Reports: Contract talks between Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins improving
After spending a great portion of the last two seasons at a stalemate in contract negotiations, it appears that the Washington Redskins and Kirk Cousins are finally making some progress.
For once, news about the Kirk Cousins contract has come out that does not seem too bleak. With the extension deadline for franchise tag players just over a month away, July 15, it seemed like the Washington Redskins and Cousins were going to be unable to agree on a deal. However, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, they may be making more positive progress in negotiations. Schefter spoke of the talks in a recent article.
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"At last month’s owners meetings in Chicago, Redskins president Bruce Allen and Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, had their first face-to-face meeting in the two years since Washington first used the franchise tag on the starting quarterback, sources said. It was the first of two face-to-face meetings between the two sides, as they continue to negotiate a long-term deal.Now there is a belief that even if a deal doesn’t get completed before the NFL deadline for franchise players next month — and it still will be challenging, even with the thawing between the two sides — that one could be struck after next season, keeping Cousins in Washington long term.“There’s no doubt it’s been more positive lately,” said one source familiar with the talks who requested anonymity. “Everything has been much more positive in the past several months.”"
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This is absolutely huge for the Redskins organization. Though they have been reluctant to commit to Cousins long term over the past couple of offseasons, it appears that they may be recognizing Cousins’ value to the team.
Whether or not one believes that Cousins is a franchise quarterback, there is no doubt that he is at least a top 15 NFL quarterback who has the potential to be a top 10 guy. The fact of the matter is that the Redskins are unlikely to find a better player than him easily. Even though the 2018 NFL Draft is supposedly full of star power at quarterback, it would be a huge risk for the Redskins to part with Cousins and take a chance on a rookie.
Furthermore, buying goodwill with Cousins now could open a door in which he would take a slight discount to remain with Washington. Right now, Cousins has all the leverage. That will continue because the Redskins would be hard pressed to slap him with a franchise tag a third time and cough up $30 million for his services. Because of this, Cousins seems like he will have a chance to land a deal worth $24-$25 million per season.
However, it would make sense for Cousins to take a $22 million deal over five years, mirroring the Aaron Rodgers contract. The reasoning is simple. Huge investments in quarterbacks have caused some NFL teams to struggle to fill out their roster with quality players in recent years.
Look at the Baltimore Ravens after the Joe Flacco deal. They have been unable to improve the wide receiver position due to lack of funds. They have opted to sign aging veterans best served as No. 2 options, and that has impacted Flacco’s abilities. Andrew Luck‘s deal would also qualify. Luck eats up so much cap space that the Colts have been unable to address some of their defensive weaknesses, and they have also been unable to properly protect Luck. Granted, one could argue that these two teams have more of an evaluation problem at the positions, but part of it is lacking the money to sign other major free agents.
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Regardless of the terms of a potential Cousins deal, this is, without a doubt, great news for the Redskins. It had seemed like Cousins was ready to move on from the team after the second franchise tag. Now that his worth has been communicated and his leverage recognized, perhaps a deal will be done prior to the 2018 offseason.