Kirk Cousins to become first QB to repeat as franchise tag player

19 July, 2017, 01:02 | Author: Franklin Nunez
  • LANDOVER MD- NOVEMBER 20 Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins walks off of the field after the Washington Redskins defeated the Green Bay Packers 42-24 at FedExField

Washington Redskins president Bruce Allen called quarterback Kirk Cousins by the name "Kurt" multiple times after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deal Monday prior to the deadline for franchise-tagged players.

It's believed that to have a chance of signing Cousins, the Redskins would have to offer him a deal with an annual salary of around $28 million and roughly $52 million to $58 million guaranteed at signing and another $30 million to $35 million for the remaining three years.

Redskins president Bruce Allen released a statement to fans shortly after the deadline, saying that the team had offered Cousins $53 million guaranteed, with a $72 million injury guarantee, in a long-term contract. If Cousins does indeed end up playing the upcoming season under the franchise tag, he'll likely test the open free agent market in the 2018 offseason. The transition tag price would be lower, but would also allow for other teams to make offers to Cousins (Washington would be allowed to match any offer).

Cousins had the best statistical season of his career in 2016, completing 67-percent of his passes for 4,917 yards and throwing 25 touchdowns compared to 12 interceptions. If he agreed to a five-year deal with Washington that featured $53 million in guaranteed money, he would be accepting a contract that essentially gave him an additional $300,000 in exchange for giving the Redskins control over him for an additional three years.

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The cap hit for a single season is just too much for a team to take on - and would it really be worth it if he just winds up leaving that next following season? Cousins will early $23.943 million guaranteed this season after pocketing $19.953 on the franchise tag last season. The deadline for signing Cousins to a long-term deal is on Tuesday. It seems far more likely that either Bradford or Bridgewater will be under center in 2018, particularly since one would imagine the Vikings would have their QB situation figured out long before next offseason, but the possibility for Cousins is at least strong enough that ESPN's Dan Graziano listed Minnesota among his 10 teams that could be suitors for Cousins. Washington has botched this situation in so many ways - "you may never see a franchise quarterback negotiation this screwed up again", Robinson wrote about it - and Cousins is shrugging all the way to an even bigger payday next March.

The Redskins have viewed Cousins as being good, but not great, and their offers reflected that sentiment.

So, how does Cousins feel about the Redskins publicly slighting him on multiple levels?

Cousins' deal, no matter where he signs, is expected to be one of the largest in National Football League history, starting around the record-setting five-year, $125 million contact Raiders signal caller Derek Carr signed earlier this offseason. But in doing so, and inexplicably trying to smear Cousins as ungrateful for rejecting their feeble offer, they've made pretty damn sure that he won't want anything to do with Washington once the choice is his.

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Only Tom Brady has posted a better passer rating in both seasons since Cousins took over as the full-time starter. "He reminds me a lot of Kirk Cousins".

"One narrative has been if I do not sign a deal this July that I won't be a Redskin beyond this season", Cousins said. Cousins has no shortage of admirers around the league, most notably former Washington offensive coordinators Kyle Shanahan, now head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, and Sean McVay, now coach of the Los Angeles Rams.

The team's attempts to make Cousins out to be the bad guy in all this have worked to a degree.

When Williams was promoted June 13 in the wake of general manager Scot McCloughan's firing, he said he'd let Schaffer - who was elevated the same day to senior VP of football operations and general counsel - "finish the job" with Cousins.

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