Time is money, and the Redskins have officially wasted it all. Another deadline has come and gone for Washington to get a LTD done with quarterback Kirk Cousins and as we all expected, no deal has been reached.
Kirk Cousins will be the first quarterback to play on a franchise tag two straight seasons and all indications point to a third tag or the departure of the franchise record holding passer in 2018. Cousins is due a fully guaranteed salary of about $24 million for the 2017 season and has lined himself up with all the leverage he needs to break the bank next year. Team president Bruce Allen insists that getting Cousins to remain a Redskin for the long haul is the goal of the team, so the one question that remains is, why hasn’t a deal been done?
By Total QBR, Kirk Cousins is the 3rd-best QB in the NFL over the last 2 seasons behind only Tom Brady and Matt Ryan. pic.twitter.com/BGFcB3DndC
— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) July 17, 2017
It’s no secret that Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder have never been the biggest fan of Kirk, mainly because he is a glaring realization that the golden boy Robert Griffin III didn’t pan out to be the superstar we had all at one point hoped he would. Nevertheless, Washington was lucky enough to land a solid starting QB in the same draft and have neglected to take care of, nay, even respect the man who has done nothing but work to better himself since being drafted to essentially, be a career backup.
Since taking over as a full-time starter Cousins has led Washington to a 17-15-1 record, nothing that would blow you away until you look at the revolving door of starting quarterback dreck that has plagued the Redskins for over 20 seasons.
— Nathan Britton (@NathanBritton_) July 18, 2017
Cousins has posted franchise record breaking numbers each of his past two seasons and there are reasons to believe this trend will continue in 2017. Cousins set the team single-season passing yardage number at 4,917 in 2016, surpassing his own record of 4,166 set in 2015, while leading the team to its first back-to-back winning seasons since 91-92. Functional organizations would have seen this happen and locked the player of interest up, not the Redskins.
Recent reports have come out that now former GM Scot McCloughan wanted to give Cousins an extension before even being named the starter in 2015, the team obviously refused and allowed Cousins to play on the final year of his deal where he posted career numbers and led the team to a division title and a playoff appearance. After that season, the Redskins made the move to tag the QB at just over 19 million, turning down the three year, $19 million per year extension the Cousins’ camp offered the team; they weren’t yet sold and didn’t think he’d do it again, wrong.
Offers made to the Cousins’ camp never came close to his $19 million tag and failed to even reach Osweiler money, $16 million per. Cousins came out and stomped his previous numbers and led the team to a week 17 win-and-you’re in game for second straight year. The offseason came and no talks of a deal were reported and many knew a second franchise tag was coming. Once the date came the Redskins tagged Kirk again and were adamant the July 17th deadline would bring about a deal, wrong again.
Not only did a deal fail to materialize, but the Redskins lowballed the QB again offering a deal that would have given Cousins the most guaranteed money given to a QB at $53 million, which he already gets $24 million of this year from franchise tag and leaves a guaranteed number of $29 million next year that he will get on a transition tag from Washington, or more should he be allowed to hit the open market.
Bruce Allen says WAS offered Kirk Cousins $53M gtd. Barely above bare minimum:
2017 salary: $23.9M
2018 trans. tag: $28.7M
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) July 17, 2017
The Redskins framed Scot McCloughan as an alcoholic. Now they're framing Kirk Cousins as greedy. No wonder Kirk won't sign long-term.
— Michael Jenkins (@JenksCSN) July 17, 2017
Allen leaked the number that Cousins had turned down after the deadline had passed and no deal had been reached, the smear campaign is on. Over the course of the deal Cousins would’ve been paid an average annual value less than the $24 million he stands to make on the tag this year and only two of the five years offered were guaranteed, the money he will make on tags over next two seasons, via NFL trade rumors. While Allen hopes to win the court of public appeal by having Kirk look greedy, the numbers don’t lie, and the numbers say that the Redskins state they want Kirk for the long-term, but fail to do what is needed to have him stay put long-term. Cousins will play 2017 under the franchise tag and has said that he is open to negotiating a LTD with the club after the season, but only time will tell if this marriage is heading for a messy divorce.