Kirk Cousins’ comments about a long-term deal may be counterproductive

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As quarterback Kirk Cousins politicks for a long-term deal, the team based in the heart of the American political system may not be reacting well to his tactics.

Most recently, Cousins argued that a long-term deal will make him a better leader. While there may be some plausible merit to the idea that multi-year security will allow him to relax and be himself, Cousins made $19.95 million last year and, if tagged again, will earn $23.94 million.

If that’s what happens, he should be thrilled to have pocketed $43.89 million over two seasons. Cousins also would be essentially guaranteed a shot at the open market in 2018, since under the rules of the franchise tag he’d be entitled to a 44-percent increase ($34.47 million) via the third application of it.

As Washington CEO Bruce Allen said Friday, negotiating a long-term deal for Cousins isn’t complicated. But it won’t be cheap, if the contract is based on the franchise tag instead of the market for his services. Before the deadline for using the tag, Cousins and his agent have no reason to accept less than $23.94 million for the first year and an equivalent amount (or maybe something closer to $34.47 million) for the second year. After the deadline passes and if the tag isn’t applied, the question then becomes how much Washington will offer in relation to what another team would put on the table.

The problem with that approach is that, without applying the tag, Washington has no way to prevent him from taking another deal elsewhere — even if another team offers him less. Likewise, Washington will have no way to trade Cousins, since he will become a free agent at the same moment a trade could have occurred.

That’s why the approach could be to tag and trade Cousins. This strategy would require plenty of behind-the-scenes work before the tag deadline, with Washington working out trade terms with another team and with the other team working out a long-term deal with Cousins. Without that, and given that Cousins will immediately sign the franchise tender once it’s applied, Washington could be stuck with paying nearly $24 million to Cousins for what could be his last year with the team.

37 responses to “Kirk Cousins’ comments about a long-term deal may be counterproductive

  1. QB pay is getting stupid regardless of who the QB is. This is worse then when unproven college players were getting paid 70 million before they even practiced with an NFL team

  2. I’m not sure Kirk’s agent is advising him well. He (Kirk) has made more than a few statements over the past two years that haven’t really helped his negotiating posture.

  3. The Redskins deserve this predicament. They started the tag game. Now he will either be way overpaid or on another team. Cousins should not sign for less than 25 million a year. That is the going rate for a top ten qb like it or not anyway.

  4. if a coach is looking to hang on for years like Foshet and Marvin Lewis, Cousins is your guy. If a coach is looking to go big or go home, Cousins isn’t the guy. It’s that simple. And Cousins says he needs to be paid to be the guy means he ain’t the guy.

  5. Please sign him to an Andrew Luck type deal (Luck’s deal is a year old now) and hand cuff the Washington football club for the next 5/6 years. Kirk’s a front runner, he’s money when the running game is working or with a lead, any other situation and he’s a decent backup at best.

  6. I would think that in today’s NFL, a scout who can accurately evaluate QBs, should be able to command a pretty penny. It would be a whole lot cheaper to have a good scout on board, than to pay $30 million for an unproven QB. I do realize it’s almost impossible to win without a great QB, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to just keep drafting good QBs. There is no salary cap for scouts. Look at Houston. They just paid $80 something million for a QB they don’t even like. MLB keeps stats on batting averages. I think NFL scouts should keep track of their hits and misses too. I realize everyone has hits and misses, but I’m sure some have a lot more hits. We would never know who Babe Ruth was if we didn’t keep track of his hits.

  7. Wow. Lots of commenters that don’t know football. You guys might want to look at his numbers.

  8. monarch76 says:
    Feb 4, 2017 5:16 PM
    Cousins should not sign for less than 25 million a year. That is the going rate for a top ten qb like it or not anyway.

    No qb made 25 million last year…none.
    And he won’t next year.

  9. Bruce Allen needs to shut the hell up and let Scot McCloughan do his job! If Scot McCloughan is smart and I think he is this team will use the non-exclusive tag on Kirk Cousins and see which desperate team out there is will willing to give up two first round picks for a 4th tier QB that has never won a big or meaningful game his whole career. The Redskins can’t make Kirk the highest paid QB in the NFL because of stats or his enthusiasm there has to be big game wins and deep playoff runs. It is in Kirk Cousins and his agent’s best interest to work with this team on a long term contract that will benifit Kirk and the team. Because Kirk can not carry a franchise base on his skillset and talent, he has to have talent at every position on the team. Kirk is not a Luck, Brees or Brady that can make a better with just his presence. Their are QBs in the free agent market with more upside than Kirk Cousins, Scot should look at Mike Glennon as a replacement because it will allow the team to be a player in free agency.

  10. Why would Cousins take less to play elsewhere? He’s in a proven system in Washington, he’s going to take less to go to a system that might not work as well for him? If he’s dumb enough to take LESS to play somewhere else and not even let the Skins match or beat the offer, best of luck, Buddy.

  11. Why the Cousins hate? Dude has not complained (even when he was a backup to RG3), not held out (even when a starter on a 4th round rookie contract Snyder could’ve torn up) , signed whatever was put in front of him and has said he will again immediately sign his tender.

    Redskins being stupid so he tells them he’d feel better with more than a 1yr deal and people are upset with him???

  12. Its better to overpay Cousings a few MM/year because the alternative is to risk being like the Jets, no QBs , and sucking every year.
    Cousins is ok, better to keep ok, than risk drafting the next Geno Smith.

  13. Why Scott needs to run down Cousins is beyond me. He’s not some diva receiver putting out rap a doodle doo albums in the off season and skipping OTAs.

  14. As a NY fan I hope Redskins lock themselves into a long contract with Cousins. Kirk has proven he is a capable starting QB but he is not at the top. I dont care what the yd total or cmp% says he cant beat quality teams. Will be 29yrs old by next seasons start and has already peaked.

  15. They should have paid him last year. I do feel like it’s not always a good thing to base negotiations on the franchise tag. Sometimes a player can make more money because he’s employed longer under a reasonable contract rather than getting an all star pay check and being expected to play at an all pro level, getting cut, then getting a much smaller deal for most of that time.

  16. The Redskins should trade him to SF for the second overall pick and use that for a QB.

    That worked well for them in 2012.

  17. I do not have much of an opinion of Mr. Cousins abilities, or lack thereof. However, I can state unequivocally that if their is any misfortune or adversity lingering in this situation, the owner Little Napoleon Snyder, richly deserves every millisecond of it. I am only able to hope he gets megadoses of the aforementioned.

  18. Kirk is good and every QB needs a good supporting cast. And he’s had great stats. I guess the question is whether McCloughin and Gruden think he can win the big games. So far, he has not. It might make sense to trade him to a QB needy team for a boat load of draft picks and pickup someone in the first round. And I hear the QB from Buffalo is available for a stop gap.

  19. Cousins can’t beat the good teams. He’s serviceable. Tag him and hold the 49ers, Bills, or Chiefs hostage for multiple draft picks.

    Paying a guy a fortune to NOT be able to beat the good teams is stupid.

  20. @tdskinz

    Haven’t you learned yet. Florio’s well known for not caring if his words are real or not. Wish I had a dollar for everytime he had a typo in the first or second sentence of any of his stories. Missing the huge glaring things like this are probably why he doesn’t lawyer anymore.

  21. I truly enjoy the people who deride Cousins’ performance by stating he has not gone deep into the playoffs nor won a big game.

    FOotball is a team sport, men, and the QB does not win games on his own. The skins D was terrible and he’s asked to hold serve outscore the opponent. It is very difficult to win consistently that way in this league. Also see: Colts football team, Andrew Luck quarterback and Saints football club Drew Bree’s quaterback.

    He’s earned an extension that that pays him in the top five of the league. The skins already determined he’s worth that when they tagged him.

  22. Redskins are paying the price for not making a serious effort to develop a successor for Cousins. They can sign a long term deal with Cousins who is not a top tier QB or go forward with bad QB’s like the Jets who are hopeless. In either scenario they will have a hard time competing with the Cowboys.

  23. If a QB like Tom Brady would take less to help make his team better, why shouldn’t a third rate QB like Kirk Cousins who has done nothing other than acquire stats, not want to help make the team better and be able to keep the weapons that helped he get the stats that he has gotten in the last two seasons. This team has to resign DJax and Garcon, they need to add upgrades on defense. This team draft him in 2012 and stuck with him through all the INTs and bad play. They put talent around him that other QB never get and you tell me that Kirk and his agent can’t or won’t work with this team to make him a winner……….

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