Under either tag, Cousins cashes in


As of last week, Washington hadn’t decided whether to apply either tag to quarterback Kirk Cousins. While it remains possible that the tag will be applied by Tuesday’s deadline of 4:00 p.m. ET, that doesn’t mean the decision had been made several days ago, because it hadn’t.

If the decision eventually is made to apply the franchise tag to Cousins, Washington will owe him a one-year salary of $19.95 million that becomes fully guaranteed if/when he signs the tender. If Washington goes with the transition tender, Cousins becomes eligible for $17.696 million in 2016, which also becomes fully guaranteed once Cousins signs it.

Whether he signs either tender right away or not, the tender then becomes the starting point for a long-term deal. Under the franchise tag, a fair two-year haul becomes $43.89 million — the sum of the 2016 tender and the 20-percent raise over that for the 2017 tender. Under the transition tender, a fair two-year haul becomes $38.9 million.

As one source explained it to PFT, Washington currently is leaning toward the transition tender. The source also explained that Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, has begun the process of determining whether another team would cobble together an offer sheet for Cousins to sign.

It could be a hard sell, given that Washington would have the right to match the deal, and in light of the reality that whoever makes a run at Cousins would then have to persuade the fan base that whoever the team acquires to play quarterback in 2016 wasn’t a fallback option.

So is Cousins worth more than $19 million on average over two years under the transition tag or nearly $22 million on average over two years under the franchise tag? In consideration of the current quarterback market, no. In consideration of what the quarterback should be after the salary cap has gone up by more than 25 percent per team since the upper end of the market was set three years ago, maybe it’s time for a new crop of quarterbacks to get paid more than they should, if the measuring stick is what the older guys are making.

13 responses to “Under either tag, Cousins cashes in

  1. Wow if you told me at the beginning of the year Kirk Cousins would be looking at a minimum of 17M a year and most likely more i would asked if you had a drinking problem. Talk about a breakout, Jordan reed is special seriously, he needs to stay healthy because his season ending run was Gronk like. Keep this offense together Skins you have something here.

  2. I liked Cousin play down the stretch but I’m not sold. Unfortunately, I don’t see any better options out there, unless they think Osweiler/Bradford are equal and can be had for much less..

  3. The name of the team is the Redskins. And after the latest court hearing on trademarks you were too cowardly to report, there is no chance they will ever lose theirs.

  4. “…maybe it’s time for a new crop of quarterbacks to get paid more than they should, if the measuring stick is what the older guys are making.”

    Not if they are being measured against the performance of those ‘older guys’.

    That said, pay the man. The guy has big brass ones and played with abandon regardless of the pounding he was taking. He played himself into that position and in that respect has earned his contract. It’s not always pretty but the guy has grit, he reminds me of Stabler that way. Kirk Cousins is becoming a bad bad man.

    As a Giants guy I am happy to see the Skins being competitive again, good competition makes things more interesting. Hopefully the rest of the division (minus Jerruh’s kids) will follow suit, it makes for a much more enjoyable season when the NFCE is dynamic

  5. Can’t believe all the gushing over a QB who really hasn’t proved anything yet. Let him test FA, I don’t think he’ll get the $$ he thinks he will.

  6. Sometimes I wonder if you write Redskins articles simply so you can see how crafty you can be about calling them “Washington” in lieu of Redskins. Here’s an idea, let your professional sports journalists (Alper/Jackson/Crabtree) write them if you are so (faux) offended by the name Redskins.

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