Would Kirk Cousins take the Derek Carr deal?

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During a Tuesday morning visit with our friends at the Sports Junkies at 106.7 the Fan in D.C., an interesting question was posed regarding Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins: Would he take the Derek Carr deal right now?

I said he wouldn’t, and that he shouldn’t. Here’s why.

Carr signed, as a practical matter, a six-year, $126 million contract. It pays $25 million in 2017, $22.5 million in 2018, $20 million in 2019, $19 million in 2010, $19.625 million in 2021, and $19.877 million in 2022. Of the amount, $40 million is fully guaranteed at signing.

Cousins already has signed a one-year franchise tender with a fully-guaranteed value of $23.94 million, only $1.06 million less than what Carr will receive in 2017. Then, come 2018, Cousins will get $28.7 million under the transition tag, $34.7 million under the franchise tag, or a free and clear shot at the open market.

Yes, Carr has $16.06 million more fully guaranteed at signing. To get that, however, he has made a six-year commitment. Cousins gets a fairly large bird in the hand on a one-year deal, along with the chance to chase an even bigger bird or two or more in the bush — not to mention the $19.95 million bird that’s already been skinned and stuffed and mounted on his wall.

So, no, Cousins wouldn’t, and shouldn’t, agree to the same deal Carr received. Cousins’ specific circumstances justify a significantly better contract.

28 responses to “Would Kirk Cousins take the Derek Carr deal?

  1. The transition tag/franchise tag in 2018 is very far from a “guarantee” for Cousins. What happens if he plays poorly without Garcon and Jackson and the Redskins have a losing record? Perhaps he could still sign a big deal with the Redskins or someone else, but a $28M franchise tag is far from a guarantee.

  2. Um, NO. Derek Carr has been treated with nothing but respect by the Raiders. Kirk Cousins, on the other hand …….

  3. Hell no, he needs to keep talking the one year deals until he can leave and than go play for somebody that wants him. It is clear the Redskins have never tried hard to make them their franchise QB.

  4. Cousins seems to be one of the few QB’s that gets it when it comes to salary maximization—he has a future as an agent if he wants to go that route some day

  5. Cousins should keep his one year deal for now, but if he becomes a free agent after this season, he isn’t getting the Carr deal from anybody.

  6. Redskins deserve this salary problem they created. They have no way out of this mess. The franchise tag is bs anyway. Good to see it hurt a team. I hope more players will do the same.

  7. If he becomes a free agent he will make bank. Swap out him for bortles and jags may be the afcs champs next year, while redskins are drafting top 10.

    Just one example of a team that is a QB away from a legit playoff run.
    (Texans (but they just drafted their guy), cardinals, bills, dolphins (although tanny played ok). Broncos

    Other teams that would be interested but may not be playoff ready- jets, browns, rams, saints after Bree’s deal is up, 49er. I could see all of those teams being significantly better with him. But it’s still a team game and you need a decent team around you. I just don’t think the redskins are all that great of a team to begin with.

  8. if he becomes a free agent after this season, he isn’t getting the Carr deal from anybody.

    You’re right, he would receive more. When is the last time that a franchise QB under 30, in the prime of his career and with no injury issues hit FA?

    Its never happened because teams with good QBs typically have the sense to lock them up. Cousins would be a football unicorn and the bidding war over him would be fierce. Teams like the Browns and 49ers will have $80+ million in cap space and no real QB of merit. Whatever the Redskins offer him, someone will offer more on the open market. If it happens he will easily become the highest paid player in the NFL.

  9. thenewguy12 says:
    Jul 11, 2017 3:59 PM

    if he becomes a free agent after this season, he isn’t getting the Carr deal from anybody.

    You’re right, he would receive more. When is the last time that a franchise QB under 30, in the prime of his career and with no injury issues hit FA?

    Its never happened because teams with good QBs typically have the sense to lock them up. Cousins would be a football unicorn and the bidding war over him would be fierce. Teams like the Browns and 49ers will have $80+ million in cap space and no real QB of merit. Whatever the Redskins offer him, someone will offer more on the open market. If it happens he will easily become the highest paid player in the NFL.
    ___________________

    GREAT analysis—right on
    good Quarterbacks that sign long term deals and never take advantage of free agency soon find themselves underpaid.

  10. It’s weird how good cousins has been and yet no one, myself, the redskins, and lots of others seem to trust that he’s really a great qb. All those one year deals are great if you keep getting them. injuries, poor play can change that. that’s why some in cousins position would trade dollars per year for garunteed dollars over several years. So far it’s worked out for Cousins and i don’t think anyone should feel sorry for him financially. My brain tells me he’s one of the best qbs playing right now but my heart tells me he’s just a solid backup in a system that makes qbs look good

  11. I have to agree with Bengalbug.. swap him out in Jax and they are a legit team. Heck.. it would be worth it to pay him more than Carr just to get to winning.

  12. Nobody else would tolerate Cousins’ attitude. He’s an average QB that’s never beaten a winning team.

  13. “Nobody else would tolerate Cousins’ attitude. He’s an average QB that’s never beaten a winning team.”

    His attitude is fine and once he starts playing for a different organization he will start beating winning teams in a way the deadskins never will…

  14. Am I just not seeing it? How is Cousins an elite QB? Is he the guy that can make everyone around him better?

    He looks like “just a guy” to me. A system QB. Am I wrong? Can he hit deep outs regularly and accurately? Does he have a deep ball? Does he dissect defenses? Is he a leader?

    I just can’t see how this guy is in a conversation for the highest QB contract in history. Jameis Winston is going to get seriously paid soon.

  15. Cousins’ specific circumstances justify a significantly better contract is a ridiculous comment. The franchise tag numbers are based on the highest paid players at the position which in turn should be the best. Cousins has never proven he is among the best at his position so thus does not deserve Carr type money. Seems logical to me.

  16. There’s no way Cousins should demand significantly more than Carr. Carr has a few more TD’s, a few less int’s over their last two years as a starter, but Cousins has crushed him in yards and has a higher completion percentage. Cousins wants to stay with the Redskins. If they offer him a fair market deal he should take it.

    If Cousins snaps his leg in half this year on the franchise tag, how much money does he get next year ?

  17. seems to me he has this salary leverage only with the redskins. if he returns there, the salaries as noted apply; unless cousins agrees to less.

    if not, however, the slate is wiped clean and its the market at work. not to say there aren’t suckers out there (look at the money osweiler got for 6 or 8 good games) but has this guy won a meaningful game against a good team yet?

  18. Depends on what you mean by meaningful game.
    He sure made Rogers and the Packers look bad last year.

  19. It depends on how much Cousins wants to hamstring his team’s ability to build around him. Carr specifically took less than he could have forced because he wanted to leave some cap room so the team could sign other guys. Carr is smart to realize he needs 21 other starters to keep winning and to have a better shot at a Superbowl while still making seriously good money. Brady has done the same thing for years.

    So Cousins has to ask himself if making an extra $3-4 (or more) million when you are already making $20 some odd million a year really matters to his and his family’s lifestyle when that $3-4 million could mean losing a key player or two from the team that helps them make the playoffs and maybe a Superbowl.

  20. The Redskins need probably 4-5 other quality starters besides cousins to be a SB contender. The Raiders need two. A MLB who can cover somebody and probably a CB. It’s unfortunate cousins situation hasn’t worked out better for him from a team perspective, though he is making some coin.

  21. Assuming the cap goes up next year then Cousins will want more than what Carr got. But what does significantly more mean? 27MM/year for 5 years?
    30MM/year? I don’t see that.

    I can see a QB needy team offering more than what Carr got, assuming Cousins has another good year. But if he has somewhat of an off year then maybe he’ll have a hard time getting Carrs salary.
    One thing that really helps Cousins is there is such a shortage of QBs that you either over pay him or pay a few MM for a garbage QB like Josh McCown or Mark Sanchez.

  22. >Depends on what you mean by meaningful game.
    He sure made Rogers and the Packers look bad last year.<

    I'm assuming this was in jest… GB made the NFC title game last year. The year before, they went on the road and crushed WAS in the playoffs.

  23. Green Bay did make the NFC title game and …

    The Redskins made them look bad in the regular season.

    So Cousins CAN beat good teams.

  24. So Cousins CAN beat good teams.<

    Yes, but again, you said meaningful games – not 1 random regular season win. Cousins seems like a very good QB, and I think WAS should pay him. But let's not pretend he has some sort of long, clutch resume.

  25. No, he doesn’t but since he has only been the starter for two seasons, I don’t think that can be held against him.

    Yet.

    And I was responding to someone who used the term ” meaningful games ” without defining what that meant.

    Late in 2015, Cousins had to go into Philly and win to get into the playoffs. Granted Philly wasn’t that good but the Redskins had to win, and they did.

    Last year the Redskins started 0 – 2 against Dallas and Pittsburgh and they had to go on the road against the Giants.

    They won, and Cousins saved them from being out of the playoffs by week three.

    Cousins is 0 – 1 in the playoffs.
    Hardly a large enough sample size.

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