The Jefferson Comments on Cousins Aren’t Good, but We Shouldn’t Overreact

Look, we shouldn’t overreact to a few words in an essentially meaningless conversation. Even still, it’s somewhat surprising to see Justin Jefferson making some relatively negative comments about Kirk Cousins.

Yesterday, Jefferson appeared on Colin Cowherd’s show. The conversation began in a normal manner; Jefferson discussed his college teammate Ja’Marr Chase and then his own background in college.

He then noted that there was a good connection between himself and Cousins, specifically mentioning the Week 3 matchup with Tennessee. Unsurprisingly, Cowherd uses this moment to pivot into a question that compares Cousins to Joe Burrow, Jefferson’s college QB: “They’re not the strongest arms, but they’re going to get it to you exactly where you need them to throw it. The thing about Joe that’s a little bit different — I feel like Joe has a little bit more swagger. He has that confidence on the field, he’s not scared to get hit. I feel like as a quarterback, that’s a big trait to have, especially to be as young as he is. He’s a phenomenal quarterback.”

Previously, we’ve written about Cousins and the lack of it-factor. It’s probably the main criticism that anyone could have of Cousins at this point. That being said, it’s surprising to see his star receiver admitting this so openly.

Shortly thereafter, Jefferson continues digging a hole, this time by making comments about how drafting Justin Fields would have made sense even though Cousins is still on the roster. It’s strange to hear Jefferson talk about planning for life after Cousins and how “Fields brings a little bit more pressure to other teams by having a dominant quarterback like he is.”

SI‘s Will Ragatz is right to explain that his “overall takeaway is that there’s nothing wrong with what Jefferson said” but that “it’s still surprising to see an athlete talk about their teammate — particularly the one in charge of throwing them the ball — on national TV like this.” Indeed.

Cousins seems to be continually navigating doubt and criticism. It’s fairly easy to see why. He is a talented QB who has never had sustained success in the W/L column, and he has a massive contract. Nevertheless, it’s weird to see even his young teammate praising another QB for his swagger and then a different QB as a “dominant” player who could help put more pressure on Minnesota’s opponents.

In all likelihood, these comments will quickly fade into the background as more news emerges. The hope, though, is that all of these doubts, criticisms, and shots on Cousins help to put Minnesota’s QB into another tier.