With the deadline for signing quarterback Kirk Cousins to a long-term deal three days away and no signs (yet) of a looming epiphany by Washington to pay Cousins what his circumstances and leverage merit, there’s an important reason for the lingering impasse.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, internal disagreement exists within the organization regarding Cousins’ actual value.
Actually, the more accurate term is “persists.” The in-house discrepancy dates back to 2015, when it first appeared that Cousins would be the better option to Robert Griffin III. Because of the draft-pick investment that had been made to acquire Griffin, some weren’t ready to ditch Griffin for Cousins.
Others advocated offering Cousins what would have been a significant raise (upwards of $10 million per year) but that also would be dramatically less than what he made in 2016 ($19.95 million), what he’ll make in 2017 ($23.94 million), and what he could make in 2018 ($28.7 million under the transition tag, $34.7 million under the franchise tag, or whatever he could get on a long-term deal from Washington in lieu of the application or either tag or a trip to the open market).
And so it appears that Washington will kick the can for another year, only to see it grow even larger by 2018. At some point, they’ll either have to pay him what his circumstances and leverage require, or they’ll have to let him walk away.