Kirk Cousins won’t sign new deal before application of franchise tag

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Washington has nine days to apply the franchise tag to quarterback Kirk Cousins. One way to avoid using it would be to sign Cousins to a long-term deal before then.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Cousins won’t be doing that.

As explained last week in reference to all players facing the tag, there’s no reason to do it before the player is tagged. The formula for doing a long-term deal doesn’t change after the tag is applied, and the deadline for turning the tag into a long-term contract continues to be July 15.

Absent a significant premium, Cousins has every reason to sit tight and draw a second franchise tag. By rule, he’d be essentially insulated from ever being franchise-tagged again, since he’d be entitled to a 44-percent raise over his franchise tag or a similar markup upon application of the franchise tag for the third time in his career.

And so the flow chart for Washington is simple through March 1: Tag him or don’t tag him. If he’s tagged, Cousins will rush to sign it, adding $23.94 million to the $19.95 million he earned last year. Then, talks on a long-term deal likely will consist of Cousins receiving $23.94 million fully guaranteed in 2017, plus a 20-percent raise (reflecting the increase arising from use of the transition tag) fully guaranteed for 2018. It’s a total of $52.67 million over two years; for anything less than that, Cousins should again take it year to year.

Before anyone accuses Cousins of being greedy, unreasonable, or not “worth” a contract that would make him the highest paid player in the NFL history, he’s simply playing the cards he has been dealt under the CBA and the salary cap. Washington could have signed him to a very reasonable long-term deal after his third season or during his fourth season. Once he completed his rookie contract healthy and effective, the leverage swung to Cousins — and he has taken full advantage of it.

If fans are inclined to blame Cousins for that, the blame is better directed at the team, for not giving Cousins a reasonable degree of financial security until he was in position to finagle nearly $44 million over two years.

88 responses to “Kirk Cousins won’t sign new deal before application of franchise tag

  1. I think your calculation ignores that a long term deal would benefit Cousins, in the sense that it would contain guarantees beyond this year. If he is tagged and gets hurt or plays poorly, nothing for next season is guaranteed.

  2. Cousins is a reasonable guy but the Redskins created this situation by showing almost no commitment to him. I’m a Cousins fan and as a Redskins fan I need him to take less to be worth the overall hit to the cap but you can’t blame the kid for showing no loyalty to a team that showed none to him. Even though I am a Redskins fan, the team would be better served with a middle of the road guy for 2 years while they build the roster out and Kirk would be better off playing for a team that wants to see him sign a 5-6 year deal for the kind of money he can get on the open market.

  3. Washington is going to have to let hit hit free agency this year or next. Unless they can still transition tag him which is what they should do. Cousins is not worth 24 million and it hurts leverage next year. At least transition tag they can match a long term deal.

    The way the cba is structured it really limits value of developmental QBs. By the time they get good they get free agency.

  4. Washington created the mess but it is going to define the 2017 NFL off season. If they do not tag him he will be pursued by the 49ers and likely leave due to the animosity that has built up over the past several years. If he is tagged the 49ers will need to look to trade or draft their QB – and it is a very weak QB class. Washington will need to replace him if he leaves. Remember that Gruden’s offense is very complicated and will take at least two years to master so no tagging Cousins is condemning the team to at least a year or two of decline – and probably new coach. If he signs the tag I doubt that he will agree to a contract less than Andrew Luck. Fabulous businessman! About time the owners get hoisted on their own petard (look it up).

  5. Good for him! I know people who know him and they’re really happy for him.

    Secondly, what stupid management. They deserve what they’ve gotten themselves into. Gambled and lost.

  6. It doesn’t seem like they’re convinced that they can win a super bowl with Cousins. They probably can, but they need a lot of help in other areas before that’s going to happen. Cousins is going to eat up a big chunk of the salary cap, so they better be smart on draft day. I’m not so sure they’re convinced they can get to the super bowl with Scot McCloughan running those drafts, either.

  7. Players should do this more often. All the ‘huge deals’ they sign often end up being half or less of their face value because they are not ‘really’ guaranteed. There is no real ‘long term’ security in the NFL. Just embrace it and then you hold the cards, like Revis did, and like Cousins is doing now.

  8. Contracts are a two way street. And Cousins is walking down the right lane. Get it while you can, because these clubs will spit you out as soon as they can.

  9. This is crazy a guy whos played well for only 2 years, leading his team to a 17-14-1 record is calling all the shots. As a giant fan all I can think about when someone says Kirk Cousins is DRC intercepting his pass to end the Redskins season when we had nothing to play for.

  10. Cousins is greedy, unreasonable, and not “worth” a contract that would make him the 5000th highest paid player in NFL history. (I wrote this before I read the second to last paragraph, sorry). Did I mention weird looking and dumb as dirt?

  11. The Redskins screwed up and will only compound matters if they don’t sign Kirk to a long term deal. Anyone that blames Kirk doesn’t understand how it works in business and the NFL is a multi-billion dollar business. The NFL owners are making a lot more money then Kirk will. It’s also called the economic theory of supply and demand.

  12. 1. Once again, the Redskins totally screw up a QB situation. Every year they wait, and every year it costs them way more than it could’ve (and should’ve).

    2. To those that think Cousins is greedy, you have no idea what it means to be valuable to organization. The CBA finally works in the player’s favor, and he should take full advantage of it. He owes the Redskins nothing, and they have no other options.

  13. He’s not great. At all. Not worth what he will be paid and will likely sink a franchise into cap hell. Redskins notoriously overpay everyone, but they backed themselve into a corner.

    If you lose him, they have no chance to win next season and everyone loses their jobs. If you keep him, he puts you in cap hell and probably still costs the front office and coaches their jobs.

    Lose/lose. Well deserved.

  14. … he is going to gouge that franchise.

    Love it when fans say this about a player. No he is not they dont HAVE to sign him they can simply can walk. It is not like the team do not have a choice here. They had an opportunity to sign him to along term contract last year and chose not to do so. They knew what was coming along.

  15. He’s going to Washington. I heard the deal was sealed on the AM radio station. Something about he had a better deal yesterday who’s ever the general manager was that was announced today at 3:35 pm today

  16. $23.94 million fully guaranteed in 2017, plus a 20-percent raise (reflecting the increase arising from use of the transition tag) fully guaranteed for 2018. It’s a total of $52.67 million over two years; for anything less than that, Cousins should again take it year to year.

    Mike – i don’t get it – why do you assume the transition tag and 120% in 2018?

    Glad to be a Pats fan

  17. If you think Cousins is being greedy, just remember that every player in the NFL wants him to make as much money as possible. These huge contracts just keep driving prices up for everyone, so the NFL will raise the cap to compensate, and the inflation of contracts will continue. I’ll bet that there’s lots of pressure applied via the players association (and the agent) to NOT take a team friendly deal. So he’s not greedy…he’s being a team player.

    Plus you’d do the same thing. If you say you wouldn’t, you’re a liar.

  18. Cousins can’t handle bright lights. He’s the best QB in the NFL in games that start at 1 pm, but his record was 1-6 this year in games that began at 4 or after. He panics when the whole world is watching- due to his pervasive insecurity – and breaks out in a cold sweat in the red zone. His worst game of the season was the win-and-in game versus the Giants, and his next worse game was the Monday night debacle against Carolina. With Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garçon and Jameson Crowder, he had weapons galore, but next year, Jackson is gone and possibly Garçon, as well. I don’t trust him and clearly the G.M. doesn’t, either. Wouldn’t be surprised if they fleeced the Rams in a trade involving Cousins snd signed Romo to compete with Colt McCoy.

  19. They have gone 15-16-1 with McCoy. Big deal. Cousins isn’t the guy and if he was he’d have been paid already. But since I despise the team I hope Cousins destroys their ability to sign other players

  20. I agree that the Redskins took a gamble and lost on this negotiation, but I also don’t think they screwed Cousins over as many suggest.

    As an avid Redskins fan, I painfully recall the days when Counsins threw a zillion interceptions, would mope on the sidelines thereafter and couldn’t fetch a bag of chips in a trade. The team stuck with him, coached him up, and worked with him until he evolved into a good starting-quality QB. In fact, Gruden & Co. lobbied for him to start when the Griffin fiasco went down, which is what enabled Cousins to gain the confidence and experience he needed to grow. I don’t know where he would be otherwise

    One way or another Counsins is going to get paid, but let’s keep in mind that is BECAUSE of the REDSKINS not in spite of them.

  21. Anyone remember the deal Jamarcus Russell got from the Raiders before he ever played a down in the NFL? Not a Kirk Cousins fan, but I hope he gets every penny he can out of the owners while he can get it. Remember, the NFL stands for Not For Long on a lot of things.
    Look how much Phillip Rivers got last year to lead the league in intercetptions. Go get em Kirk, this former San Diego Charger fan is rooting for you!

  22. Good for Cousins, use all the leverage you have, they should of signed you long term last yr for less than 20 a yr instead they made you the highest paid player in the league lol

  23. Kirk has started 41 games for the Redskins (1 in 2012; 3 in 2013; 5 in 2014; and 16 each in 2015 and 2016. Of those 41 starts, his record is 19-21-1. Furthermore, in 2016, Kirk passed for 4,917 yards but only had 25 TDs. That means Kirk must pass for 197 yards for every passing TD. For context, Rodgers scored a passing TD every 110 yards (4,428 / 40), T. Brady needed 127 yards (3,554 / 28), Ryan needed 131 yards (4,994 / 38), while NFC East rival E. Manning needed 155 yards (4,027 / 26). In my opinion, Kirk is “what his record says he is,” which is a ~500 QB who needs to go up and down the field twice to score one TD. Personally, I would offer Kirk a contract worthy of a 500 QB WITH significant incentives for injury, games won, playoff appearance, playoff games won, and SB won/lost. If Kirk is as good as he believes he is (because apparently, he only looks at his stats, not his won/loss record as a starter), he would take an incentive-heavy deal without hesitation.

  24. nynbkfarsuperiorx says:
    Feb 20, 2017 11:16 PM
    This is crazy a guy whos played well for only 2 years, leading his team to a 17-14-1 record is calling all the shots. As a giant fan all I can think about when someone says Kirk Cousins is DRC intercepting his pass to end the Redskins season when we had nothing to play for.

    So by that logic, does Drew Brees deserve a huge contract? They seem to be doing a lot of losing with him as their QB.

  25. PatchesO’Houlihan says:
    Feb 20, 2017 10:35 PM
    Cousins>Brady

    —————————

    Well yeah, as long as you dont count Brady’s history, championships, post season stats, and a few other things you might be able to formulate an argument for that.

  26. The Redskins need to sign him and let the chips fall where they may. He’s a top 10(ish) QB and is ascending each season. All of this madness is taking away focus from the rest of the needs of the Redskins and quite possibly pumping the brakes on some quality free agents who are waiting this out. At the end of the day, the Redskins defense is what blew most of the games last year. A solid draft and a few FAs for the front four/secondary can turn this team into a serious contender in the NFC East and NFC as a whole. Besides, why ctrl-alt-delete another season with yet another QB? The Redskins haven’t had a solid, long-term starter since Joe Thiesmann! I feel sorry for Redskins fans sometimes. They are fiercely loyal and put up with a lot of mess, but still represent strong despite what Dan Snyder puts them through.

  27. Hes probably not a good deal at such prices in the sense that no player is. If he commands too much of the cap space then he limits what can be done to build the team around him. Its not always about how good the player might be (I do to think cousins is ‘pretty good’ but not one of the greats and even back a few slots from best playing today) What its about is how much better the team will be with that player and contract in place. So you have to take how good he is and then subtract how much the contract affects their ability to get other players to determine the net value the deal offers to the team.

  28. If I were someone in his position, I would wet my pants and do cartwheels every time I checked my bank account.

  29. As a Skins fan, there is one thing from Pat Kirwin on Sirius that I always remember he says: well run organizations (like the Pats) always get deals done one year before they need to do it. Had the Skins got the deal done during the year Cousins was the full starter and recognized his talents, this would have been much cheaper in the long run!

  30. Cousins has not shown the ability to deliver when it matters, so this is an awful lot of money to give him. For all that cash, is it really that far of a drop off to Colt McCoy?

  31. This system where guys like Cousins have mega leverage is better than the old system where top 5 draft picks got crazy money before they even did anything on the field.

  32. handsomerob86 says:
    Feb 20, 2017 10:33 PM

    Smart Cousins, they tried to shaft you, but you turned it on them. Well played.

    ============================
    What are you people talking about? How was he shafted? How is Snyder to blame? Were the Redskins supposed to pay this guy Andrew luck money after one season? Redskins wont win the superbowl with him, he chokes in big games and sucks in the redzone BYE BYE HTTR

  33. This is pure mismanagement – simple as that. Cousins will get his monstrous payday this round and THEN it would benefit him to be like Brady and begin taking less once he makes all his money on this next deal.

  34. Trent Green part II

    Cousin’s is the best QB Washington has had since letting Green walk under similar circumstances. IIRC that was one of Dan Snyder’s first decisions as the owner. Whoops.

  35. This analysis is wrong on so many levels – as has been pointed out before, but still you stick with it. You miss the fact that everyone else seems to know: the franchise tag overpays a player like Cousins for one year. Everyone – even Cousins, I’m sure – knows that to be true.

    You are correct Cousins should take the franchise tag before signing anything. That’s smart on his part.

    You are woefully incorrect that a franchise tag (if used) is the floor from where a long term contract (which shifts a level of “risk” from the player to the team) would be negotiated. You’re so wrong it’s almost funny.

    What in the world makes you think that?

  36. He has the leverage to get paid very well.
    So why would he not sign a 5 year contract with the Redskins that pays him very well?

    1. Do the Redskins not want to pay? Unfortunately for them, he’s in the drivers seat. Either overpay him 3MM/year, or lose a decent QB and be back to where you were a few years ago. I think it’s better to overpay the QB position, because it’s so hard to find an even average one. If you have to start wasting high draft picks you are hurting the team.
    Just pay him.

    2. He really doesn’t want to be a Redskin. If he hates it there, then fine. But it’s childish to be mad they didn’t pay him last year after 1 good season. Thats not enough work to prove he’s the real deal. Look at Nick Foles and Brock Osweiller. Had Cousins not had the year he did in 2016 and instead regressed, where would the team have been?

    Bottom line- he has the leverage , but should keep calm and look for the best situation. If he believes the Redskins are a good fit then stay. If he wants to go to the 49ers who have a lot of cap money, then nothing can stop him.
    I’d franchise him again, and start drafting QBs. Maybe the team can still work out a deal.

  37. Cousins is fortunate to be playing in this time of overall terrible QB play in the league. He’s not a “franchise” QB. When it’s crunch time, he fails miserably. I’m waiting for teams to realize unless they have a star QB, they don’t have a QB. Pay the average guys average money and keep drafting until you find a stud. Heck I’d rather be an 8-8 team with someone like Glennon or Taylor than give Cousins a long-term deal and wallow in mediocrity forever.

  38. exinsidetrader says:
    Feb 21, 2017 9:26 AM
    Cousins is NOT the reason the Redskins did not win the SuperBowl.

    —————-
    Well no, they were never even a consideration because of a lot of reasons. Winning the championship would require improvement in pretty much every area even allowing they are good already in many.

  39. Let him walk and replace him with WHOM? Colt McCoy? Please! Tony Romo? Only if you want to have him start four games and never play again. Draft a QB? That would mean over paying for a trade. We’ve seen recently how that has worked out.

    How many QBs in the league or in college currently will complete nearly 70% of passes as a full time starter for two years straight? How many will toss INTs (albeit not greatly timed) on just 2% of their passes? How many will average 4,500 yards?

    The answer: not many.

    The reality is that the Skins defense does more to hurt than anything. Of course not having any semblance of a consistent running game doesn’t help either.

    By not signing Cousins to a long term deal, the team is going to take away salary cap space that it needs on defense and getting dept on the offensive line.

    Cousins has every right to hold the line here so to speak and force the team to do something more on his terms. A longer term would benefit both parties, but it’s not like Cousins is going to get hurt financially (relative in NFL terms) if he only signs a franchise tag again.

    The roster was so bare when McLoughan took over at GM, he’s had to pull rabbits out of hats just to field a semi competitive team the last couple of seasons. Given the 15+ years of mismanagement prior, it’s no wonder why the team is in this situation.

  40. Redskins got themselves into this mess last offseason. He’s not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning – he’s top 10 but he’s not worth 25+ million a year.

    Tom Brady gets 41 mill over the next 2 years. Aaron Rodgers 36 mill over the next 2 years. Matt Ryan 45 mill over the next 2 years.

    Cousins hasn’t won a playoff game or ever been in consideration for an MVP award.

  41. Redskins did this to themselves last year by not giving him a deal then. Now he’s trying to hold them hostage.

    But he has a poor performance record against 500 or above teams. I’d let him walk.

  42. I’d like to see Cousins stay, but I find it hard to justify giving a guy 20+ mil a year that really hasn’t done much beside break some regular season records. I think at this point he’s overpricing himself, he just doesn’t deserve Brees, Rodgers, Brady type of money. And I don’t blame the GM for not wanting to pay him an extreme amount while hurting the rest of the team.

    As a alternative, if a reasonable deal for both sides can’t be reached…tag him and send him to the 9ers for the 2nd overall this year and their first next year, which will probably be top 5. Draft Jonathan Allen 2nd overall and BPA at #17. Get the defense trending up, get a stop gap at QB, and draft your QB of the future in a strong 2018 QB draft class. (Darnold, Rosen, etc…).

    Again, I’d like to see us build off of the last two years, but as this continues on it feels like the two sides won’t reach an agreement and we’ll need to get all the value we can.

  43. Guys like Cousins have to be maddening for GMs. They’re better than average, but not elite. Finding someone better is VERY hard, so they’ll have to break the bank to keep them.

  44. Derrick.G says:
    Feb 21, 2017 7:32 AM
    So by that logic, does Drew Brees deserve a huge contract? They seem to be doing a lot of losing with him as their QB.
    —–
    Cousins is not Drew Brees by any stretch of the imagination, Drew Brees makes WRs and TEs better than they are. Drew Brees has already paid his dues in NO winning a Superbowl and is a future hall of famer. Ill take it further NO would have the first pick guaranteed without Brees and would not even have a chance next season. The value between Kirk and Brees is not even close and it shows how deluded some people are when it comes to comparing the top QBs to Kirk an insult to mention Kirk in the same sentence. To answer future questions just because he threw 4000 twice does not mean hes earned my respect and looking at this situation the Redskins total respect either.

  45. “Once he completed his rookie contract healthy and effective, the leverage swung to Cousins — and he has taken full advantage of it.”
    ________________________________________
    Yes, Cousins took advantage and made himself filthy rich. But what does that do for Deadskin fans? Your team still sucks and you’re gonna put all your salary cap money into an “at best” average QB. What about the rest of your team that needs help? You got NO receivers at this point because the two starters are looking elsewhere. You have no prime-time running back. You have a subpar defense, to put it nicely. And you have a team that mentally checked out (!) in games where you could’ve clinched playoff spots! You can’t even get good assistant coaches to come here and guide this team because they know the personnel sucks. The point here is that the Deadskins have many more problems than Kirk Cousins and just fixing up this QB as a super wealthy guy for the rest of his life is not solving your team-wide issues. What you need to do is forego Cousins, FIX THE TEAM (a 2-3 year process), then find a really good QB when you can seriously challenge for a Super Bowl.

  46. Kirk needs to be smart about this. He has a solid up and coming team in Washington with a qb friendly coach in gruden. Hypothetically if he is transitioned or hits the open market San Fran will pay him the most. I’d consider very hard taking less IF the skins can come close to the 9’ers offer. SanFran is in utter ruins talent wise and it’s going to take 2-3 years to get that program on board. Staying is Washington will most likely be the best move, but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t let the market leverage his compensation.

  47. mvalvt says:

    Feb 21, 2017 10:48 AM

    Let him walk and replace him with WHOM? Colt McCoy? Please! Tony Romo? Only if you want to have him start four games and never play again. Draft a QB? That would mean over paying for a trade. We’ve seen recently how that has worked out.
    ________________________________
    The Dallas Cowboys found Dak Prescott in the 4th round of the draft. There are QB’s out there better than Cousins. You just need better college scouts to seek them out and bring them here. But Redskins scouts clearly have more learning to do. And that’s another area of improvement needed for this team. The picks you actually do bring to the field lately do not overwhelm anyone.

  48. Gotta love these mediocre-at-best QBs like Flacco and Cousins holding team’s feet to the fire. And they’ll pay them anyway.

  49. Why would people think that Cousins is greedy for signing the franchise tag? They cant complete a deal, and the Redskins offer the tag. The Redskins could just let Cousins walk if they don’t think its fair.

    Most teams use that tag as leverage against players. Surprise, Cousins is fine with the tags.

    He will have made $45M in 2 years. If he plays decent this year, next year he will have a 5+ year contract worth another 100M/50M guaranteed. Crazy money for a middle of the pack QB, but he won it by betting on himself.

  50. The Redskins should ask Cousins to start a sports nutrition company that works with the team. He could then take less money from them. This could save them money under the cap. Meanwhile Cousins would still make up the money from his business earnings.

  51. TBH, they both played/are playing it wrong.

    Washington should have done the deal a season or 2 ago, modest, avoid heavy money.

    Cousins, when he holds out for a maximum contract, getting highest in the league money, that means you have to perform at that level. Would you rather be the highest payed player for 1 season or actually work out the entirety of another deal and make more in the long run?

    Dumbness all around.

  52. kenmasters34 says:
    Feb 21, 2017 12:41 PM
    Why would people think that Cousins is greedy for signing the franchise tag?…Redskins could just let Cousins walk if they don’t think its fair. Most teams use that tag as leverage against players. Surprise, Cousins is fine with the tags.
    —————
    Cousins would be greedy to think he’s worth a tag salary because that’s the equivalent (as an average of the top 5) of the being the 2nd/3rd best QB in the league. He might be a top-10 but not a top 2 or 3, so of course he’s happy with a tag. If Cousins thinks he’s a top 2 or 3, let him try the open market.

  53. brava66 says:
    Feb 21, 2017 4:40 AM

    I agree that the Redskins took a gamble and lost on this negotiation, but I also don’t think they screwed Cousins over as many suggest.
    —————————————————–

    Finally someone gets it! Due to the RG3 situation with him still on the roster as well as Cousins, what people don’t remember or realize is that RG3 was the starter going into into the 2015 season, because griffin stunk it up so bad Cousins was named the starter that season …which he did well in, so that’s his 1st yr starting so now we have last season which is his second and now his contract is up.

    So the question is how many teams/gm’s are going to make a QB one of the highest paid after 1 good yr.Brock Osweiler (sp) anyone?

    And no way am I comparing Cousins to Osweiler , things just need to be kept in perspective and the Redskins just happen to be in a tough spot …they are the team that developed Cousins into a hot commodity this is what most are missing and the fact that RG3 was on the roster at the same time.

  54. streetyson says:
    “Feb 21, 2017 2:12 PM
    Cousins would be greedy to think he’s worth a tag salary because that’s the equivalent (as an average of the top 5) of the being the 2nd/3rd best QB in the league.”

    Why would you consider that greedy? Cousins bet on Cousins and he won. Now he is cashing in on that bet. That’s how gambling works.

    If the Redskins didn’t want to gamble they would have gave him a good extension in the middle of 2015. IF the Redskins don’t think he is worth the Franchise tag price, then they don’t have to use it.

  55. k0mbucha says:
    Feb 21, 2017 2:16 PM
    “Cousins was named the starter that season …which he did well in, so that’s his 1st yr starting so now we have last season which is his second and now his contract is up.
    So the question is how many teams/gm’s are going to make a QB one of the highest paid after 1 good yr.Brock Osweiler (sp) anyone?
    And no way am I comparing Cousins to Osweiler”

    1) Osweiler had a couple of decent games under his belt. Whereas Cousins played well for 2 seasons.
    2) Look how much Osweiler got paid after a couple of decent games. How much do you think a QB, who has had two good seasons will get paid in the open market.
    3) Bill O’brien is the reason the Texans have QB problems.

  56. As a lifelong Redskins hater, I am delighted to see the ‘Skins in this situation. They can either overpay or start over at the QB position. If I were them, I’d let Cousins go and try to get Dak Prescott in the 4th round of this year’s draft. Oh, wait. I guess he already went to their division rival in the last draft. I’m sure they’ll find someone just as good. Bwahahaha. Dan Snyder. Bwahahaha.

    One thing they did get right is Scot McCloughan. I was sorry he ended up there. He’s a proven GM. Fortunately, it takes skill and luck to be successful. He’s got the skill. I can only hope that his luck is extremely poor.

  57. Redskins literally bet against their own success last off-season when they low-balled Cousins. Now their bet will pay off: they are staring at failure a year from now, whether Cousins shines again and they lose him because of the enormous hot if a third franchise tag, or he stinks and they are right back where they were looking for a QB. They put themselves in a lose-lose situation and deserve exactly what they get. If they think he is good, they should pay him. If they don’t, then why won’t they just let him go and “stink” somewhere else?

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