Kirk Cousins‘ second franchise tag impasse is dominating the NFC East headlines this July as well. The Redskins quarterback’s decision to sign his franchise tenders early and a willingness to accept this year-to-year setup has benefited him financially, Bucky Brooks of NFL.com writes. Noting Washington brass was right to question his legitimacy after the 2015 season — one that saw him finish strong after compiling a middling resume to that point — Brooks also points out how well this has worked out for Cousins. He received nearly $20MM last season, despite former GM Scot McCloughan reportedly being leery of that annual price, and now has a guaranteed $23.94MM salary. That said, one NFC scouting director understands the Redskins’ hesitance.
“He is what he is,” an NFC pro scouting director said, via Brooks. “He is a solid starter capable of winning games when surrounded by supreme talent in that system, but I don’t think he is a difference-maker. … I would have a tough time paying $25 million for a guy that I don’t believe can carry us to the Super Bowl.”
Cousins, though, enters his age-29 season in position to complete a two-year, $44MM deal of sorts. And by Year 3 of this post-rookie-contract arrangement, Cousins could be in position to total $72MM or $78MM — on a transition or third franchise tag. Hitting the open market would obviously be a lucrative proposition as well, given the supply-and-demand crisis at this position.
Here’s the latest out of the NFC East.
- The Eagles discussed the prospect of moving second-year cornerback Jalen Mills to safety, Geoff Mosher of FanRag Sports reports. Mills stayed at corner during offseason workouts, playing in the slot in nickel sets. The former LSU talent played both corner and safety in Baton Rouge, La. But Mosher adds the team appears to view its outside corner tandem of the future as Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones. Given those two are each rookies, with Jones potentially out for the season, it might be a bit early for those plans. But said blueprint would help explain Mills being stationed in the slot and discussed for a possible safety transition.
- One ESPN NFL insider tabbed Dak Prescott as being in position to become the league’s best quarterback in five years, with Mike Sando (via the Dallas Morning News) projecting the offensive rookie of the year to ascend to that perch. ESPN’s Dan Graziano placed the Cowboys in the position to have the most success over the next five years, citing Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott and an offensive line that’s been the best in the game over the past few seasons.
- Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie viewing Carson Wentz as a special talent raises the stakes for Doug Pederson, Tim McManus of ESPN.com notes in a summary explaining why the Philadelphia HC is his pick for NFC East presence on the hottest seat. Pederson being merely a second-year coach would seemingly point him toward a third season at least, but McManus writes another 7-9 season won’t be acceptable for an owner antsy to see his franchise back in the playoff discussion. With Wentz in his second season and Alshon Jeffery being added to the mix, the Eagles offense looks to be in better position to help the team challenge for a playoff perch.