Four-week warning for Cousins, Washington


Amid largely pointless talk of an improved tone during negotiations and in the wake of a public plea from new senior V.P. of player personnel Doug Williams, the clock continues to tick toward the deadline for doing a long-term deal between Washington and quarterback Kirk Cousins.

The window closes in four weeks (actually, four weeks and two days, since July 15 lands on a Saturday). After that, there can be no multi-year deal until after the regular season concludes.

The math remains simple. (Which nearly qualifies me to perform it.) With Cousins already having $23.94 million in hand for 2017, the issue hinges on the amount of cash and guarantees and other terms that the team will offer and that the player will expect in order to commit to each other beyond this year. For months, the thinking has been that Cousins expects a full guarantee that includes both the franchise tender for 2017 and the transition tender for 2018, which would equate to another $28.72 million. Which means that it will take $52.66 million fully guaranteed at a minimum to get something done.

And that’s just to cover the first two years. Cousins may want guarantees that stretch into the third year, and he may push for a percentage of the salary cap in the distant years of the contract. Washington may be looking for more of a bargain on the back end, allowing the team to build around the quarterback they claim to want to keep.

Ultimately, Cousins holds all the cards. With $19.95 million already earned in 2016 under the tag and another $23.94 million on the way, he’s already at nearly $44 million. And if the team uses the transition tag in 2018, it will have only a right to match with no compensation, allowing Cousins to sign an offer sheet with another team (the 49ers and Rams could end up in a tug of war) that Washington wouldn’t or couldn’t match.

To prevent that from happening, Washington would need to use the franchise tag for a third time, resulting in a 44-percent bump over the $23.94 million franchise tender for 2017. That will cost $34.47 million.

So, yes, Cousins holds the cards. And the team has only itself to blame for not making a move to sign Cousins to an affordable but nevertheless life-changing contract in 2015, once they knew that the first-rounder from 2012 wasn’t the answer and that the fourth-rounder from that same draft was.

33 responses to “Four-week warning for Cousins, Washington

  1. Play him this year on the franchise and reevaluate to see if he plays well enough to earn the huge deal.

  2. You are consistently wrong on these articles. If you were right then this deal would have been done already. I do not believe your utopian starting point for a deal has ever happened with anybody in a similar position. You believe that Cousins is guaranteed x for 2017 and he would be guaranteed x for 2018 IF they tag him so that should be the starting point. That is wrong. It does not consider the other side at all. IF he is severely injured this year he would not get what you think he is guaranteed to get in 2018. You expect the team to offer him more than they would be required to by doing nothing at all right now. You expect that even though 100% of the injury risk would transfer from Cousins to the Redskins. No business would consider that demand. Not one. He wants long term guarantees that remove his monetary risk of injury. That would require the team to pay LESS than they would while he is on the hook if he gets hurt. Please stop just talking to your like-minded friends. Just because you agree does not mean you are right. You and your friends are laughably wrong on this one but somehow can’t seem to see it. That degrades your credibility.

  3. defscottyb says:
    Jun 17, 2017 5:13 PM
    Play him this year on the franchise and reevaluate to see if he plays well enough to earn the huge deal.
    This is ridiculous. He’s played at a high level the past 2 seasons. What are you reevaluating? And you act like the Redskins have any leverage here….They could have signed cousins to multi year contract that averaged $19 million per season 2 years ago….now they’ve paid Cousins an average of $22 million per season and next year unless he gets hurt he will either get a monster deal from some team making him the highest paid QB in the league or if the Skins franchise him he will get $34 million guaranteed for ONE season. Even if he has a down year he will get paid base on his production over the past 2 seasons. The only thing that hurts him is a serious injury.

  4. If you don’t think the starting point for a long-term contract is the tag for this year and the tag for next year, then you are a horrible business person.

  5. I agree that using public information (franchise tender amounts) will likely miss the mark. I suspect Cousins’ agent had conversations with other teams before he signed his franchise tender so Cousins knows what is behind the door marked 2018. None of the talking heads or commentators know. If Cousins does not sign a long term contract the Redskins are starting over in 2018 or will pay an exorbitant price for not listening to their former personnel guru. This is not about skill – its about Bruce Allen and his massive ego that is matched only by his lack of skill as a front office leader.

  6. “No one is paying this guy 25 mil next year…not the Rams, not Washington, and not the 49rs.”

    You’re right. Washington will be paying him 28 million if he plays at all well this season.

    The landscape of what’s out there for other options if they don’t retain him is pretty grim. They can either take one of the not very good retreads that will be available, or they can roll the dice on a rookie, which is a low probability of success.

    If he stinks it up this season he’ll still probably get a decent FA deal in the 15-18 million a year range based on the last couple years if Washington lets him go. But he seems like a guy who puts the work in and thus doing what he needs to to play well.

  7. defscottyb says:
    Jun 17, 2017 5:13 PM
    Play him this year on the franchise and reevaluate to see if he plays well enough to earn the huge deal.
    Isn’t that what they have done the last two years? They know what they have in him. If there was a deal to be done, it would have happened.

  8. Cousins has Washington over a barrel but I can’t see them offering him the tag in 2018. He’s not worth that much, in my opinion. So, at the end of the season he’ll go to the team that will pay him the most money, like Brock Osweiler, and play for that crummy team and complain about never making the playoffs. That’s ironic since the only thing he seems to care about is a big payoff.

  9. They should give him $25 mil guaranteed this yr & next, then the following 2 yrs somewhere in the $25-$29 mil range, with the details negotiated.

    And he should take the deal, because the Redskins are his best chance to win & get to the post season every year of the deal.

  10. I would NEVER EVER pay him 25 million per year. He is not worth that kind of cash. I would play him this year and cut him lose. Better yet try and get as much as you can for him. Pass this super bowl want to be
    to the next team that might be stupid enough to pay him radicals amount of money that ne thinks he is worth.

  11. “One of the worst run organizations in the history of Sports? Puleez. Three lomabardis. Deal with it.”

    All of which were won before Dan Snyder bought the team and while it may have been very well run in those days, under Snyder its been a poorly run franchise that hardly ever sees the playoffs, much less won a Lombardi while he’s been the owner.

  12. Someone will give Cousins $25M+.

    Look at the Texans, they gave Osweiler $18M/yr and he played for half of one season.

    There’s only roughly 15-20 QB’s in the league that are worth anything, so yeah, a guy like Cousins will get paid. Maybe Brees will retire in New Orleans and Cousins can just slide into his pay scale, lol..

  13. ““One of the worst run organizations in the history of Sports? Puleez. Three lomabardis. Deal with it.””

    To add to what I already said I looked up how many playoff games the Redskins have been in since Snyder bought the team in 1999.

    A grand total of 5 in which they have a 1-4 record in.

    So they’re getting in the playoffs once every 4 years and losing almost every time.

    Hardly a “well run” franchise.

  14. pay him this year….4th quarter of the last game of the year, have your o-line crush his knee or something.

  15. So the Rams are going to throw in the towel on the #1 overall pick after only two years to make a run at Cousins?

    It surely would not be some short-term “let Goff learn for a year or two” type deal, because his contract will be expiring by then and there is no way they would pick up hos option year in that situation.

    And if they make it clear that they have no faith in Goff by even sniffing around Cousins then any trade value he might have will disapppear immediately.

    The 49ers seem like the most obvious and appropriate destination, though.

  16. Think deeper, Florio. Washington created the advantage when they let Cousins two veteran starting wide receivers go via free agency. This isn’t Tom Brady scoring Brandin Cooks here. This is a mid to better range quarterback who will need time to adjust to Terrell Pryor and Josh Doctson. Cousins stats will reflect this when the season is completed.

    Advantage = Washington.

  17. Yeah, He’s and his family are moving next year. simple as that. That’s how it is in the NFL. Even if he wins a superbowl this year. no team will pay that

  18. The ‘Skins need to figure out if he’s a “System” QB or an overall QB. He’s played very well these last 2-seasons under Sean McVay’s offensive system. The problem is… McVay isn’t there anymore so the is some doubt as to what he will do without McVay around. He may succeed and if he does pay him. But… he could also return to the pick machine he was before he started playing well midway of the 2015 season.

  19. Per Cousins: “I’m going to be a 49er” in 2017 OR 2018″. Cousins is really close with Shannahan. Niners have to be the front runner right now.

  20. I dont think Kirk wants to play here. I mean, a ton of money would probably change his mind, but I think he wants to move on. Unless they step up with Luck Money+ he is going to walk.

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