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13 days left for franchise-tagged players

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They say it’s a deadline-driven business, even if four of seven franchise-tagged players already have gotten long-term deals done well before the July 15 drop-dead date for doing so. As to the three remaining franchise-tagged players who haven’t signed long-term deals, the true deadline looms.

Within the next 13 days, Kirk Cousins, Le’Veon Bell, and Trumaine Johnson will, or won’t, sign long-term contracts with Washington, Pittsburgh, and the L.A. Rams, respectively. If they don’t, they can sign only one-year contracts through the end of the coming regular season.

Two of them, Cousins and Johnson, already have accepted their franchise tenders, putting them under contract for 2017. Bell hasn’t, which means that he could sign a one-year deal after July 17 that, for example, includes a promise not to use the tag again in 2018.

Of course, the Steelers may not be inclined to tag Bell again in 2018, given that his $12.1 million salary for 2017 jumps 20 percent to $14.52 million for 2018, which could be too much for a tailback, given the market at the position. Thus, the challenge when it comes to negotiating a long-term deal becomes properly valuing the contract beyond 2017.

As to Johnson, who has now been tagged twice, he’s a year away from the quarterback tender, which means he’s a year away from the open market. Which means it’s going to take way too much to sign him  now, especially with two years of franchise-tag money in hand.

Cousins continues to hold the cards in D.C., with $19.95 million in the bank (minus taxes), $23.94 million due this year, and a no-lose proposition in 2018, with $34.47 million under the franchise tag, $28.7 million under the transition tag (along with a chance to sign an offer sheet elsewhere), a shot at the open market, or a long-term deal from Washington. As we’ve consistently has explained, anything less than this year’s franchise tag and next year’s transition tag fully guaranteed at signing ($52.64 million over the first two years) will represent a major concession by Cousins — a major concession he’s not likely to make.

With most NFL contracts quickly becoming year-to-year propositions from the team’s perspective, Cousins has proven the value of a year-to-year approach from the player’s perspective. To trade in his chance to push this dance to the limit by forcing Washington to make a tough decision for a third straight year, it’s going to take a lot of money. It’s likely going to take a lot more money than Washington is willing to pay.

However it plays out, a final answer as to each player is coming within 13 days.

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22 Responses to “13 days left for franchise-tagged players”
  1. Centered00 says: Jul 4, 2017 2:10 PM

    I don’t care about this as much as which NFL player is gonna blow his fingers off today?

    Can we have an article where the fans can vote for the NFL player most likely to act stupid today?

  2. 6thsense10 says: Jul 4, 2017 2:22 PM

    Cousins can’t allow Washington to be rewarded for franchising him twice in row rather than signing him to a market value long term deal 2 years ago. $19 million per year may have seem expensive 2 years ago but when you consider that Cousins is more valuable to the Redskins than other teams from the stand point of continuity and the fact that he is really their best QB option in over 25 years he really owns all the cards. I remember a few years ago the stupidity of people who get paid to comment on sports and some fans advocating Detroit move on from Stafford….the best QB they’ve had in 40 years…….this in my opinion is similar. Even the greatest franchise have a very difficult time drafting and developing above average QBs…..I have no faith that Washington can find another good QB if they let Cousins walk.9o

  3. amaf21 says: Jul 4, 2017 2:33 PM

    Top 3 QB’s in the NFL right now:

    Brady
    Brees
    Cousins

    In that order.

  4. paulniner79 says: Jul 4, 2017 3:14 PM

    Kirk, the 49ers will welcome you with open arms next year. We’ll continue to improve our defense and add weapons until you arrive. See you in training camp in 2018 buddy.

  5. aj66shanghai says: Jul 4, 2017 3:27 PM

    Cousins will not sign a long-term deal with Washington. He will play well this year while playing to avoid injury, and he will break the bank with his choice of suitors. Washington just can’t seem to help shooting themselves in both feet when it comes to personnel decisions.

  6. nyneal says: Jul 4, 2017 3:37 PM

    Centered00 says:
    Jul 4, 2017 2:10 PM
    I don’t care about this as much as which NFL player is gonna blow his fingers off today?

    Can we have an article where the fans can vote for the NFL player most likely to act stupid today?

    _________________________________________

    My money is on O’Dell Beckham.

  7. nyneal says: Jul 4, 2017 3:39 PM

    amaf21 says:
    Jul 4, 2017 2:33 PM
    Top 3 QB’s in the NFL right now:

    Brady
    Brees
    Cousins

    In that order.

    ______________________________________

    If you think Brees and Cousins are better than Aaron Rodgers, I have a bridge to sell you.

  8. beedubyatoo says: Jul 4, 2017 4:07 PM

    amaf21 says:
    Jul 4, 2017 2:33 PM
    Top 3 QB’s in the NFL right now:

    Brady
    Brees
    Cousins

    In that order.

    ______________________________________

    If you think Brees and Cousins are better than Aaron Rodgers, I have a bridge to sell you.

    ———————
    If you have a large inventory of bridges, sell him the one in Kansas that traverses Lake Superior.

  9. minnesota1970 says: Jul 4, 2017 4:32 PM

    nyneal says:
    Jul 4, 2017 3:39 PM
    amaf21 says:
    Jul 4, 2017 2:33 PM
    Top 3 QB’s in the NFL right now:

    Brady
    Brees
    Cousins

    In that order.

    ______________________________________

    If you think Brees and Cousins are better than Aaron Rodgers, I have a bridge to sell you.

    ////////////

    Light years ahead of Rodgers

  10. screwmemean says: Jul 4, 2017 5:01 PM

    LMAO off at disrespect of Rodgers! Dude, what are you smoking?

  11. intrafinesse says: Jul 4, 2017 5:02 PM

    As much as I dislike the Redskins they were correct to franchise him the first time. At that point Cousins had one good year, and you don’t commit huge money to that. But the Redskins should have negotiated (and paid) with him during 2016 when he was putting up good numbers.

  12. jbraider says: Jul 4, 2017 6:23 PM

    Cousins is… competent. But I don’t know if anytime in the next 5 years he will be any better than the 3rd best QB in the NFC East (and that’s assuming the Giants can’t find a replacement for Manning when he goes downhill in 2-3 years). Redskins are screwed

  13. gurnblanstonreturns says: Jul 4, 2017 6:39 PM

    Congrats to Cousins for being that rare player who gains all the leverage over an NFL team. Of course, it helped a lot that it was this particular organization.

    Lil Danny’s organization is a dumpster fire.

  14. ahsinnyc says: Jul 4, 2017 7:04 PM

    As a Skins fan, the idiot GM in Houston killed the Cousins deal 2 years ago with the garbage Osweiller 4y/$72m deal. Skins offered a fair deal for a QB with one good year in a system and offensive players tailored for Cousins skills. Plus, Dallad lost Romo, Philly imploded with Chip and NYG had the worse D ever. And as you recall, Rodgers came to D.C. In the playoffs and showed how top tier QBs win in the playoffs on the road.

    Skins did the right thing by franchising him in 2015.

    In 2016, Cousins got greedy. Again, on a team were 60% of the cap went to the offense, he had a great year statistically, but in this league, it’s about wins.

    Cousins needs to realize that he has an offensive head coach, a top 5 oline, good receivers and Jordan Reed. You can good to SF or LA, but playing off your rear end isn’t in your comfort zone.

  15. fanfrommontreal says: Jul 4, 2017 7:49 PM

    One way or the other football have been very good to Kirk Cousins.

  16. whatjusthapped says: Jul 4, 2017 8:49 PM

    I think Cousins has been decent but the amount of money he asks for will eventually come back to bite him. No way he deserves north of $20 million per year much less $34 million. Let the other franchises bid for him, its time for the Redskins to move on

  17. intrafinesse says: Jul 4, 2017 10:31 PM

    The reason Cousins is worth the money is there are no alternatives (so-so QBs) for much less. Either pay Cousins a ton, or pay a scrub and lose an extra 4 games. If there was an alternative, like paying Cutler 8MM then you would go that route.

  18. bkostela says: Jul 5, 2017 12:24 AM

    When a player gets franchised multiple times, there is usually an extenuating circumstance, and a disagreement on value.

    Kirk has been a good qb for two years. Not off the charts good, just good. After both years, he has wanted to get paid like an elite qb. Can’t blame him, but you also can’t blame his team for pumping the brakes on the money truck (example: imagine if Nick Foles was in a contract year when he went 27-2).

    If there is no regression this year with a new OC and new receivers, he will get a large payday next season. Whether or not it’s from his current team depends on how large of a payday he wants.

  19. mojodoa says: Jul 5, 2017 9:06 AM

    It’s good to be Kirk. The dude is cashing in big time. Your worth what someone is willing to pay you and he’s going to get paid by someone. Good time to be a QB in the NFL.

  20. reaganyears says: Jul 5, 2017 9:44 AM

    I like Capt. Kirk, but the REDSKINS or any other NFL team won’t pay him 34 mil to play in 2018…..so why “must” this be counted when determining a long term contract?
    Florio, I’ve loved your writing since the
    pre NBC / constant Seinfeld drop days, but this argument makes me insane. Yes, Cousins has the leverage, but shouldn’t sign a deal unless it makes him the highest paid player in NFL history (and more than superior QB’s) because the REDSKINS franchised him for two years and paid / agreed to pay him 44 mil over two years?
    When running the numbers, lets take the 34 mil he won’t be making in 2018 off the table and stick to slightly less annoying topics, like personal reasons for not saying the team name.

  21. metalup666 says: Jul 5, 2017 10:16 AM

    Almost, we almost made it through the day without seeing the never, ever used term “dumpster fire.” Oh well, maybe tomorrow.

  22. wvtbred says: Jul 5, 2017 11:55 AM

    I have a feeling we are going to see A LOT of Nate Sudfeld in the pre-season this year.

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