So here is the thing with me on this. Yeah I saw the same stats, some of the same ****ty untimely interceptions from Kirk when he had Garcon, Jackson and a somewhat healthy Reed 2016. And I was disgusted. You could even say he regressed in the RZ if you were being honest. But one thing about him that I cannot deny is he gets better every single year. Seems to be a slow starter in my opinion - meaning the first quarter or slow seem sluggish - but hopefully that will shift around with a better team.
But back to your post - you cannot deny that Cousin's made lemonade out of lemons last year. He was awesome and almost single handedly beat K.C. and New Orleans. It was a quantum leap in development. He ran more, he stretched himself. He was not as rigid as I have seen him in the two prior years. It is not his fault that his D allowed an extraordinary amount of points in a number of contests that we should have won. You could easily say IF he had Jackson and Garcon we would have done much better IF they did not get hurt as well. But who the hell knows we may had games with 50 points and still lost.
The other thing about Cousin's that I cannot prove but I believe is that he is sour grapes due to a continuing theme in his life that the FO of the Skin's has managed to magnify and perpetuate. His father talked about it an interview (Sport's Illustrated??). But essentially his belief that he has never had a choice. His belief that he has never been the #1 QB choice or the # 1 guy. There is a bit of hurt ego/pride with this no matter what Kirk says. And it is not just about Bruce. And if you take those beliefs of Cousin's and you look at the totality of his games over the years - amazing, not so amazing and ugly it is not astounding to me that a deal could never be made. But if Kirk really wanted to be here - believed he was truly wanted the way he needed it to be - they would have worked it out. I think he was a bit bitter about even being drafted here in the first place. Maybe Shanny calmed him down but it factors in and it was there from the beginning. The ****tiest part of course and who really magnified what he believed was Bruce Allen. But it is combination of factors with him IMO when you essentially put together everything that he has ever said in interviews over the years and everything that has transpired. And you cannot ignore his history even before he came to the Skin's. I think he does want a choice to be THE GUY. And he thinks that the sun should rise and set on him. So what? Good for him. And hopefully he makes it into something. But it takes two for an impasse to be moved through. I just do not think it was ever there with Cousin's but how do you pass up two franchise tags with that enormous amount of money? You don't. But from jump street the guy was not truly engaged here. But he is a professional and has pride - and so he did his best.
Now do I think his trajectory upward is bound to continue? He seems to always improve his craft and has studied the successful QB' so yeah. The thing with Alex Smith is that you know what you have and it is never going to be anything but that. I think Gruden is going to be somewhat frustrated with him.