Redskins bigwigs are at loggerheads over franchise-tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins‘ long-term value, which isn’t anything new. Entering the 2015 season, Cousins’ first as a starter, now-former Washington general manager Scot McCloughan wanted to sign the then-unproven passer to a contract extension worth around $12MM per year. However, the GM’s bosses in the front office declined, reports Jason Cole of Bleacher Report. Then, after Cousins broke out that season, the signal-caller’s price rose to $20MM per annum – a figure with which McCloughan was “uncomfortable” (Twitter links).
Plenty more on Cousins as the Monday deadline for the Redskins to ink him to a multiyear deal approaches:
- The Associated Press profiles Redskins senior vice president of football operations/general counsel Eric Schaffer, a key figure in their contract talks with Cousins. A former assistant of famed agent Tom Condon, Schaffer has worked his way up the Washington pecking order since his hiring 15 years ago and has earned the trust of those above him in the team’s front office. That includes senior vice president of player personnel Doug Williams, who told the AP: “Nobody takes notes like Eric Schaffer. I bet he can tell you the first word I said four years ago. That’s who Eric Schaffer is. That’s how important he is.” Schaffer has also gained the respect of Cousins, who noted: “This isn’t his first rodeo. I have a lot of faith in him not only in handling my situation, but when my situation is handled, handling everybody else’s. I have faith in that. But make no mistake: There are titles ahead of him.” Those “titles” belong to owner Dan Snyder, president Bruce Allen and Williams, all of whom are above Schaffer in the team’s hierarchy.
- Placing the franchise tag on Cousins again for a third straight year in 2018 would cost the Redskins over $34MM, making it an unlikely option. At around $28MM, the transition tag seems like a more realistic path, and JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic observes that the Redskins would have more than enough room to fit that under their cap (though rollover amounts could pose a problem). Of course, making Cousins a transition player wouldn’t entitle the team to any compensation if he were to sign elsewhere. The Redskins would have the right to match a Cousins offer from another club, though.
- The 49ers’ future under center could hinge on whether the Redskins are able to lock up Cousins, opines Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. The Niners entered the current offseason lacking under center, yet they just made modest free agent acquisitions (Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley) and only used a third-rounder on the position in the draft, taking C.J. Beathard. Without an obvious long-term answer at QB, the 49ers figure to chase Cousins in 2018 if he hits free agency, especially considering they have a Cousins fan in head coach/ex-Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan and will possess a boatload of cap space next winter.