, Theismann believes the redshirt sophomore should have stayed in South Bend.
“I think he’s a young man that has some talent, but he certainly could have used another year of schooling,” Theismann said. “You’re going to find teams that are going to have to take kids coming out of college early. I like DeShone a lot, but I still think that he’s unpolished at this point. I don’t think he’s played enough football. From watching him through the course of the year – and I’ve gone to games, I’ve watched practice – the decision process, the accuracy at times, is questionable. I think another year of school would have served him very, very well, but I don’t see them as a top-five pick. But then again, you’re forced to take people at a position in the National Football League where you have a void. There’s one position in particular in the National Football League that has a tremendous void, and that’s the quarterback position. You have to assume that Cleveland’s going to be looking. You have to assume the Jets are going to be looking. What do you do with San Diego? You eventually need to replace Philip. You look at Arizona. You eventually need to replace Carson.”
Notre Dame, ranked tenth in the preseason, went 4-8 with losses to Texas, Michigan State, Stanford, Navy, Virginia Tech and USC, among others.