Multiple teams are set to take a run at quarterback Kirk Cousins if he becomes available as a trade chip or free agent this offseason, but Washington has other plans. The Redskins are aiming to lock up Cousins for the foreseeable future, team president Bruce Allen indicated Wednesday (via Mike Jones of the Washington Post).
“The goal is to get long-term,” said Allen, who added that Cousins “knows our intent.”
The Redskins haven’t begun negotiations with Cousins, but they’ll get underway “shortly,” per Allen. Having posted back-to-back terrific seasons, including a 4,917-yard, 25-touchdown, 12-interception showing in 2016, Cousins is unsurprisingly looking to become one of the NFL’s highest-paid signal-callers on a long-term pact.
Cousins played this season under the $19.95MM franchise tag, and the Redskins could again tag the 28-year-old by March 1 if they’re unable to work out a deal. However, Cousins’ salary would increase to a guaranteed $23.94MM if he were to play under the tag next season, and it would rise to a sky-high $34.45MM in 2018 in the same scenario. It’s unlikely Washington would tag Cousins at that number, according to John Keim of ESPN.com, meaning he could only have one more year left in D.C. The Redskins seem to have more incentive to reach a multiyear deal than Cousins, who’s in the catbird seat and may have more leverage than any other player in the league.
Cousins stated Thursday that “it’d be great” to stay a Redskin, though he cautioned that it would have to be “under the right set of circumstances” (Twitter link via Master Tesfatsion of the Post). Previously, Cousins said Wednesday that while he’d “love to build something in Washington, we’ll see if the decision-makers let that happen” (per Dave Richard of CBSSports.com).
Between Allen’s words and head coach Jay Gruden‘s confidence that Cousins will continue in Washington, the club’s decision-makers are publicly making it clear that they want the five-year veteran in the fold for the long haul. Of course, that doesn’t mean private negotiations will go to either side’s liking.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.