Cardinals potential QB target: Kirk Cousins

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

With Carson Palmer announcing his retirement on Tuesday, we will examine potential targets for the team next season. We must insist that these options are presently in the league, as the team could also potentially draft a quarterback in the NFL Draft in April.

We will first look at Kirk Cousins. The Washington Redskins quarterback does not expect to be back with his current team after being franchise-tagged for the second straight season.

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins warming up before the game with the New York Giants (Getty Images)

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins warming up before the game with the New York Giants (Getty Images)

This past season, Cousins was the highest-paid quarterback in the league at $23.9 million. Only New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had a higher average at $24.2 million.

Despite being franchise-tagged, the 29-year-old has not lived up to his expectations in Washington. He guided the team to a 7-9 record this season.

Both teams that he was franchise-tagged, the Redskins missed out on the playoffs. They have went 15-16-1. Washington last made the playoffs in 2015 when the team went 9-7 — his best season as a starter with the team.

The 2016 season, Cousins went 406 of 606 for 4,917 passing yards, along with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. This past season, he went 347 of 540 for 4,093 passing yards with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

The 4,093 passing yards were the fewest yards in his three-years as a starter in Washington.

As Washington looks to love on from Cousins — and San Francisco is no longer an option as they look to franchise Jimmy Garoppolo — Cousins will have to look for employment elsewhere. The Cardinals have nearly $30 million in cap space this off-season.

Whoever the Cardinals hire as their next head coach, quarterback is going to be a focal point of their offseason. They will look to find a franchise option, who can lead them into the future. General manager Steve Keim — and the new head coach — should give Cousins a look.

He may not be the franchise quarterback that they need. But he could be the bridge quarterback, who could start for the next several seasons, before they find a long-term answer.

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