Washington won’t decide on Kirk Cousins until after the season ends

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The current scoreboard regarding reports that Washington will use the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2017 is 2-1, with Adam Schefter of ESPN recently joining Jason La Canfora of CBS in claiming that the team is likely to apply the tag if a long-term deal isn’t reached and Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com reporting that the team is unlikely to use the tag.

The truth is this: The team hasn’t decided what to do, and it won’t make a decision until the season ends.

There are simply too many variables that remain unresolved to allow the team to finalize a plan during the season. The team could crater down the stretch and miss the playoffs. The team could make the playoffs. The team could win the Super Bowl with Cousins being named the MVP, which would give him Joe Flacco-style leverage for a top-of-the-market deal.

Also, the team could decide to pursue one of the other veteran quarterbacks who may be available, saving some of the $23.94 million that the franchise tag would cost in 2017 and using it on other players. G.M. Scot McCloughan previously has stressed the importance of having enough cap space to address the rest of the roster; if Cousins insists on top dollar under circumstances that don’t compel the team to pay it (i.e., if Washington doesn’t win the Super Bowl and he’s not named the game’s MVP), Washington could decide to go in a different direction.

It’s also possible that Washington would tag Cousins and trade him. However, the team that acquires him would have to be willing to give him a long-term deal with the franchise tag as the starting point. With $23.94 million due in 2017 and a 44-percent raise due under the third application of the tag in 2018 ($34.47 million), that’s $58.41 million fully guaranteed over the first two years of the contract.

Washington also could tag Cousins as a placeholder and then rescind it if they find someone cheaper. The flaw in that logic is that Cousins surely would sign the tender quickly, preventing it from being removed. Thus, as a practical matter, Washington will need to have a clear and firm plan by the time the window closes for applying the tag in March.

For now, the only real news is that there’s no news. The team hasn’t made a decision about what to do with Cousin and won’t make a decision until after the season has ended.

41 responses to “Washington won’t decide on Kirk Cousins until after the season ends

  1. Team can’t score in the red zone , Cousin is an average QB, Gruden want be there next year. Scot prefer power running and run stop defense. Gruden has a pass happy offense which is not balance. Gruden will be fired and hired by another team and he will want Cousin. Redskins will trade Cousin

  2. charger383 says:
    Nov 27, 2016 7:58 PM

    Washington? What is Trump going to name him to the cabinet?
    ___________________

    You get an upvote for mentioning TRUMP who has done more winning for America in a couple weeks of being elected than the other guy did in near 8 years; but, a downvote for not knowing the difference between “what” and “when.”

  3. gregoryw1965 says:
    Nov 27, 2016 7:59 PM

    Team can’t score in the red zone , Cousin is an average QB, Gruden want be there next year. Scot prefer power running and run stop defense. Gruden has a pass happy offense which is not balance. Gruden will be fired and hired by another team and he will want Cousin. Redskins will trade Cousin
    __________________
    U even watch football bro?

  4. I don’t think honk that winning a Super Bowl as the MVP would be the only scenario in which Cousins would get a huge deal. He’s played very well this season and most of last.

  5. Giants fan, I’m baffled they haven’t locked him up. Every year 50% of the QBs are average at best. He shows he can win and keep the team in the game. Not sure what kind of glasses they are wearing in DC

  6. I understand why the Redskins want to wait wait, if an unfortunate injury or something wold occur, they have an easy option for leverage, but in my opinion for all the dumb money they have spent in FA in previous years towards players like Haynesworth, they should really just lock this fella up, Dallas has their QB of the future, the Eagles are working on grooming there’s. Does Washington want to end up like Buffalo, the Phins, or the Browns to figure out who is capable of being their franchise QB.

    It may stink, because he is in the Dalton, Matt Ryan, and Stafford tier of QBs and Washington may hope to do better, but those QBs are rare to find and there are 10 teams with worst, that would LOVE a chance of those players.

  7. Any kid who plays QB dreams of playing in the system Kirk is in. He is also on his way to being great at it. He does not seem greedy. He is already going to make at least 100 million dollars in the next 4 years not counting this years 20 million. If they continue to win he will make even more in endorsements. If he is the guy I hope he is, it should really be all about winning and getting the best team around him. He will be signing one of the richest contract in NFL history even if he doesn’t get every penny he could have demanded. Either way, Kirk, like Lt. Dan and Forrest, don’t haf ta worry bout money no mo.

  8. mortyglickstein says:
    Nov 27, 2016 8:20 PM

    Giants fan, I’m baffled they haven’t locked him up
    ____________________________
    You can’t negotiate with a tagged player until the season is over. That’s why all these reports on Cousins are prospective and speculative. I’m not sure what happens if a team “tampers” with itself, but it can’t be good.

  9. -The Redskins have plenty of cap space
    -The Redskins will sign him long term (he’s breaking all the team records)
    -He is not a system QB
    -The Redskins will realize they were not smart to lock him up last off season (brock osweiler is terrible and took the Texans for their $$)
    -The Redskins future is very bright with this guy as their starter
    -The Redskins are playing possum

    Pay the man.

  10. thirdistheworrd says:
    Nov 27, 2016 9:04 PM
    _________________________________
    You can’t negotiate with a tagged player until the season is over. That’s why all these reports on Cousins are prospective and speculative. I’m not sure what happens if a team “tampers” with itself, but it can’t be good.

    Nice to see that someone understands that all of the current speculation and guessing about what the Redskins will do with Cousins means NOTHING !!!

  11. One “insider” or “film guy” says Cousins isn’t worth it, the next one is. I don’t know what to believe. I think he’s the best QB the Skins have had in ages, but I also trust our GM.

  12. he is no DAK Prescott who has led the boys to 10 straight wins. Put some pressure on Kirk and he is below average. He is not a SB caliber QB but Wash will pay him because that is their history…pay big to lose big…..My boys smoked the skins on turkey day and are headed to the SB.

    HOW BOUT THEM COWBOYS!!!

  13. haughville says:
    Nov 27, 2016 8:28 PM
    What free agent QB’s are you talking about that could take Cousin’s place?
    ————-
    The going rate for a starting veteran QB is at least $18 million per season. Last year Washington was offering Cousins $16 million per season and Cousins was asking for about $20 million per season. Now he would be foolish if he doesn’t ask for at least $22 million per season. So this fictional vet will be asking for at least $20 million and if he’s a free agent he will be have multiple teams in a QB starved market throwing money at him. Just sign your home grown talent. That’s what successful teams do. Scot MC. Has built an actual NFL roster let’s not take a step back.

  14. He deserves to be in the top 5-10 qb’s salary range. That accurately reflects his ability, dependability, and performance. He’s probably the 6th or 7th best qb in the league this season. Clearly top ten. Pay the man

  15. The Redskins will sign Cousins if the Redskins want. If the Redskins don’t sign him that’s up to the Redskins. It’s a tough decision the Redskins since the Redskins are the Redskins and nobody else can make that decision but the REDSKINS.

  16. …..and yes, the Washington REDSKINS will sign him long term; he’s earned it and is easily developing into a top 5 – 10 QB in the NFL. There isn’t a free-agent QB remotely close to his skillset and if he hit the market, there are plenty of teams willing to back up the Brinks truck. Stop with the silly Cousins articles so you can be cute and put “Washington” in lieu of “Redskins”.

    Signed,

    Native American Vikings fan from Res 254, Devils Lake North Dakota who isn’t faux-offended by the name Redskins.

  17. This is a classic case of “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

    Washington is NOT going to better than Cousins in there short term.

    Give him a deal, draft a young QB, and develop him behind Kirk.

    Or trade him to Chicago for a 2nd, and the Bears will give him his much deserved deal.

  18. This is a classic case of “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

    Washington is NOT going to better than Cousins in the short term.

    Give him a deal, draft a young QB, and develop him behind Kirk.

    Or trade him to Chicago for a 2nd, and the Bears will give him his much deserved deal.

  19. He will be signed long term once the season ends. It is entertaining to read all of the clowns on here comment. Isn’t the man leading the league in passing right now? Doesn’t the Redskins have the #1 offense in the NFL right now? I think they’ve found there QB……HTTR!!!!

  20. thirdistheworrd says:
    Nov 27, 2016 8:06 PM
    gregoryw1965 says:
    Nov 27, 2016 7:59 PM

    Team can’t score in the red zone , Cousin is an average QB, Gruden want be there next year. Scot prefer power running and run stop defense. Gruden has a pass happy offense which is not balance. Gruden will be fired and hired by another team and he will want Cousin. Redskins will trade Cousin
    __________________
    U even watch football bro?
    ____________________________________
    Washington is 29th out of 32 teams in Redzone efficiency.

    Gruden made a terrible call to do an onsides kick with plenty of time remaining.

    Do you watch football?

  21. Almost EVRY successful QB is in a “good” situation. (Coincidentally, last QB that played lights out for a completely awful team was RGIII)

    Not signing Kirk because he is a product of the system (which he most definitely is) is d-u-m-b, IMO. Good QB’s are all a product of a good defense, strong O-line and good schemes.

    What I see is a guy, when given time goes through his progressions and delivers the ball pretty well on target (and is avoids costly turnovers).

    Whether, I agree with it or not, in this day’s NFL, that is worth $100M contract.

  22. vikingsdefineaverage says:
    Nov 28, 2016 9:18 AM
    “Gruden made a terrible call to do an onsides kick with plenty of time remaining.”

    The Redskins weren’t having any success stopping the Cowboys’ offense, and therefore needed to try to get an extra possession to win the game. In the postgame presser, Gruden said that they saw something in the video of the Cowboys’ kickoff return unit that made them believe that they were vulnerable to onsides kicks. Just because something doesn’t work doesn’t mean that it was a bad call.

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