Commanders Can Take 4-Time Pro Bowl QB as Caleb Williams Alternative - Sport News

Commanders Can Take 4-Time Pro Bowl QB as Caleb Williams Alternative

Trading up for Caleb Williams will be difficult for the Washington Commanders, but a reunion with four-time Pro Bowler Kirk Cousins can work if he leaves the Minnesota Vikings and enters 2024 NFL free agency.

Caleb Williams

Bringing Cousins back to FedEx Field is a possibility mentioned by Bleacher Report’s Brad Gagnon. He explained, “rarely do franchise-caliber quarterbacks hit the open market, but there’s a very good chance that happens if the Minnesota Vikings decide Kirk Cousins is out of their price range between now and the start of free agency on March 13.”

Gagnon listed “Washington, the Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons or Denver Broncos” as teams who could “take shots” at Cousins “if the Vikings opt to rebuild now.”

Trusting 35-year-old Cousins as a bridge starter would offer the Commanders short-term stability at football’s most important position. Selecting Williams in the 2024 NFL draft as the next face of the franchise would engender more confidence in the long-term prospects of head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Adam Peters’ rebuild.

Provided the Commanders can acquire the first-overall pick.

Kirk Cousins Still Has Value if Commanders Can’t Draft Caleb Williams

Cousins completed a journey from fourth-round pick to Pro-Bowl starter during his time in Washington from 2012-’17. He threw for over 4000 yards in each of his last three seasons in the nation’s capital.

No. 8 has since broken the 4,000-yard mark on four occasions with the Vikings. He’s improved because of a knack for spreading the ball around, making decisive reads and throwing with timing.

Cousins showcased the latter quality by tossing “4 TD passes in rhythm (2.5-4 seconds)” when the Vikings faced the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2. As Next Gen Stats detailed, “Cousins has thrown 114 TD passes in rhythm since 2016, 15 more than any other player.”

This quality would be an asset for a Commanders’ offense with plenty of talent at the skill positions. Wide receivers Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson would both thrive with a consistent quarterback throwing passes in an expansive offense called by coordinator Kliff Kingsbury.

Cousins could fill the key role once he’s recovered from the torn Achilles that ended his season after Week 8. That’s assuming the Vikings opt against retaining their QB1.

The Vikings might want to see what other teams will offer Cousins, but it’s a risky strategy. Other quarterback-needy teams make sense, with Sam Monson and Steve Palazzolo of Pro Football Focus telling The 33rd Team’s Ari Meirov the Atlanta Falcons have the best chance to sign Cousins if the Vikings don’t bring him back.

Perhaps the Commanders can be a wild card because of salary cap space worth $83,543,548, per Spotrac.com. The Commanders could even repeat history by signing Cousins and drafting his replacement outside the first round. Possibly by using the second or third-round picks the franchise got from trading defensive ends Montez Sweat and Chase Young.

That plan might be easier to swing than a trade for Williams.

Caleb Williams Could Stay Out of Commanders Reach

There’s plenty to recommend the Commanders going after Williams. Like the presence of Kingsbury, who coached the passer at USC.

Ample cap space and the picks from the Sweat and Young deals give Peters plenty of resources to tempt the Chicago Bears into trading the top pick. Any deal would only happen if the Bears decide to ignore warnings and keep Justin Fields.

As Gagnon pointed out, “Caleb Williams is, in the opinion of many, an obvious No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft.” Fortunately, “the Chicago Bears have yet to strongly indicate they’re giving up on Justin Fields and drafting Williams first overall.”

Any chance to bring Washington D.C. native Williams back to the city will likely be too tempting for the Commanders.

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