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Washington G.M. admits tagging Kirk Cousins is a real option

Kirk Cousins AP

Washington General Manager Scot McCloughan had to play it coy when asked about Robert Griffin III yesterday, though no one in the world thinks RG3 is going to be anywhere near the nation’s capital next year.

But when it was time to talk about the quarterback who will, McCloughan had to tread just as carefully, because Kirk Cousins is going to be a much more expensive proposition.

Via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post, McCloughan admitted he’d rather not use a $20 million franchise tag to keep Cousins out of the free agent market while they work on a long-term deal.

Of course you’d rather not, you’d rather get a long-term deal done, but we have a lot of options we’re dealing with right now and that’s one of them,” McCloughan said of the tag.

Because Cousins has been starting at an average to slightly above-average level for such a short time, it’s hard to gauge what his actual value is. But given the dearth of quality quarterbacks available, they may have no choice but to tag him if they can’t agree on what his value is.

McCloughan was clear, however, about how encouraged he was about Cousins.

“I saw improvement as the season went on,” McCloughan said. “From the standpoint of going forward, of course I’d like to have him around.”

Now he just has to figure out how to do it, without having to use a tag that would require a huge one-time investment.

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33 Responses to “Washington G.M. admits tagging Kirk Cousins is a real option”
  1. sbchampsagain says: Jan 28, 2016 12:23 PM

    And Kirk Cousins will thank you, as its more than he will EVER command on the market.
    Guy deserves a Fitzy contract at best.

  2. uglydingo says: Jan 28, 2016 12:27 PM

    $20M to franchise Kirk Cousins. He had a good season but that still sounds ridiculous.
    Just a year ago he was hoping to become the starting QB.

  3. In Teddy We Trust says: Jan 28, 2016 12:30 PM

    Master Tesfatsion sounds like a Star Wars character.

  4. key2heat says: Jan 28, 2016 12:31 PM

    As a Life long Redskins fan I think Kirk deserves a 21 million per year. You Like That!!! He will lead the team to at least 4 superbowl wins.

  5. steelerben says: Jan 28, 2016 12:49 PM

    If you tag Cousins, then any long term deal starts with a floor of $20 million a year. That’s a huge investment based on a small body of work. $44 million guaranteed is the baseline for working out a deal seeing as how that is the amount of money Cousins would see being tagged this year and next.

    Is it sensible to give Cousins a deal that is $60 million over 4 years with a signing bonus of $20 million and guaranteed salaries of $8 million the first three seasons? The cap hit would be spread out over 4 years, and the ballooning fourth year could be a season to restructure or trade him. Cousins would get a huge chunk of money up front, Washington would cover themselves in case he’s a flash in the pan, and the team could continue filling holes around him without being hamstrung by a giant cap number.

  6. InLavonteWeTrust says: Jan 28, 2016 12:51 PM

    It’s worth sacrificing that much for one year than giving him a contract and realizing this was a fluke year. Not saying it was but anyone can look serviceable playing the arguably the worst division in football.

  7. tdubdizzle says: Jan 28, 2016 1:03 PM

    Just when you thought the Redskins were turning the corner they want to make Cousins their franchise QB.

    I like Cousins but he’s not a Franchise QB.

  8. floratiotime says: Jan 28, 2016 1:30 PM

    Long term, cap shredding contract please. And the same for RG3.

  9. psubeerman21 says: Jan 28, 2016 1:33 PM

    Yes. Please give cousins 20 million, simultaneously overpaying a player that has half a good season under his belt and tying up money that would be better served improving the offensive line or defense. Please, please do this.

  10. kennyboy2014 says: Jan 28, 2016 1:41 PM

    It ain’t rocket science. Give him a four year deal starting at about $12.5 million and going up $1 million each year with a team option for a fifth year at like $17.5 million. If he rolls the dice and they tag him and he ends up regressing, he will be looking for back up work like Brian Hoyer.

  11. Kingmj4891 says: Jan 28, 2016 1:53 PM

    Kirk Cousin had the highest completion percentage in the NFL at 69.8% of his passes were completed.

  12. bigblackanvil says: Jan 28, 2016 1:53 PM

    half of season he played well against rock bottom garbage teams. if he can’t take a 2 year $16 million with a $5 million signing bonus let him walk. however if we have a franchise tag him and trade deal in the works then that’s the only circumstance you tag him.

  13. leonitas21 says: Jan 28, 2016 2:03 PM

    It’s amazing the idiocy I see on here. First from Gant, but thats no surprise as I see how idiotic his posts are daily. Average to slightly above average? Really? Third in passer rating, 1st in completion percentage, 10th in yards, etc.. So how is that slightly above average?

    As for his contract status, he will command a lot on the market but that’s a guarantee being that most of the numbskulls on this message board seem to think the opposite. If anyone wants to know how to win a lot of money betting, just ask people on here who’d they bet and do the opposite.

  14. joeflaccoallday says: Jan 28, 2016 2:07 PM

    His completion was high cause all he does is dink and dunk and let receivers get yac, mcglock probably knows he’s not a franchise qb but the draft is trash this year and no good free agents… lose lose

  15. blackqbwhiterb says: Jan 28, 2016 2:08 PM

    Work out a deal, this kid is gonna keep getting better. Put a better line in front of him, improve the ground game, he can be a very good qb

  16. wdcskins says: Jan 28, 2016 2:08 PM

    I watched him at Michigan State, and I thought he was alright. That multiple pick game against the Giants last year, though. He did it again this year, too. I can’t get those out of my mind. He’s like Grossman without the arm strength. Pay the man, but don’t get stupid. Don’t tag him. He’s a gap quarterback, in my opinion. I don’t think I want to see him starting for the ‘Skins in two years, unless he’s matured beyond those hot garbage games.

  17. fwippel says: Jan 28, 2016 2:24 PM

    The Redskins are not going to allow Cousins to get into free agency. There are too many teams one QB away from the playoffs that will pay him more than what he’d get from a franchise tag, with Houston coming most readily to mind.

    To suggest that Cousins’ play was average to slightly above average is an undeserved cut. Without him, the Redskins don’t finish anywhere near .500.

  18. wooshelius says: Jan 28, 2016 2:30 PM

    I feel like hes going to have a reality check just like Nick Foles did but not as bad. He had one good half of a season.

  19. shyts7 says: Jan 28, 2016 2:36 PM

    Guess which team is about to get Matt Flynned? Cousins was good in 8 games but has 2 1/2 years of of crap.

  20. mnesmith77 says: Jan 28, 2016 2:40 PM

    I’ve seen the improvement in Kirks game and I was probably one of his harshest critics when he played sparingly but I must say to be given the starting role a week before the season you have to expect him to start slow. If you look at all the games from this past year I say there may be 4 games where I feel like we just got out played. That was the first game against the Giants (week 3), the Jets, the Pats and the Panthers. Every other loss was a game we could have one. Granted our division wasn’t the greatest this year but I don’t apologize for that because you have to learn to beat the teams you are suppose to beat instead of playing down to their level.

    We put our self in this position to have to get ready to pay Kirk possibly more than what he should get paid but it still early to tell if he can live up to it. But after this past season I am definitely willing to give him another shot even if it means we have to franchise him.

  21. amaf21 says: Jan 28, 2016 2:48 PM

    When did U of Washington hire a GM?

  22. purpleguy says: Jan 28, 2016 3:00 PM

    Teddy, don’t you remember when Master T was the Viking on-line beat guy?

  23. gcberger says: Jan 28, 2016 3:23 PM

    If they franchise Cousins, I hope the Skins will be smart about building up the Offensive Line, both starters and alternates.

  24. joparks2012 says: Jan 28, 2016 3:29 PM

    Those of you who say that the Skins should just let him walk or not franchise tag him for 1 year (which by the way gives them the option to work out a longer term deal), what are the better options? The franchise tag provides 2 benefits immediately. It keeps him out of the FA market where it is almost certain that another team will offer him a boatload of dollars. 2nd, it extends the time to negotiate a possible longer, more cap friendly deal. If you haven’t noticed, there were several teams that had QB issues last year. One of them in our division that basically sunk their season. Another team, Houston, started 3 different guys and still made the playoffs. There are at least 5 teams out there who would have a strong interest in Cousins if he hits the open market and that’s being conservative. There is no clear cut QB in the draft that is day 1 ready and Cousins is the best of the FA options so a team is going to overpay. Those of you that think Kirk is a flash in the pan and want to let him leave then tell me what the Skins options are for 2016 and beyond with no QB? Do they sign RGIII to be their starter? Do they have Colt McCoy as their starter? I like Colt but it’s hard for me to think Colt is a better option than Kirk and there are questions with RGIII. That would be more of a gamble than tagging Kirk. You need a QB to compete in this league. All 8 of the final teams this year had legit QBs. Cousins is the Skins best option now and they hold the cards on him. The people on this blog claim that he’s not worth 20M and that might be true but to a team who has a closing window that is just missing a QB, he would be worth that.

  25. najacoo22 says: Jan 28, 2016 4:12 PM

    We don’t have a large sample size, but saying Cousins peaked at “average to above average” just shows that Gantt didn’t watch him play the second half of the season.

  26. whatjusthapped says: Jan 28, 2016 4:15 PM

    In his one playoff game, he didn’t look so hot, missing open WR’s and failing to convert 3rd downs. If that is a $20 franchise QB I was watching, I’m glad I’m not a Redskins fan.

  27. boss81hogg says: Jan 28, 2016 4:25 PM

    Washington GM?

    I didn’t know the President of the USA can tag franchise players. Cool!

  28. bornahawker says: Jan 28, 2016 6:12 PM

    You lose him you have nothing. Pay up suckers!
    Go Hawks!

  29. dwhcic says: Jan 28, 2016 7:36 PM

    He’ll get paid either way, QBs are too valuable, and too hard to come by in the NFL. I think the kid has potential, he flashes, but then he also makes some really poor decisions. Kinda like Cutler but with a weaker arm.

  30. jobo50 says: Jan 28, 2016 11:54 PM

    My thinking is they are between a rock and a hard place Cousins is theirQB and RG3 is a red headed stepchild already out the door so Cousins is in a win win situation as i see it

  31. skinsdiehard says: Jan 29, 2016 1:08 AM

    Performing at a slightly above average level? Cousins was a top 10 QB this season. I think that’s well-above average, dude. Don’t know how Bridgewater and Winston made the pro-bowl over him. Voters must be crazy. The Redskins averaged over 30 points per game as they closed with a 4-game win streak. Cousins’ final QB rating for the season was 5th!! He was first in completion percentage….don’t tell me it was due to short passes. He was 8th in yards per attempt!! Look at the stats. Dude, he is a QB on the rise to elite.

  32. skinsfan91 says: Jan 30, 2016 1:57 AM

    Lets see, he didnt look awesome in his first playoff game. Manning has looked bad in many playoff games. Would you not like to have Manning?

  33. bigblackanvil says: Jan 30, 2016 6:03 PM

    It’s gonna be a lot of salty fans when Kirk leaves via free agency and RG3 returns. lol

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