Cousins cites time, not money as reason long-term deal didn’t get done

Quarterback Kirk Cousins looks to pass.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON - Kirk Cousins says he's neither bothered nor offended by the way things played out at the deadline to do a long-term deal.

In his first public comments since Monday's 4pm deadline to sign a long-term contract, Cousins told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on 106.7 The Fan he thought the team's offer was respectable. “I think it was a fair offer," Cousins said. "I respect and appreciate [team president] Bruce’s [Allen] approach. He communicated with me that they were going to need to let the story be known as to where they were coming from and I said I totally understand that."

Shortly after the deadline passed without a new deal, team president Bruce Allen, in a bizarre PR move, chose to divulge details of the team's failed negotiations with its record-setting quarterback.

"Our goal was to sign Kirk to a long-term contract with the final objective of having him finish his career with the Redskins," Allen said in a statement addressing contract negotiations. "On May 2nd, right after the draft, we made Kirk an offer that included the highest fully guaranteed amount upon signing for a quarterback in NFL history ($53 million) and guaranteed a total of $72 million for injury," Allen added. "The deal would have made him at least the second highest-paid player by average per year in NFL history."

Cousins says he was made aware Allen would be divulging details, in an attempt to appeal to fans. “That’s why I say, when the communication was positive and we’re all on the same page, that whatever you want to call it — release, or that statement — was no surprise to me," Cousins said in his exclusive radio interview. "I knew that something like that was going to be coming out and I understand where he’s coming from. It doesn’t offend me, it doesn’t bother me. I can see myself in his shoes wanting to get the message out. Totally understand that it doesn’t rub me the wrong way at all.”

When pressed on his desire to remain a Redskin in 2018 and beyond (he's under contract for 2017), Cousins said, “It has always been my first choice to be with the Redskins. When you look around the league and you see great quarterbacks, they nearly all played for only one team, and the ones that haven’t, it really wasn’t their choice. It was usually the situation dictated that they had to move on, but that wasn’t their preference.”

Early on in his interview, when asked why a deal didn't get done, Cousins cited several reasons - the most significant of which was time. “We felt like I need a little more time,” Cousins explained. “I felt like I want to allow the next six months to give me more information about our organization so that I can make a more informed decision. There have been a lot of changes in our organization since the end of last season, so I want to allow time to help make this decision. I believe wisdom is never impatient, and so I think it’s smart to slow the process down, and to be patient and to allow things to play themselves out, to gather more information."

Washington is the only team for which Cousins has ever played. In five seasons, he's 19-21-1 as a starter for the burgundy and gold. Kirk will be paid $23.9 million in 2017 as he plays on a one-year contract under the franchise tag.