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Possibility of franchise tag drives Cousins’ value higher

Kirk Cousins AP

Washington hasn’t ruled out the possibility of applying the franchise tag to quarterback Kirk Cousins. Unless and until they do, the basic math of the franchise tag will loom over the negotiations. (Or, at least for now, the non-negotiations.)

It’s a simple proposition. If Cousins can make roughly $20 million guaranteed for 2016 under the tag, why would Cousins accept a deal worth, say, $12 million per year? He should just take the $20 million for ones season, buy disability insurance to protect against a serious injury, and go to the market in 2017 — unless Washington wants to give him a 20-percent raise ($24 million) for a second year of the tag.

So if Washington wants to get a deal done with Cousins, Washington needs to make it clear he won’t be tagged.

Of course, that would then open the door to another team trying to sign Cousins away from Washington. And given his performance in 2016 (69.8 percent completion rate, 4,166 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, 11 interceptions), one of the various quarterback-needy teams could be willing to pay more than Washington wants to pay on a long-term deal.

The only way to keep that from happening is to use the franchise tag. Or to be willing to match or beat any other offer Cousins gets on a multi-year contract.

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55 Responses to “Possibility of franchise tag drives Cousins’ value higher”
  1. key2heat says: Feb 16, 2016 3:44 PM

    He does not want to play for dan snyder…nobody does, look how they have to money whip mediocre free agents.

  2. walker615 says: Feb 16, 2016 3:49 PM

    Generally speaking the logic here makes sense- except that there’s a very real possibility Cousins implodes in 2016, making it a risky move to take the 20 and bet on himself. If he can get 35 million or so guaranteed at a 14 million a year clip, he has to take it.

  3. getakluwe says: Feb 16, 2016 3:50 PM

    Cousins is likely this decade’s answer to Kevin Kolb . The guy made over $50 million in his career: for what?

  4. baddegg says: Feb 16, 2016 3:52 PM

    It’s a simple proposition. If Cousins can make roughly $20 million guaranteed for 2016 under the tag, why would Cousins accept a deal worth, say, $12 million per year?

    ——–

    Answer:

    Possibility of injury, effectively eliminating his value after tag year.

    Possibility of not performing well enough to get 15-16 M from someone else after tag year.

  5. juice08 says: Feb 16, 2016 3:53 PM

    REDSKINS should keep Cousins at any reasonable cost.

  6. baddegg says: Feb 16, 2016 3:54 PM

    baddegg says:
    Feb 16, 2016 3:52 PM
    It’s a simple proposition. If Cousins can make roughly $20 million guaranteed for 2016 under the tag, why would Cousins accept a deal worth, say, $12 million per year?

    ——–

    Answer:

    Possibility of injury, effectively eliminating his value after tag year.

    Possibility of not performing well enough to get 15-16 M from someone else after tag year.
    —–

    Also, you are making an unrealistic argument if you are stating that the Redskins will offer 12M per year. 15-16 M per year is more realistic. And at that price, the player could take long term security into consideration.

  7. realtruthteller100 says: Feb 16, 2016 3:55 PM

    imo the REDSKINS are in a precarrious position. rg-ME is a lossed cause and needs to go. colt mccoy is intelligent but lacks to grit necesary to come back from gettin his bell rung a few times, to soft imo. and as for kurt, i used to think he was a nice humbel young man, but now hes shown his true colors, and that color is green, for money. i would offer him a incetives based contract where he only gets payed if he wins each week, that way hes focused on the teams success and not on buying some flashy new whip

  8. uberniner says: Feb 16, 2016 3:58 PM

    Go for the money. To Snyder, you are a piece of meat.

  9. savethebs says: Feb 16, 2016 3:59 PM

    realtruthteller100 says:
    Feb 16, 2016 3:55 PM

    imo the REDSKINS are in a precarrious position. rg-ME is a lossed cause and needs to go. colt mccoy is intelligent but lacks to grit necesary to come back from gettin his bell rung a few times, to soft imo. and as for kurt, i used to think he was a nice humbel young man, but now hes shown his true colors, and that color is green, for money. i would offer him a incetives based contract where he only gets payed if he wins each week, that way hes focused on the teams success and not on buying some flashy new whip

    ————————————–

    I love this comment for sooooo many reasons.

  10. flankerright says: Feb 16, 2016 3:59 PM

    $20 mil is a lot to pay for guy that only had a good second half of the season against sub-par competition. I do not want to see the REDSKINS give up the future for Cousins as they did for RG3, learn from you mistakes, franchise this guy for one year and see what he has to offer…

  11. bondlake says: Feb 16, 2016 4:01 PM

    Just let him go.

    I’m so sick of the outrageous money demanded by these players.

    Perhaps the next time one ruptures his ACL, the Doc should say that he’s a free agent and is taking bids to repair the damage.

    What’s that worth?

  12. thenoshows says: Feb 16, 2016 4:04 PM

    He will get Cutler type money. Too many teams would bid for his services.

  13. 6thsense10 says: Feb 16, 2016 4:04 PM

    baddeg,

    Unless Kirk suffers a career threatening injury he will still get a big contract if he performs like he did this year before the injury. Drew Brees and Daunte Culpepper both signed huge deals coming off of major injuries. And before anyone says I can’t compare Kirk to Brees just remember that the Brees before joining NO was nowhere as potent as the Brees after joining.

    Also since this is the NFL why lock yourself to a potentially under market value in which the team can cut you at anytime when you can get a 1 year guarantee deal for $20 million?

    It really is simple math. And if he somehow hits the market he will get a $20 million deal….heck the Rams are rumored to be pursuing an ancient Peyton Manning, the Browns are desperate for a QB, Houston is a decent QB away from competing for a title….Either the Skins franchise him, sign him to a long term deal to his liking or let him walk. Kirk wins in every scenario.

  14. romosmicrodongs says: Feb 16, 2016 4:05 PM

    We need to stick with Kirk. 18-20 million isn’t bad when you consider the salary cap is rising 7-10 million a year.

  15. mlzehnder says: Feb 16, 2016 4:14 PM

    getakluwe says:
    Feb 16, 2016 3:50 PM

    Cousins is likely this decade’s answer to Kevin Kolb . The guy made over $50 million in his career: for what?

    ————————————————-

    Stafford has made over $100M. Has also done nothing.

  16. steelerben says: Feb 16, 2016 4:18 PM

    To determine Cousin’s value you need to look at how much money Cleveland would be willing to pay him, then subtract the 20% premium that comes with having to play for the Browns.

  17. jonathankrobinson424 says: Feb 16, 2016 4:21 PM

    …..I say give him a 25 million dollar a YEAR contract…..he’s so worth it. Money well spent. – A Eagles fan.

  18. chawk12thman says: Feb 16, 2016 4:24 PM

    Offer him 20 Mill Guaranteed total immediately with 10 Mil Salary and 10 Signing bonus with a total 4 year deal worth 60 Mill……..(2016-10M; 2017-16M; 2018-16; 2019-18M Plus Signing Bonus 10M)

    You Like That?

  19. jssebastian2014 says: Feb 16, 2016 4:25 PM

    “Mr. Snyder, Charlie Whitehurst on line one for you.”

  20. jolly1234 says: Feb 16, 2016 4:26 PM

    steelerben says:
    Feb 16, 2016 4:18 PM
    To determine Cousin’s value you need to look at how much money Cleveland would be willing to pay him, then subtract the 20% premium that comes with having to play for the Browns… Then add the 25% surcharge for putting up w/ Dandy Dan Snyder.

    He’s worth $8-10m and will likely see twice that, or slightly less with lots of guaranteed $$.

  21. key2heat says: Feb 16, 2016 4:28 PM

    Funny when I read comments from redskins fans saying ‘we this and we that’ There is no “we” dan synder only wants your money he doesnt care about what he puts on the field. Ask Six Flags after snyder bankrupted them.

  22. jvw1982 says: Feb 16, 2016 4:30 PM

    I don’t understand what the problem is…..they found their QB, give him the going rate of 100 million (Kap, Tannehill) with a op out feature after yr 3 and be done with it….no way you get him for 12 million a yr. if you do his agent should be fired immediately and then sued…..

  23. dirtydrynn27 says: Feb 16, 2016 4:48 PM

    Redskins will not overpay this time! Those days are over!!!….However I think Kirk is worth it!!!

  24. kd75 says: Feb 16, 2016 4:51 PM

    Please install Nick Foles v 2.0…

  25. harrisonhits2 says: Feb 16, 2016 5:07 PM

    “imo the REDSKINS are in a precarrious position. rg-ME is a lossed cause and needs to go. colt mccoy is intelligent but lacks to grit necesary to come back from gettin his bell rung a few times, to soft imo. and as for kurt, i used to think he was a nice humbel young man, but now hes shown his true colors, and that color is green, for money. i would offer him a incetives based contract where he only gets payed if he wins each week, that way hes focused on the teams success and not on buying some flashy new whip”

    Geeze do you need a remedial English writing class.

  26. shlort says: Feb 16, 2016 5:07 PM

    Cousins is a good quarterback. I see people talking about comparisons. Well, it is easy to ruin a quarterback in the NFL. Most guys with promise have their career destroyed by horrible teams. Cousins has what it takes to be great if no one contaminates him.

  27. coltzfan166 says: Feb 16, 2016 5:08 PM

    Let him go. Start over with a rookie QB. He just isn’t worth $20 million a year. No QB is unless they’ve won the Super Bowl

  28. mwcarolina says: Feb 16, 2016 5:13 PM

    i say dont franchise him and offer him a decent deal and if he turns it down, move on. they could re-sign Colt McCoy and draft Jeff Driskel in round 2 and then be fine from there.

  29. purpleandgoldforever says: Feb 16, 2016 5:17 PM

    I don’t know how Washington will get around the NCAA rule regarding paying college players, but I can hazard a guess what the REDSKINS/Cousins will do…..

    Cousins will sign a multi-year deal, around 12-13M this year, 14-15M next year with BOTH years fully guaranteed. The third, fourth and fifth years will become non-guaranteed around 17-20M each.

    This gives him a potential 60+M contract for 5 years. Nothing to sneeze at, yet only ties the REDSKINS hands for 26M.

    Now I can’t speak for anyone else, but for a guaranteed 26M contract, I’d prick my finger and sign in blood!

  30. pkrjones says: Feb 16, 2016 5:22 PM

    In what alternative universe is Cousins worth $20Mil/yr. to ANY team? He was serviceable in ’15, and if he believes someone wants to pay him $20Mil/yr then let them. If the Skins want another serviceable QB for ’16 grab Scott Tolzien or Chase Daniels on an incentive-laden deal while your draftee learns for a year. Cousins is over-playing his hand.

  31. bullcharger says: Feb 16, 2016 5:23 PM

    If Cousins get’s tagged then Brock Osweiler will get a similar deal somewhere. Denver better get ready to pay up.

  32. agent7g says: Feb 16, 2016 5:27 PM

    Teams aren’t brave enough to go into the season with an unproven QB. Cousins will likely get his 20m this year and maybe even next year. My guess is he’ll fall into the category of so many other QBs that are overpaid but their teams are too scared to let them walk. Stafford, Ryan, Rivers, Cutler, Tannehill, Dalton…none of them have won anything worth their contracts and likely won’t. Add Cousins to the list.

  33. azjohnny says: Feb 16, 2016 5:34 PM

    Skins HAVE to tag or sign him. Without Cousins they finish in last place and will be fortunate to win 6 games.

  34. tgillespie74 says: Feb 16, 2016 5:35 PM

    His agent is going to play the market. This isn’t Cousins being greedy. There’s quite a few QB needy teams out there willing to over pay. His agent knows this and therefore going to play that against the Redskins. His value is really hard to determine. He did show vast improvement through the year but I believe that the receiving talent around him helped with that. Let him play under the tag and prove what he can do. If he does that he’ll have no problem getting paid in 2017.

  35. mwcarolina says: Feb 16, 2016 5:35 PM

    the REDSKINS are in a precarious position
    ———————————————————-
    actually they aren’t. they are in good shape in my book because they can do one of many things…either keep Cousins (franchised or re-signed), keep RG3 or keep McCoy. i’m guessing Cousins stays, but if it were me, i’d either keep RG3 or McCoy if Cousins is asking for too much. what i would likely do is keep McCoy on a 3 year short term deal then in round 2 i would draft Jeff Driskel to be their future. i’m a huge fan of Driskel’s and feel he’d be a fine QB for Washington…if not Driskel though, there’s Hackenberg, Cardale Jones and many others. this QB class is REALLY deep, the Redskins are in a good position because they can do one of many things….besides, i have a BAD feeling that Cousins is a one hit wonder.

  36. abninf says: Feb 16, 2016 5:35 PM

    The name of the team is the Redskins, and after the latest court ruling on trademarks that you were embarrassed to mention, there is no chance the Redskins will ever lose theirs.

  37. dwarftosser says: Feb 16, 2016 5:46 PM

    20 mil for a guy that has never put a full season together? I have a hard time believing he will get tagged.

  38. hotlasagna says: Feb 16, 2016 5:47 PM

    Offer him 17 mil a year for 3 years and get him into an off season routine. They should have locked him up before the season ended, so the franchise could move onto next season with some consistency in place.

    He is a great young leader. He will not make your franchise look stupid off the field. And he wants to win.

    Lock him up.

  39. fanofpft says: Feb 16, 2016 5:51 PM

    I don’t understand what the problem is…..they found their QB, give him the going rate of 100 million (Kap, Tannehill) with a op out feature after yr 3 and be done with it….no way you get him for 12 million a yr. if you do his agent should be fired immediately and then sued…..

    Kap was the model contract and has been for awhile. yet a whole lot of commenters on here still get worked up over it.

  40. trmpspd3 says: Feb 16, 2016 5:56 PM

    So let me get this straight my fellow Redskin’s fans, after 15+ miserable seasons out of the last 20 years. After countless miserable quarterbacks in those 20 or so seasons. After countless terrible free agents, all overpaid, we finally get the makings of a team in the right direction with a young quarterback that looks like he could be franchise material if allowed to and you want them to look elsewhere?? Pay the man dammit and lets get back to being relative in December

  41. runtheball says: Feb 16, 2016 6:15 PM

    69.8 percent completion rate, 4,166 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, 11 interceptions

    If he knew how to dab and pretended he was superman, he would have been MVP.

  42. joshgordonsbong says: Feb 16, 2016 6:33 PM

    why not something like 5 years 75 mill first year, first year fully guaranteed and a small signing bonus, if he fails they can cut all ties and move one next year

  43. fanofpft says: Feb 16, 2016 6:37 PM

    69.8 percent completion rate, 4,166 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, 11 interceptions

    If he knew how to dab and pretended he was superman, he would have been MVP.

    Turns out it was stolen from Dwight Howard. You could see him dab in an old clip they played at the NBA all stars game.

  44. nflinsider711 says: Feb 16, 2016 7:38 PM

    Let Cousins walk and gived RG3 a 1 yr prove it deal

  45. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 16, 2016 7:56 PM

    Dan Synder. LOL.

  46. 81megatron81 says: Feb 16, 2016 7:56 PM

    coltzfan166 says:
    Feb 16, 2016 5:08 PM
    Let him go. Start over with a rookie QB. He just isn’t worth $20 million a year. No QB is unless they’ve won the Super Bowl

    5 4
    Report comment

    Trent Dilfer says thank you. You’re dilusional

  47. Seprix says: Feb 16, 2016 8:00 PM

    I hope the Cardinals don’t try and sign this guy. He’s not all that great. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great back-up and all. Just no long-term starter.

  48. psubeerman21 says: Feb 16, 2016 8:02 PM

    I enjoying seeing the redskins, who are by far the classiest and most respected NFL franchise in existence, being put in a situation that no matter what They choose to do they will be wrong.

  49. hippieway says: Feb 16, 2016 8:10 PM

    There have a lot of One-Year-Wonders at QB in the NFL. Is Cousins just another one, who knows? QB’s are at a premium and even poor ones end up playing, Washington may or may not have a decent QB but the Gruden/Cousins combination is going to get a chance to play out no matter what it cost Danny Boy

  50. myhawks1976 says: Feb 16, 2016 8:49 PM

    purpleandgoldforever says:
    Feb 16, 2016 5:17 PM
    I don’t know how Washington will get around the NCAA rule regarding paying college players, but I can hazard a guess what the REDSKINS/Cousins will do…..

    Cousins will sign a multi-year deal, around 12-13M this year, 14-15M next year with BOTH years fully guaranteed. The third, fourth and fifth years will become non-guaranteed around 17-20M each.

    This gives him a potential 60+M contract for 5 years. Nothing to sneeze at, yet only ties the REDSKINS hands for 26M.

    Now I can’t speak for anyone else, but for a guaranteed 26M contract, I’d prick my finger and sign in blood!

    1 6
    Report comment
    ——————————————————————
    And the answer to the daily dumbest comment is now obvious.

    1. This is PFT. Not CFBT. He’s talking about the Washington NFL team. not college. Get over yourself.

    2. Why would Kirk sign a 5 year deal with only 26 million guaranteed, when he can get 20 million guaranteed for one year, and then hit the market AGAIN when the cap goes up AGAIN, or get franchised and collect 24 million MORE guaranteed giving him 44 million guaranteed over 2 years.

    3. 60 million over 5 years would be about 60% of what he can potentially get on the open market. Again, why on earth would he do that.

    4. As for pricking your finger and signing for 26 million guaranteed, I don’t believe McDonalds requires that for fry cooks, so no worries about that bro!

  51. crawfish2011 says: Feb 16, 2016 9:36 PM

    Cousins deserves a contract in the Alex Smith ($17 Million) to Ryan Tannehill ($19 Million) range.

    A fair deal would be 3 year $54 Million with $21 Million Signing bonus and the ability for him to opt after the 2nd Season if he meets certain statistics or the Redskins to not pick up his contract if he sucks.

    He would receive $28 (21SB +7 Salary) Million in 2016

    2016: $7 $7 Salary = $14 Million Cap hit
    2017: $7 $8 Salary = $15Million Cap Hit
    2018: $7 $18 Salary = $25 Million Cap Hit

  52. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 16, 2016 10:15 PM

    Cuz had 4 years in the same system without the opposition having much chance to get the book on him prior to this season. Classic situation for overpayment.

  53. sportsfan18 says: Feb 16, 2016 10:52 PM

    thenoshows says:
    Feb 16, 2016 4:04 PM

    He will get Cutler type money. Too many teams would bid for his services.

    21- 10
    ==================================
    Cutler career QB rating: 86.0
    Cousins career QB rating: 91.3

    Cutler’s first and only season with a QB rating at or higher than 90.0 was this past season at 92.3

    Kirk’s 101.6 isn’t something Cutler will ever come close to.

    Cutler’s career completion % 62.0
    Kirk’s career completion % 65.2%

    Oh, Cutler has a big arm… Cutler’s career yards per attempt: 7.2

    Kirk’s career yards per attempt: 7.6

    They both have a career INT% of 3.2%

    Kirk’s TD % is 4.9% to Jay’s 4.7%

    Now, Kirk isn’t great, not at all…

    It’s just that folks think Cutler is better than he is.

    Cutler, in his career has average stats, pretty much every season, he’s middle of the road for QB stats.

    Cutler is overrated. He isn’t terrible, but he’s not as good as folks think he is.

  54. fafaflunky says: Feb 16, 2016 11:26 PM

    Wow. Redskins have got to sign or tag cousins. Ive seen a lot of junk Qbs on my team. Imagine if the skins did not give up 2# 1’s, for griffin?

  55. kylexitron says: Feb 17, 2016 4:45 AM

    Last year at this time the PFT community was talking about how overpaid Russell Wilson would get, now Kirk cousins is worth 20 million a year and nobody thinks that’s wierd? His numbers were good sure. But it’s not like they had a grueling schedule. 5 games against the Cowboys, Giants, and Eagles? They played two good teams and got destroyed both times. They obviously didn’t belong in the playoffs and would have been outmatched by any team they played. I’m still laughing at all the experts who thought they would be able to hang with Green Bay.

    They are a bad team playing a losers schedule. Cousins is going to luck out with a pay day he isn’t going to ever live up too.

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