The last time a quarterback with (at the time) significant name recognition became an unrestricted free agent approached the open market, he agreed to terms with a new team despite never meeting the coach or visiting the facility. Kirk Cousins doesn’t intend to be the next Brock Osweiler, in more ways than one.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Cousins currently intends not to agree to terms before making free-agency visits. Instead, he plans to take one or more visits after the free-agency period opens on March 14.
It’s a smart approach. Cousins, who thrived in an atmosphere of dysfunction for the past three seasons, need to feel comfortable with his next employer. And his next employer needs to feel comfortable with him. That can’t happen if a deal is done before Cousins ever even sets foot inside the place where he’d be spending the next several years of his career and life.
Six years ago, Peyton Manning decided to meet with several teams before picking one, with the contract being almost an afterthought. Although Cousins may put dollars and cents a bit higher on his list of priorities (unlike Manning, Cousins has never signed a long-term, big-money deal), it’s important to not simply pick a destination based on the things said to his agent during the looming 48-hour window — and during whatever tampering may happen in Indianapolis this week.
Speaking of that atmosphere of dysfunction, there’s still a chance Washington will apply the franchise tag to Cousins. It remains a foolish proposition for Washington for multiple reasons, but a history of foolish decisions by the franchise that will soon see its franchise quarterback walk aways suggests that the foolishness may continue.