Not tagged in 2018, Kirk Cousins likely will never be tagged again

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Washington applied the franchise tag to quarterback Kirk Cousins in 2016 and 2017. Washington chose not to tag Cousins again in 2018, for one very important reason.

By rule, Cousins would have received a 44-percent increase over his 2017 salary, if tagged a third time. For Cousins, that would have pushed his one-year pay from $23.94 million to $34.47 million.

As Cousins and his next employer prepare to negotiate and sign a multi-year contract, the 44-percent rule becomes a factor in the team’s planning for the year after his contract expires. The Drew Brees grievance against the NFL and the Saints from 2012 established that franchise tags stack from one team to the next. Thus, if another team ever tries to apply the franchise tag to Cousins, he’ll be entitled to a 44-percent increase over his cap number from the final year of the deal.

For that reason, his next team could try to structure the contract to have a reasonable cap number in the last year of the contract, cognizant of the looming 44-percent jump. Barring that wrinkle, chances are that Cousins will, for the rest of his career, not have to worry about being franchise-tagged, because no one will be able to justify giving him a 44-percent bump over whatever he’s due to make in the final year of whichever contract he’s completing.

12 responses to “Not tagged in 2018, Kirk Cousins likely will never be tagged again

  1. So if he gets 4 years 120 million he will still be under 35 yr old
    and have another chance to sign another large contract in 5 years.
    Unless he’s a bust, and well someone else will still pay him a lot.

  2. I hope he signs in Denver or NY. I don’t want him on my Vikes for 30 mil a year. He is good, but he is not 15 mil a year better than Keenum or a healthy Bradford. Both Bradford and Bridgewater with their injury concerns will sign for 10 mil a year or less as a starter. So if they think Bradford can stay healthy, and with his working with Flip in Philly, then sign him, have Sloter as the backup, and either sign another free agent QB or draft a prospect.

  3. Oh, good. Another reason why he isn’t worth the money he’s asking for. Cousins (or his agent, I guess) is a master at maximizing his earnings without having to actually earn them.

  4. Let’s say he signs a 3 year $84 million deal ($28/year = highest paid ever).

    Pay him $40 million in 2018, $24 million in 2019 and $20 million in 2020.

    2018 = $33 M roster bonus, $6 M signing bonus, $1 M base salary
    2019 = $4 M roster bonus, $20 M base salary
    2020 = $20 M base salary


    Cap numbers:
    2018 = $36 M
    2019 = $26 M
    2020 = $22 M

    Franchise Tag for 2021 = $31.7 M (44% increase).

    That’s a big enough number that Kirk should be happy since he’d have $130 M in career earnings by then but the $20 M in cash due for 2020 could be replaced with a new 3 year extension and another $75-100 M guaranteed.

    Win. Win.

  5. terripet says:
    March 7, 2018 at 9:43 am
    What has this guy done to make so much money 💰


    if u ask me i think he deserves it for beinf a smart business man. he played the franchise rule to his favor. maybe other players should stop crying about the tag and use it the same way he did. also, id say the redskins are to blame for being idiots.

  6. Only the REdskins and a few other badly run orgs would position this barracuda, who has a 4-19 record against teams with a winning record (huge red flag if ever there was one), to be paid this much for such a bad record. The statistics say this is a regular season QB!. They should have let him test the market in 2015-he never deserved the tag like an Aaron Rodgers or Tom Brady have, having already proven they can win a SB with some kind of team at least. The skins projected after the 2015 year (when he was paid only $660K) and he went 9-7 after a very very shaky start, that he would take them to the promised land. Well after two years of being paid top dollar, the team digressed and ended up a worse team by the third year with the record to prove it. They had to let some of his playmakers go hoping things would go better, Cousins never connected with the replacement WR’s. So much for all that hope and projection. At the end of the day-the skins lost. Cousins won-at least for the moment, and the next guiney pigs are lining up and licking their chops for some more of this. So funny. One thing I will go on record of saying. No team wants to parade a QB with Kirk Cousins tendencies out there against Bill Bellichick and Tom Brady! Cousins was 1-5 in his own division this year. And he was all time 1-6 against the Dallas Cowboys. It will not be pretty.

  7. The broncos are not any better than the redskins so why is a QB with a losing record the answer?

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