NFL Prop Bets: Where Will Kirk Cousins Play in 2018?

by Kevin Roberts
on August 18, 2017

The Kirk Cousins contract fiasco lives on. The beleaguered quarterback remains without a long-term deal heading into 2017, as the Washington Redskins once again refused to pay their star quarterback the money he deserves.

Washington’s reluctance not only makes Cousins a lame duck going into 2017, but it has supposedly created friction between the two sides. Both Cousins and the ‘Skins have said all the right things, however, while Captain Kirk even suggested recently that Washington is where he wants to spend the remainder of his career.

It’s tough to know how honest Cousins is being here, while it’s also tough to know how badly the Redskins want this marriage to work.

What we do know, however, is that Cousins will have his options come 2018 NFL free agency, as he should finally be able to make his own decision, regardless of what Washington wants.

Where Will Kirk Cousins Play in 2018?

With no deal getting done before the 2017 regular season starts, that creates the seemingly very real possibility that Cousins is playing elsewhere in 2018.

Where that ends up being is anyone’s guess, but BetOnline takes it one step further and allows us to wager where Cousins will operate under center next year. Here are the options and latest odds:

  • San Francisco 49ers +175
  • Washington Redskins +300
  • Cleveland Browns +500
  • Jacksonville Jaguars +800
  • Arizona Cardinals +800
  • Pittsburgh Steelers +1400
  • New Orleans Saints +2000
  • Buffalo Bills +2000
  • Minnesota Vikings +2000
  • Miami Dolphins +2000
  • New York Jets +2500

The 49ers lead the way here for obvious reasons; the 49ers don’t have a quarterback and they’ve been rumored to be highly interested in acquiring Cousins.

The key connection to note here is San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was the offensive coordinator in D.C. when the Redskins drafted both Cousins and Robert Griffin III.

Shanny may now be best known for running just five times with a 28-3 lead in last year’s Super Bowl, but he’s also proven to be a sound offensive mind. He doesn’t have an answer under center currently, so the dots are easy to connect.

The biggest issue here is that San Francisco will probably be terrible again in 2017. Another poor record likely locks them into the top five picks for the 2018 NFL Draft and in a loaded quarterback class, that probably puts them in play to draft a franchise passer.

That doesn’t mean the 49ers would bypass Cousins if he wanted to leave D.C., but why commit to a guy you didn’t draft when you could make a cheaper long-term commitment to a guy you can personally vet during the scouting process?

Cousins Has Options

All of these landing spots make some sense for Cousins.

Ben Roethlisberger keeps flirting with retirement and the Steelers don’t have an insurance plan, while the Bills don’t seem to be enamored with Tyrod Taylor. Ditto for Miami and Ryan Tannehill, while the Vikings aren’t settled long-term at quarterback and the Cardinals don’t have a backup plan for when Carson Palmer calls it a career.

Blake Bortles is slowly wearing out his welcome in Jacksonville, too. The Saints are another team that may opt to move on from an aging veteran passer, while the Jets and Browns have unresolved situations at the position.

You can also explain away most of these teams, as they do have quarterbacks in place and/or could also be in position to draft a high profile prospect in 2018.

I think we can safely rule out the Steelers, Vikings, Cardinals, Saints and Dolphins.

Minnesota and Miami both have two viable NFL starters to work with at the moment, it’s hard to see either Brees or Big Ben being done just yet and if Palmer does hang’em up, the Cards would probably just start over via the draft.

Even the Bills have a solid option right now. Buffalo might not love Tyrod Taylor, but Cousins isn’t for sure a massive upgrade and it’d be another financial commitment. If anything, they’d probably just look to the draft and rebuild from the ground up.

Cousins probably isn’t leaving a comfortable situation he knows for uncharted territory, either. That takes out the Jags, Browns and any other team with a shaky environment or less than ideal weapons.

Betting on Kirk Cousins

Ultimately, what Kirk Cousins decides to do when he becomes a free agent leads him to one of two paths: he’s either staying on with the Redskins or he’s heading for the Bay Area.

The draw of teaming up with Shanahan and a rebuilding Niners team is very real and quite alluring. Cousins may prefer Shanny’s demeanor and play-calling, while it has to feel good to truly be wanted to the point where his new franchise has no qualms about paying him what he feels he deserves.

Cousins wouldn’t even be completely starting from scratch, either. He knows his head coach, he’s familiar with the system and one of his old targets (Pierre Garcon) just latched on with the 49ers this offseason.

There is a lot working in favor of Cousins going to the Niners, but it’s still odd that this is the favored bet.

In the end, Cousins probably isn’t going anywhere. If the Redskins truly don’t like him or he completely face plants this year, then perhaps we’ll have to change our tune. But what else can Cousins even do to prove he’s the right guy for the job?

The numbers have been great, Cousins helped the Redskins secure a division title two years ago and this team has at least been consistently competitive ever since he dethroned RG3 three years ago.

The kicker for NFL bettors is the logical play also hands us really nice value (+300). Quarterbacks usually only change teams in the NFL if they’re old and are forced out, are washed up or never materialized into a serviceable option.

Cousins is in his prime, he executes Washington’s offense at a high level, he most certainly isn’t washed up and he’s proven he can play. The Redskins might be stupid enough to let him walk, but that simply isn’t something we see often enough to get behind it with much confidence.

Betting on Cousins going to the Niners is flashy and fun, but a solid quarterback staying with the team that drafted him makes much more sense. Roll with the logic and the surprisingly solid value here.

Pick: Washington Redskins (+300)
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