Scot McCloughan: Colin Kaepernick should be an NFL quarterback

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 10:30:38 PM. Scot McCloughan also says the Redskins can't let Kirk Cousins walk away after this season.

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Colin Kaepernick is still without an NFL job. (Ted S. Warren/Associated Press)

It hasn’t been difficult to find NFL players who think Colin Kaepernick should still be on an NFL roster. Stars like Aaron Rodgers, Richard Sherman, Cam Newton and Von Miller have all weighed in to varying degrees, with the general consensus that the former 49ers quarterback deserves to be in the league.

But they were never in a position to hire or fire a quarterback. Scot McCloughan was. And the former Redskins general manager this week agreed with their assessment.

“You know, I’m not gonna get into the politics about it, because I’m not in an office right now we’re I’m around it every day,” McCloughan said this week on the B-More Opinionated podcast. “I just know this: when I was in Seattle, we had some great battles, the 49ers and Seahawks. Some with Alex [Smith], and then Alex left and then Colin took over. Colin’s a good football player.”

McCloughan — who was fired from the Redskins and is again running a scouting service out of Colorado — said he sometimes worries about Kaepernick’s passing accuracy. When he worked in Seattle’s front office, he said, Seahawks officials thought if they got up two scores on Kaepernick’s 49ers, he wouldn’t be able to throw his team back into the game against one of the league’s toughest defenses. But McCloughan suggested Kaepernick was dangerous in close games, recalling a time the quarterback outran his entire Seattle defense.

He had previously said that Kaepernick would be at the top of his list of potential free agent quarterbacks, and that Kaepernick is still good enough to be a starter, and his opinion hasn’t changed.

“So the politics, I don’t understand,” McCloughan said. “From the talent standpoint, no doubt about it, he should be in the league. No doubt about it.”

McCloughan also again talked about the quarterback situation in Washington, where the Redskins have paid Kirk Cousins under the franchise tag two years in a row but still have no long-term commitment. The former GM didn’t have a prediction for how Cousins’s contract situation will be resolved, but he laid out both sides of the debate.

The price tag of tagging Cousins again “of course is immense,” McCloughan said. There are 52 other players to worry about; McCloughan mentioned that the Seahawks saw their offensive line decline after pouring money into their secondary. If the Redskins tag Cousins again, he said, there is a good chance they will lose three to six players that they would want to keep over the next two years, “because you can’t afford it … if you start investing that much money in one position.”

“With the [salary] cap, you’re only allotted so much,” he said. “And once you start investing too much in certain positions, it affects the rest of the team.”

But McCloughan also rejected the idea that Washington would simply let Cousins walk after the 2017 season.

“You can’t do that,” he said. “You can’t. You’ve already put your cards out there; two years back-to-back, the money you paid him. And like I said, he’s a really good teammate, he’s a really good leader, all that stuff. So personally, I’d do a long-term deal. It’s best for the organization financially. You’re gonna have to guarantee a lot and all that, but at least you get somebody locked in that’s in his prime and now you’re not scrambling.

“And nothing against Colt McCoy, but he’s a really good number two,” McCloughan said. “That’s what he is. That’s what he’s been. So now you have to go in the draft, or go into free agency, trying to find [a starter]. And you guys are well aware, they’re hard to find. People try everywhere, and probably 70 percent of the time, you’re not right on. There’s a handful of Deshaun Watsons; same kind of deal with Russell Wilson in Seattle. You think you know, but you never know until you get ’em in the building and let ’em see what they can do.

“You know exactly what Kirk is, exactly what he is,” McCloughan concluded. “And he’s good for the team, he’s good for the position and he’s good to help your organization win.”

The problem with all of this, it goes without saying, is that Cousins would have to agree to a long-term deal with the Redskins, and he hasn’t previously seemed inclined to do so.

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