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The Kirk Cousins and Washington Redskins Saga

Where the Washington Redskins and Kirk Cousins currently stand

As we come rolling into training camp and the franchise tag extension has gone and passed, Kirk Cousins, for the 2nd consecutive season, will play under a 1-year $23.9 Million franchise tag with no clear future beyond the 2017 season. Cousins is coming off the best statistical season of his career, throwing for 4,917 yards breaking his own Redskins record for a single season. He also threw for two TDs and completed 67% of passes, and as a result, Cousins made his first Pro Bowl.

However, the Redskins finished with an 8-7-1 record and failed to reach the playoffs after Cousins led the team to the division title and eventually a first round exit at home to the Packers. Cousins is coming into his 6th year with the Redskins, his 3rd as the starter, but his future his blurred beyond this year. He is the first quarterback to play under the franchise tag in two consecutive seasons, and it is very unlikely the Skins would offer him the tag again next year, as the price is expected to jump up near $28 million for the position. But according to reports, the Skins and Cousins are not exactly close to a deal, and it is unsure if Cousins would like to stay beyond the 2017 season. So what’s the issue?

Why hasn’t Cousins signed with the Skins?

For Cousins, this is all very simple. He thinks he should be paid handsomely and be paid for his performance over the past two seasons and unfortunately for the Skins, the quarterback market around the league agrees with him. If you look at his numbers and performance compared to other recent QB contracts, Kirk has been up to par. The most recent quarterback to sign an extension was Derek Carr who signed a 5-year $125 million dollar contract with $40 million guaranteed.

He knows if were to hit the open market teams would start having a bidding war and will get every bit of the money he has valued himself at. But perhaps, could Cousins want more than just the money he believes he deserves? Cousins said when asked what he wants and that’s ” to be wanted”. Kirk just wants some commitment. The biggest disagreement for the Skins and Cousins has been the total amount of guaranteed money. They have offered him about $54 million of guaranteed money (most all time for a QB), which would mean this year’s franchise tag and the next two seasons guaranteed. Cousins and his team have reportedly asked for closer to $90 million in guaranteed money. Cousins wants security, no drama and most importantly to feel like he’s wanted and trusted by his team the next five years or so. He wants to know that he’s the guy and there is no one no else looking over his shoulder.

Cousins has never had stability or any reassurance in Washinton. He was drafted into the RG3 circus and had to back him up for the first half of his career. He’s finally named the starter, but half the locker room, half the fans and half of the media is criticizing and calling for RG3 after every bad pass. He overcame that adversity in year one and led the Redskins to a division title. Cousins contract was up, and instead of just giving Cousins the contract he asked for, the Redskins tried to underpay him, but Cousins banked on himself, and his play and he put up career numbers and skyrocket.

Let’s sit back and watch the 2017 season and how it plays out. One thing is for sure, it looks like Cousin’s time in DC is coming to a close.

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