LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – Last season, Kirk Cousins engineered four game-winning drives in the fourth quarter. However, in July 2017 – there will be no late-game heroics.
According to reports from ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Cousins will not ink a long-term deal with the Redskins before Monday’s 4pm deadline to sign players who have been franchise tagged to a long-term contract.
This means Cousins will earn $23.9 million in 2017 as he plays the season on a year contract under the franchise tag – becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to play two straight seasons under the franchise tag. Washington cannot negotiate with its franchise QB until after the season.
In doing so, Schefter reports Cousins will have “more leverage than any player has had in any recent year.” He also cites sources claiming Cousins would be open to signing a long-term deal with the ‘Skins after 2017.
Last month, newly-promoted Washington Senior VP of Player Personnel Doug Williams said the franchise wants Cousins to sign a long-term deal “in the worst way”.
Signing Cousins to a long-term deal after the 2017 season is not the only way for the Redskins to keep their record-setting quarterback for 2018 and beyond. Washington could either use the franchise tag on Cousins for a third straight year, which would pay Cousins more than $34 million in a one year salary, or designate Captain Kirk as a transition player.
If the Redskins use the transition tag on Cousins, the QB would be able to negotiate with other teams – however Washington would be able to exercise its right of first refusal and match any offer Kirk receives from another franchise.
In 2016, Cousins finished with single-season team records in attempts, completions and passing yards and matched his team record for 300-yard passing games (seven).
For his career, Cousins has appeared in 46 regular season games with 41 starts, completing 1,025-of-1,556 pass attempts for 12,113 yards with 72 touchdowns and 42 interceptions – all with the Redskins.