Quarterback Kirk Cousins was not only one of the offensive captains for the Redskins in 2016, the Pro Bowl alternate solidified himself as a starter in the NFL after being mostly a backup his first three seasons.
As the Redskins head into the offseason following back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1991-92, Redskins.com will provide position-by-position reflections from the 2016 squad.
Up first: quarterbacks.
Review Of The Unit
For the first time since the 2008 season, the Washington Redskins had only one quarterback take snaps from under center in the regular season. Playing with the franchise tag following the completion of his four-year rookie contract signed in 2012, Kirk Cousins finished the 2016 season passing for 4,917 yards with 25 touchdown passes to 12 interceptions.
The Michigan State product also rushed for four touchdowns.
While his touchdown-to-interception ratio dipped from his breakout season in 2015 when he threw for 29 touchdowns to only 11 interceptions, Cousins once again proved that he can change games when everything is clicking.
During the month of November, Cousins was named NFC Offensive Player of the Month after he went 84-of-116 and threw for 1,086 yards with eight touchdowns and no interceptions in three games against the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals.
While the Redskins went 2-3 in their final five games, Cousins had solid outings against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14 and the Chicago Bears in Week 16.
Colt McCoy was active for all 16 games but did not appear on a single snap while rookie sixth-round pick Nate Sudfeld was inactive for the entire year.
What's Next For The Group
This will all come down to what happens in Cousins' future. He is once again set to become an unrestricted free agent at the turn of the NFL calendar.
Take a look back at the top images of the Washington Redskins' quarterbacks from the 2016 season.
The Redskins could place the franchise tag on him for a second straight season if they ultimately don't come to a long-term agreement.
"We all have to come to a conclusion of how we want to pursue this thing," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said at his end of season presser. "So that's going to come. We're going to have player evaluations for the next couple of weeks here with our staff and general manager and Bruce [Allen]. We'll go from there."
Gruden believes that Cousins will have some "goodwill towards this organization" based on the situation he's been placed in and surely earned following the 2015 training camp, but understands business decisions will have to be made from both sides.
"As far as what he's feeling as far as negotiations are concerned, I'm sure he's going to leave it up to his agent," Gruden said. "That's what most people do. And if they come up with a deal, if we feel like it's fair and they feel like it's fair, and we come up to one that'd be great. If not, then we'll see what happens."
McCoy, meanwhile, signed a reported three-year deal last offseason. While he did not see game action for the first time in his seven-year career, the Texas product is confident he can still produce at a high level.
"I'll continue to work and continue to prepare, there are always things to improve on," McCoy said. "I've got to practice and compete three days every week this year. I love practice. We all want to see the field, but when you're not seeing the field, you have to find ways to improve and I did that this year."
As for Sudfeld, the rookie treated each week as if he were starting to help his transition to the NFL. While it was a lot of time spent at the Inova Sports Performance Center at Redskins Park without being active, Sudfeld hopes the preparation he's already put in will pay off if he gets a chance to appear in regular season action.
"[I] made sure I knew what our protection plans were, what our third down thoughts were, what our red zone thoughts were, so they did a good job keeping me in meetings so I always had to be on top of my game," Sudfeld said. "[Offensive coordinator Sean] McVay and [quarterbacks] coach [Matt] Cavanaugh would quiz me on just random stuff so that really helped. I really feel like as the season progressed I got better and better at it. I'm really excited about the progress I made and put it on display this offseason and OTAs."