Talk of possible Kirk Cousins deal is “noise” until the middle of July

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Much has been said in recent weeks about the negotiations between Washington and franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins. From dramatic reports on the suddenly positive tone to percentage-based predictions suggesting the glass is well more than half full, reporters are desperate to get ahead of something that necessarily remains premature.

“So much noise,” said a source with knowledge of the situation on Tuesday.

As to whether progress has been made, the source added, “Nothing to report. Will be interesting to see what happens mid-July.”

PFT noted over the weekend that the July 15 deadline for doing a long-term deal bumps to Monday, July 17 because the 15th lands on a Saturday. So the two sides have 27 days to get something done.

And the two sides most likely will take nearly the full amount of the 27 days. There’s no reason not to; neither side will move toward its bottom-line position until the clock is close to striking 4:00 p.m. ET on the 17th. If either the team or the player puts the best number on the table now, the other side will wait it out, hoping that the offer will get better before the real deadline.

The math remains simple. Anything less than this year’s cash in hand ($23.94 million) and next year’s transition tender (a 20-percent raise, amounting to $28.7 million) fully guaranteed at signing will not get a deal done — unless Cousins decides to do a Tom Brady-style deal by usurping the agent and, in turn, hurting the agent’s ability to retain and recruit clients.

The agent, Mike McCartney, is hardly being unreasonable by expecting more than $52 million fully guaranteed at signing. Cousins has played (and won) the game to the tune of nearly $44 million over two years, and he’s one more year in the Year-To-Yearopoly away from $28.7 million for the transition tag in 2018 (which would give Washington only the right to match an offer sheet signed elsewhere), $34.47 million for the franchise tag in 2018 (which would allow Washington to keep or trade him in 2018), or a free and clear shot at the open market.

Cousins has both the leverage and the financial security. There’s no reason for him to do anything other than the kind of deal that his circumstances would suggest, taking the Peyton Manning/Darrelle Revis-style position that it’s not on Cousins to manage his team’s salary cap. That falls on team management, and team management badly bungled the situation by not immediately offered Cousins a long-term deal at $18 million or so per year the moment the franchise decided that, like Gus Frerotte supplanting Heath Shuler more than 20 years ago, Cousins would be bumping Robert Griffin III out of the starting lineup and, eventually, off the roster.

Cousins quite possibly will be joining Griffin as a former Washington quarterback by next year, unless team president Bruce Allen (who holds the real power in the wake of the recent restructuring) cries Uncle and pays the piper as July 17 approaches.

29 responses to “Talk of possible Kirk Cousins deal is “noise” until the middle of July

  1. The Skins should just shop Cousins and trade him for the best deal. Maybe they could get a pair of 1st round picks out of someone like the 49ers or Browns.

    Next years QB class will be way better than this past draft and I think we all know that Cousins won’t be playing for the Redskins next year anyways. Might as well get something for him while you can.

  2. If Kirk WAS Tom Brady, then $52M gtd or $28M/year would not be unreasonable, but Kirk is “merely” above-average (many sites put him 13th). Skins need him, but no team needs him at that price.

    And Brady doesn’t even really draw his economical headline $20M – as he repeatedly makes team-friendly extensions/deals that keeps pushing money off and might never be fully realized – his actual cap these past 5yrs, including 2017, is steadily around $14M/yr. I’m sure many teams read that and weep to Roger for a way to make that illegal, preferably retrospectively so that Brady has to be suspended…

  3. The problem is Kirk Cousins isn’t as valuable to the position as Peyton Manning was and Revis was to his. Salary caps are real things. I think he is good, but not top 10 QB money. And I don’t care what stats say that is built by the team around you. And every dollar you spend on him takes away from that cap and makes it harder to build that team around you. Personally if he is that poor a leader (and a little high on his abilities, Peyton Manning indeed) then I’d let him walk. Plenty of serviceable QBs out there. Even Trent Dilfer won a SB – because he had a great team around him.

  4. cowboys fan here. PAY THE MAN ALREADY! so glad to see the REDSKINS sacred name kept.
    cousins is NO R2D2/C3PO. He isnt about his image or sign.
    he is a baller and TRUE football player. PAY the man. I love this NFC EAST BEAST love/hate rival and only want the best for them. I may HATE em come football season, but i love FOOTBALL and TRADITION!
    IN THAT ORDER!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Your math does not make sense. Cousins is not worth 28 mil. He will sign a long term injury protected contract for 20-22 mil per year because that is the most he would get on the free market. If he does not accept that, the Redskins will cut him and he will get considerably less from some other club

  6. It was a no-win situation for the team from the start. If they had rushed out and offered him 7 years at 18 million per, everyone would have been screaming (at the time) how much they overpaid for him. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  7. The problem with so many of you trying to compare Cousin’s contract to other superstar QBs is you don’t seem to understand supply and demand nor the concept of a market. What Brady, Breed, or whoever signed for a season or two ago has absolutely no limitation on what Cousins can sign for.

    No QB has reached the point where they can possibly collect a 3rd franchise tag. Cousins sort of has an obligation to get maximum dollar from the franchise for 1. Lowballing him 2 years ago and as a penalty for franchising him 2 years in a row. Other teams in the future may decide to reward their developed talent rather than play the franchise game.

  8. “He will sign a long term injury protected contract for 20-22 mil per year because that is the most he would get on the free market. ”

    You don’t really live in reality. If Cousins hits the open market next year he will easily hit $24 mil a year average. Brock Osweiler received $18 mil a year from Houston and Cousins is by far a better quarterback. The salary cap will increase once again and the price for a franchise QB will goup concurrently. Cousins stands to cash in

  9. The reason you pay a somewhat above average QB that much is it’s very hard to find an even slightly below average QB.

    Just wait until Rothlisburger, Eli Manning, Phil Rivers, Brees, Carson Palmer , and Tom Brady retire in the next few years.
    Team will be bidding up QBs like Andy Dalton, Alex Smith, and Ryan Tannehill. They are all ok, but not very good.
    But they are MUCH better than the next tier of QBs , scrubs like Brian Hoyer, Mike Glennon, etc. Guy who cost you a couple of games.

    Better to pay Kirk Cousings 25MM than Geno Smith or Mark Sanchez 2MM. That 23MM saves you a few losses, and Cousins earns you an extra win over average, for a net gain of 4 wins.

  10. Kirk has already said that he won’t take less $$$ and good on him. Every football player, by the every nature of the CBA, are their own individual businesses (they can be cut whenever) and the goal of every business is to maximize profit.

  11. The question isnt whether Cousins can win a championship its whether Cousins can win a championship getting elite QB pay.

    I highly doubt Washington can be a contender paying Cousins ~$25 million a year abd in that case I’d say let him walk.

  12. I think he should make a deal. He’s gonna mess around and get hurt, and get cut, or end up on an even worse team. Maybe both.

  13. Redskins offered Cousins a fair contract 2 years ago.

    Problem was, the Texans GM gave Osweiller a ridiculous 4-year $18mm contract, and Cousins wanted that deal instead, probably thinking he’s better.

    Redskins played it right … said prove it for $20mm for one year. Sure he had great stats, but did he really prove it?? Carolina and NYG games? You can blame the defense last year a bit, but Cousins is not worth $25mm a year.

    As a Redskins fan, I understand the dilemma, but some give and take on both side is needed.

  14. The Redskins front office, mainly Bruce Allen, is too stupid to understand what a talented QB and leader KC is and no doubt will not sign him to a long term contract and KC will be gone after this season

  15. You said it yourself.There is nothing to report so stop speculating…No matter what the Redskins do there is going to be hateful and trolling comments if they sign him or not! Real talk

  16. Stop writing Redskins articles Florio. You have four other writers (Alper, Crabtree, Jackson, and the new lady) who are not “faux-offended” to say their team name.

  17. Washington Redskins, you’re allowed to say it. People will still think you’re cool Mike.

  18. “That falls on team management, and team management badly bungled the situation by not immediately offered Cousins a long-term deal at $18 million or so per year the moment the franchise decided that, like Gus Frerotte supplanting Heath Shuler more than 20 years ago, Cousins would be bumping Robert Griffin III out of the starting lineup and, eventually, off the roster.”

    So not immediately offering a huge contract to a QB who put together 1/2 a good season is a mistake? Make sure you tell that to the Texans.

  19. I think he won’t consider a deal unless it’s at least equal to the Andrew Luck deal. He is so close to TOTAL free agency, which has real value. If he gets tagged one more time, he can never be tagged again for the rest of his playing days.

  20. The Washington Redskins and Cousins are negotiating. Nothing to see here and remember your being offensive by not referencing the team’s proper and legal name.

  21. Redskins absolutely DO NOT want to franchise him a 3rd time. So the only realistic options are a trade or a deal. Advantage Cousins.

    No one will want to trade for an un-signed Cousins, so there has to be a deal. Advantage Cousins.

    Any deal that Cousins makes will need to include some combination of:

    1. an obscene amount of guaranteed money (or he simply waits for the 3rd tag or a huge guarantee offer from another team as a sign-and-trade. One or the other is inevitable.)

    2. series of annual salaries, each of which is the greater of last year’s salary, or the same % of cap as last year’s salary. As inept as the NFLPA has been at previous CBA negotiations, Kirk’s agent has to protect his client from future botched negotiations (from lower cap or other downward pressures on salary).

    3. guaranteed money means guaranteed money. i.e. no offset language or qualifiers like “for injury only.” This mess is entirely due to Snyder and his front office; don’t let them off the hook by passing the bad contract off to another team

    This is not about whether Cousins is a good/great/franchise QB. It is about a front office that painted itself into a corner.

    Cousins called their bluff (twice) and the team is now crying for help. It is not up to Cousins to provide that help.

  22. Teams are looking at Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz and say to themselves, there is a cheaper option than signing someone like Brock Osweiler.

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