Kirk Cousins wasn’t “at peace” with long-term contract


When Washington and Kirk Cousins couldn’t come to a long-term contract in July, the quarterback said the time simply wasn’t right, and that he wanted to take another year to see where he and the team were.

Now that he’s in the middle of training camp, Cousins said he’s still confident it was the right decision.

I didn’t feel at peace with signing a long-term deal at this juncture,” Cousins said, via Dan Graziano of “I think the freedom that it allows on the other side of this season makes more sense. In the league, there’s so much change, so much turnover year after year, I think it makes a lot of sense to re-evaluate where we’re at, where the league’s at at the end of this season.”

The peace may stem from having a guaranteed $44 million in his pocket, after being franchise-tagged the last two years. But that luxury has also given Cousins the ability to think about the way football players get paid, especially in light of their basketball brethren and their guaranteed contracts.

“A lot of it goes back to, these contracts are not baseball contracts; they’re not basketball contracts,” Cousins said. “As a result, you’re not really signing a five-year deal, you’re not really signing a six-year deal. You’re signing a two-year deal, and then there is an obligation for several years after that. And that just didn’t sit well with me, and I’m better off, if those are my options, I’m better off signing a one-year deal and then having freedom.”

He’s also aware that the next market for quarterbacks could include several others who would be in line for big dollars, so there will be competition.

“I’ve got to play well,” Cousins said. “So I see it as, let’s go 16 games at a time and we’ll see where we are in January/February and go from there. It takes two sides, in the sense that you’re not going to effect any change unless the clubs are willing to do that. And it all comes down to the market. Markets change. What if Drew Brees is a free agent? What if Sam Bradford has a big-time year? What if Matt Stafford? You can just list guy after guy after guy — what if they suddenly blow up and play at a very high level and have a great year and stay healthy? The 16 games, as we know, tell the story. What if the market’s flooded? You never know.”

From that perspective, it’s a bit of a risk. But again, it’s a risk mitigated by the money he’s already pocketed, from being willing to bet on himself two years in a row.

29 responses to “Kirk Cousins wasn’t “at peace” with long-term contract

  1. This guy is laughing all the way to the bank. Some people say that it’s a risk,but honestly even if he tore an a.c.l. he would be fine as starting qb’s (decent ones) are so hard to find, as long as he can be on the field the following season he will get paid. Many wrote him off. I say good job Cousins! I LIKE THAT!!!

  2. He’s betting on himself, and not tying himself to a team that can drop him almost any time with little or no compensation.

    Since the NFL doesn’t want guaranteed contracts, then be prepared for the elite players to go year to year, getting the best deal they can each year.

  3. He’s right. Contracts in the NFL are usually voided/voidable by year 2. And with the way the cap has risen since the last labor deal, by year 3 you’re under paid at the position.

  4. No offense to Redskins fans because their fan base is great but is it any surprise he doesn’t want to play there long term? He’s in a high demand position and could have as many as 8 teams fighting over him next year. He’s never had any support from the Redskins front office. He’s been publicly chastised by Bruce Allen. He’ll pocket 44 million over 2 years and next year will sign for guarantees of about 50 million. That plus his rookie deal and 2 years of the franchise tag is 100 million dollars.

  5. I bet he wasn’t comfortable. The team has backed themselves into a corner and still tried to low ball him. They can say it would make him the highest paid QB in the league, however once looking at everything, that was another one of their smoke and mirror jobs.

    They will need to make a decision next year, so it should be interesting to see what happens.

  6. Talk about right place, right time, right conditions. He has parlayed this mess into major paydays. He went to the Revis school of contract negotiation.

    Even if next year’s market is “flooded” with Brees, Stafford and Bradford, that means that the Saints, Lions and Vikes can be added to the list of 10 teams that are desperate for new QBs. Cousins can sit back and easily make $18M per year until he starts throwing picks like Osweiler.

    Good job, buddy.

  7. I just don’t think this has anything to do with money. It’s very obvious to me that Cousins is done with Washington. Read between the lines. It doesn’t take a whole of imagination to see that he is going to be relocating to another city. Another team. Cousins is already set for life financially. I think quality of life is so much more important to him, than a few more meaningless dollars. He’ll probably end up with both. If you had the choice to be the QB for Washington, or the QB for another NFL team, what would you choose? How many people would choose Washington if they had other options? Not many.

  8. Sounds to that he’s squeezing every last dime out of the Redskins before he leaves for San Fransisco.

  9. He’s taking advantage of the situation and system, and to be completely honest I can’t really say I blame him. If he keeps playing at a strong level then he is absolutely going to be in high demand for a huge payday next spring. Of course there’s always a risk like injury or decrease production, but at this point in time before the flop he’s holding pocket 9s and his opponent has pocket 5s

  10. Good move, Kirk.

    1) It wasn’t a good offer from Washington and

    2) Who in their right mind would be at peace signing their career away to the Washington Redskins and that front office?

  11. He’s dead right. Owners have ALL the power when it comes to contracts. Once you have that “5 year deal”, if you play well and should earn more they pay you your contracted rate. if you suck then they cut you and you get nothing but that early signing bonus pro-ration.

    I still think KC isn’t that good of a QB, but if he avoids an injury or performance setback then in 10 years we could be looking back at 2017 as the year the joke NFL contracts died.

  12. This stuff always remind me of Byron evens from the buddy Ryan era.The eagles offered him a big contract I think it was in the 50 mill range he declined it and within a few weeks blew his knee out and that was the end of his career

  13. two things are clear to me. first, the redskins couldn’t have managed this situation any worse if they were trying. secondly. this guy is better at the money part of football (a la sammy sleeves bradford) than he is at football. eventually he will be exposed as the middle of the pack system qb he actually is. let him beat some good teams then talk about 20 something million dollars a year.

  14. pierrepoint1 says:
    August 7, 2017 at 6:31 am
    He’s betting on himself, and not tying himself to a team that can drop him almost any time with little or no compensation.

    Since the NFL doesn’t want guaranteed contracts, then be prepared for the elite players to go year to year, getting the best deal they can each year.


    I am ok with this on both ends. I believe you pay for play – but I also believe you play for pay. One year max contracts can keep both sides (relatively) honest.

  15. Look at the qb market in the NFL today, it is pathetic to say the least. No wonder an average qb like Kirk Cousins can look at the landscape year after year and say pay me because what are your alternatives? The owners did this to themselves for balooning up the qb market. Owners need to take a step back and reevaluate their approach. Rather than throwing money at FAs (Qbs or otherwise), or giving up draft picks to move up and draft a maybe,in hopes of a quick turn around or rebuild, owners need to allow gms and coaches to do their jobs in evaluating and developing players organically. Over time building a roster through the draft to have not only a formidable starting 22 but good depth within the 53. The unfortunate reality is that owners are oftentimes impatient and do not allow enough time for this process and that is why these contracts are so out of whack.

  16. 44 million dollars, for not even a full 12 months of work, for a 2nd or 3rd tier QB who honesty has never done anything is the best decision Cousins could make. He may not be a HOF player, but he’s smart.

  17. This is where using the franchise tag fails the team. It makes little sense to use it once. It makes no sense to use it twice. Many players feel some sense of loyalty to the team and the fan base, but that has to run both ways. Once the team viewed this as year to year, Cousins did the same and it worked out for the player. The risk is an injury risk, but if the player views the deal as only being for two years, it’s a one year gamble. Now the team has a quarterback who is a virtual lame duck and not as team oriented as they’d like. The team now needs to move on. They may need to get in a bidding war for Jimmy Garoppolo or someone else. It’s a bad situation that could have been prevented.

  18. Here’s the deal. The Lions will screw around with Stafford trying to sign him for less than market value until he decides for free agency and the Lions will end up overpaying Cousins. Win/win for Kirk. He gets to play in his home state for just as much $ as he could make anywhere else.

  19. You guys are forgetting that his AGENT is really pulling the strings. The agent is looking out for his own bottom line and therefore wants his client (Cousins) to make as much money as humanely possible. The agent does not give a rat’s behind about what his client really wants. He’s a salesman who will sell Cousins on whatever deal that is most lucrative for him (agent). Money makes the world go ’round.

  20. I don’t blame Washington or Cousins. Cousins is a middle of the road QB. Unfortunately for Washington, even a middle of the road QB is rare. I’m guessing the front office didn’t want to wind up in a Osweiller situation and Cousins thinks he can get elite QB money. Good for Cousins to cash in but I don’t fault Washington’s FO for actually be cautious for once. Yet it’s a QB league.

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