Washington wasn’t willing to commit to Kirk Cousins

AP

As he eased a hottakemobile through the ESPN car wash, former Washington cornerback DeAngelo Hall questioned whether quarterback Kirk Cousins was committed to the team. The question isn’t whether Cousins was committed to Washington, the question is whether Washington was committed to Cousins.

And the answer is that Washington wasn’t.

When Cousins emerged as the starter in 2015, that was the moment to pounce. With games remaining in the regular season (and, in turn, the lingering risk of serious injury), an offer in the range of $17 million per year on a four-year extension could have done the trick.

Instead, Washington waited, opting instead to make an offer after the season that wasn’t nearly good enough, given that the alternative was the franchise tag, at $19.95 million for one year, or the open market. Once tagged, the formula became simple — two years of the tag, fully guaranteed at signing, as the starting point. Washington didn’t want to do it.

Instead, Washington waited — paying Cousins $19.95 million and tagging him again, at $23.94 million. At that point, Cousins wanted the franchise tag for 2017 plus the transition tag for 2018, an increase of only 20 percent (not 44 percent if franchise tagged) over the $23.94 million. Again, Washington didn’t want to do it.

While Washington was willing to make a pair of one-year commitments to Cousins, the team never did enough to make the kind of long-term commitment that Cousins gladly would have embraced. Apart from not giving him a contract that communicated to anyone/everyone that Cousins is the team’s leader, Washington showed plenty of ambivalence and disrespect to Cousins, privately musing about swapping him out for the much cheaper Colt McCoy and publicly calling him “Kurt,” which team president Bruce Allen did when talking to reporters last year.

Indeed, Hall’s comments sound a lot like the whispers that emanated from the front office over the last two years, as Washington justifying dating Cousins but never marrying him. Not that the breakup has arrived, it’s no surprise that Washington will sell its version of the events via the media. Who better to do that than a former player who is trying to break in to the media?

31 responses to “Washington wasn’t willing to commit to Kirk Cousins

  1. Look, the Skins front office botched the whole contract thing from the get-go. There probably was a time that Cousins would have signed a LTD with the Skins early on.

    That said, at some point it became very clear that Cousins wanted out of D.C., to the point that he and his agent never counter-offered on any contract the Skins put out there, most likely because they feared the Skins would agree and he’d be stuck here.

    I like Cousins – he’s a decent QB. But he also wants to be the highest paid player in the league, and wants a shorter-term contract so he can do it again in 3 years. When he says he doesn’t care about the money, he’s being a little disingenuous.

  2. Everybody was saying how stupid it was to sign Kirk to those franchise tags for those 2 years…..Now they are saying they are stupid to let Kirk walk…If they would have franchised Kirk for that 34 Million then the same haters would have said,how stupid…..What do you want them to do man!!!!!!

  3. I know the Vikings aren’t interested in retaining Keenum, but this dismissive non-commital attitude sounds very similar to how he was treated during the regular season by the Vikings, and while he was tearing it up for them. The head coach never once declared him the starter. I thought that was odd.

  4. Not the worst plan for Washington to move on. Kirk is OK, but not the kind of passer that can get hot and carry a team for a weeks at a time. The team knows what it is with him, I don’t blame them for passing on the price tag and going with a stop gap while they find a guy that they like.

  5. dirtydrynn27 says:
    March 7, 2018 at 2:16 pm
    Everybody was saying how stupid it was to sign Kirk to those franchise tags for those 2 years…..Now they are saying they are stupid to let Kirk walk…If they would have franchised Kirk for that 34 Million then the same haters would have said,how stupid…..What do you want them to do man!!!!!!
    ———————————————————————————————

    read the article AGAIN!!!! Washington could of offered Kirk a 6 year 17M-20M avg before the first tag.

    Instead Washington drove up the yearly average by giving him the tag. Kirk was no longer going to accept anything less then what he could get by playing under the Tag.

  6. Not that anyone asked but I think Denver would do much better if they don’t go into deep debt to sign KC, and just draft one of the QB’s in the draft.
    They are all rated well above Cousins when he came out (fourth round btw).
    Let Rosen, Mayfield whoever, develope.
    That is my perspective.

  7. Kirk made it known from the start that he wanted top-QB money without proving himself as a top-QB. So, Washington kicked the contract can on him for a few years, but he didn’t perform in a way that would demand a huge contract.

    Now, Washington acquired a quality, classy QB for the next five years at a reasonable contract and Kirk gets to collect that big payday that he has been chasing. Seems like a win for both sides.

  8. Not committed? No sugar Sherlock! Once a team goes into the 2nd consecutive tag territory it all but confirms they’re moving on after that and just buying time – because they’re still paying a big annual raise 2 years running yet don’t want to give the guy a lucrative deal. If they had tagged a 3rd year or come to a late lucrative contract agreement just before it, they might as well have offered a top deal to start with! And so they don’t want to look foolish at having not done so.

    But they still look foolish for taking too long (2yrs to talk contracts) and all the uncertainty that entails for the team. And so, to ‘splain it away, they just blame the player not being committed. To which I say: then why keep paying him big money, and for 2 years! Answer = because they, not him, were the ones who were waiting for a better option to come along – they were the ones, not him, who weren’t committed.

  9. The Redskins must be terrible! Blew the cousins deal, passed on Brady, didn’t trade for Favre! The list goes on. I’m surprised that since Allen took over at GM, they’re the most stable they’ve been in decades. I mean…they’ve only won the division once in the last few years. Can’t believe that even though all the fans on websites know that Kirk is a hall of famer, the Redskins wouldn’t pay a guy who couldn’t get off the bench for 3 years until he learned Grudens system!

  10. It’s always easy to blame the Skins front office and then say that a player (who allegedly wants to get into broadcasting) is a shill for the team in saying that Cousins wasn’t committed. Whether you believe this or not, Kirk’s actions in how he went about the negotiations proved that he wasn’t committed. While it’s known and obvious that the Skins weren’t 100% committed to Kirk after 2015, they did commit to him after 2016. They didn’t draft a replacement QB in the early rounds in the 2016 or 2017 drafts so their actions kind of follow that they were looking at getting a deal done. You could say that Kirk might have been committed after 2015 but it was pretty obvious that he wanted out after 2016 when he didn’t even counter their offer.

  11. A further point, DeAngelo was in the locker room and I’m sure he was talking to the players on the team. The subject had to come up a couple of times over the past few seasons. To dismiss that as preposterous and that he was sent to convey a message from the team simply because it doesn’t jibe with your viewpoint is obtuse. It’s funny, how many Skins players have expressed remorse for Cousins now leaving via FA? Not one player. Odd? There was one player – Swearinger who was upset about the Smith acquisition and that was because they had to part ways with Fuller but so far, there hasn’t been a tear shed as of yet for Kirk. That says a lot.

  12. stellarperformance says:
    March 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I know the Vikings aren’t interested in retaining Keenum, but this dismissive non-commital attitude sounds very similar to how he was treated during the regular season by the Vikings, and while he was tearing it up for them. The head coach never once declared him the starter. I thought that was odd.
    ————-

    I can see why you found that odd of Zimmer to do. But most Vikings fans right now feel the same way even after the best season we’ve had in years and the players like him very much.

  13. Just an observation but the Thumbs Up and Down numbers seem to be a little out of whack with this topic. I have no problem with disagreement but there can’t be that many people on this site that have no idea what the facts actually are.

  14. If Bruce Allen held a press conference regarding DeAngelo Hall and repeatedly referred to him as “DeAndre” while throwing him under the bus, i doubt Hall would be feeling the love.

    Cousins went out and gave a depleted banged up team a chance to win every week, where were you at Hall? If he wasn’t here bashing an ex-teammate right now, i would have literally forgotten he was even still in the league.

    “Kurt” Cousins is a free agent now, and will be better off with a franchise that has a clue how to build and manage a team.

  15. “there can’t be that many people on this site that have no idea what the facts actually are”
    ____

    Well other than that joparks guy, it seems like most people have a pretty solid grasp of the facts on this one

  16. Wherever he goes, he better make sure the offensive line is talented. Blitz him up the middle and he will throw a pick 6.

    We will find out soon if he is a talented qb or Andy Dalton 2.0.

  17. joparks2012 says:
    March 7, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Just an observation but the Thumbs Up and Down numbers seem to be a little out of whack with this topic. I have no problem with disagreement but there can’t be that many people on this site that have no idea what the facts actually are.
    ———-
    I think they are legit. Which means Cousins better play lights out to justify it. On the other hand, if he goes to a team that has a bad o-line that will be justified as to why he isn’t living up to the money he’ll get. Just keeping it reall MN has a great defense and their best o-line in years, but keenum was very evasive inside and outside the pocket. That doesn’t mean Keenum is better though.

  18. mediasloppy says:
    March 7, 2018 at 4:32 pm
    stellarperformance says:
    March 7, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I know the Vikings aren’t interested in retaining Keenum, but this dismissive non-commital attitude sounds very similar to how he was treated during the regular season by the Vikings, and while he was tearing it up for them. The head coach never once declared him the starter. I thought that was odd.
    ————-

    I can see why you found that odd of Zimmer to do. But most Vikings fans right now feel the same way even after the best season we’ve had in years and the players like him very much

    //////////////////////

    Do not claim to speak for most Viking fans. The D bailed Keenum out multiple times during the season and without the miracle, we would have been one and done. Goodbye Keenum, thanks for the fun season but it’s time to roll the dice on Cousins and see exactly what kind of team we have.

  19. Look guys,it was messed up from the 1st tag. The team wanted to see more before locking him up and it backfired. 2 tags…we KNEW he was leaving the minute he signed the 2nd tag. Whoever you want to blame,thats fine but it takes 2 sides to negotiate. For whatever reason,it was obvious there would be none. So instead of going into free agency without a qb,we went out and picked 1. As a whole,the situation was messed up but if stability,or at least knowing who your guy is for 3 years,was the result then im ok with it…

    1st post,rant done

  20. I can see why you found that odd of Zimmer to do. But most Vikings fans right now feel the same way even after the best season we’ve had in years and the players like him very much

    //////////////////////

    Do not claim to speak for most Viking fans. The D bailed Keenum out multiple times during the season and without the miracle, we would have been one and done. Goodbye Keenum, thanks for the fun season but it’s time to roll the dice on Cousins and see exactly what kind of team we have.
    ——————-
    I can see where you’re coming from. I was referring that most Vikings fans agree with Zimmer.

  21. @joparks2012 It is easy to blame the front office! What have they done for the past 20 years. They have brought in Joe Gibbs, Mike Shanahan, Marty Schottenheimer Norv Turner, Steve Spurrier and can’t win. The players coaches have changed and they still can’t win.

  22. Facts are the Redskins turned 2 third round picks (fuller) into Alex smith. Turned a 5th round talent that was drafted in the 4th ( cousins) into a 3rd (compensatory), and saved a few million while getting the highest rated QB in the league. Sounds like a great job by the front office!

  23. The Vikings would have no problem paying Brees 91 mil for 3 years. Cousins may be wanting too much $. I’m sure Zim would prefer Bradford as starter & TB as backup but can you trust Sam’s knee? The Vikings might believe that he can stay healthy.

  24. why commit to a player who has accomplished nothing? Cousins could not ride the bench as a backup in the NFL of the 80’s or even the 90’s. What a joke of non competition at QB the NFL QB’s of today have come. Washington abused RG3 and he never recovered from his injury, so today RG3 is out of the league…but all we here is $30M per year for Cousins…what a joke

  25. Count me in the minority on this as a Viking fan, but I do NOT want them to sign Cousins over Keenum. Keenum had a better year this past season, and Cousins is too turnover prone to be considered a franchise QB. If the Vikings break the bank to sign Cousins and he under-performs, this mistake may end up costing either Spielman or Zimmer their jobs. Keenum posted the best year by a Viking QB since Favre’s 2009 season; the coaches and GM dismiss that at their own peril.

  26. I do not want to sign Cousins for what he wants. Zimmer has been quite clear he isn’t paying a QB $30 million and watch his defense suffer because he can’t resign players. As far as not naming Case a starter Stella, we have been over this. Zimmer didn’t play the local media game but they kept on asking each week until Zimmer said he didn’t name Elflein the starting center either but he is one.

  27. Mike you could not be further from the truth. Kirk did not want to play for the Redskins and I am not sure they could pay him enough to play here. Tell me about all the success over the past 20 YEARS! Face the cold hard facts that Danny and Allen have no clue what good football franchise is.

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