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Need to Know: Cousins-Redskins deal becomes more of a long shot by the hour

Jul 15, 2016, 6:10 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 15, 13 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 187 days ago. It will be 59 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 27; Final roster cut 50; Cowboys @ Redskins 66

Deal with Cousins looks more unlikely with each 

—The odds that the Redskins and Kirk Cousins getting a long-term contract done have been long for a while now. Today, on the morning of the deadline to get a deal done, those slim chances are rapidly turning to none. Although things can happen at the last minute, as I noted yesterday we probably would have started to hear some rumblings from the two sides by now and it seems like we’re headed into just another Friday at Redskins Park.

—Some are wringing their hands over the prospect of Cousins going into 2016 on the tag. For one thing, they are afraid that it will become a “distraction”. Ever since I’ve heard talk of this I’m trying to figure out how a quarterback being on a one-year contract or, essentially being on the last year of his contract is a major distraction. Sure, he’ll get asked about it in the initial press conference in Richmond and may be from time to time. But once the season starts it becomes about the next opponent is and who’s injured and how many games they are into or out of a playoff spot. Remember the huge RG3 distraction that consumed last year? Yeah, me neither.

—There also is some concern, expressed in an article by colleague JP Finlay, that going into 2017 with Cousins unsigned could take away the franchise tag as a tool that could help in the retention of Junior Galette if he has a big 2016 season. You can only use it on one player a year and if they have to tag Cousins again they wouldn’t be able to tag Galette. That may be an issue but I don’t think that it is worth making what you believe to be a bad deal with your quarterback to prevent. If they want to sign both Galette and Cousins next year they can sign one before free agency starts and tag the other. Or sign both and not use the tag. In any case, it’s a bridge they can cross in 2017.

—Although I believe that it would be better for them to get a deal done this year, it’s hard for me to be too rough on the organization for being cautious. This is the same bunch that everyone has been highly critical of for impulsive spending. Maybe this strikes some as being an odd time to suddenly reign in the fiscal madness but you have to start somewhere. If they start by needing to see another season of Cousins as the man behind center I can live with that.

—So let’s say they could sign Cousins for $21 million per year this year and if he plays well it will cost them $25 million per season next year. I’m not going to pretend that $4 million a year isn’t a lot of money. But it’s just 2.4 percent of the 2017 projected cap of $166 million. Sure it could make a difference but I think that is an amount that the collective IQs of Eric Schaffer and Scot McCloughan can maneuver around. No deal does not mean imminent salary cap hell.

—Finally, I’m not completely ruling out a deal happening here. I’d say the chances have shrunk to around one percent but, yes, I’m saying there’s a chance (and, no, I’m not going to link to the Dumb and Dumber scene).

Tandler on Twitter

I did some Q&A on Twitter last night; here is one exchange.

In case you missed it 

  1. redskins12thman - Jul 15, 2016 at 6:25 AM

    A Cousins’ contract is not an impulsive spend; it’s investing in someone who is already part of the team, and who has shown tremendous progress, at a position where there are fewer qualified applicants than there are starting positions available in the league.

    If the Redskins don’t sign Cousins to a long-term deal today, they will do so in early 2017 so that the franchise tag could be used on another player if necessary. The team will be prepared to cross that bridge at that point in time.

    If a deal does not get done today, when do you think we will learn what the negotiating positions were of both parties?

  2. garg8050 - Jul 15, 2016 at 6:26 AM

    From the sounds of it, there hasn’t been any meaningful dialogue between the two sides in quite a while. Seems to be one of the rare times both sides are comfortable playing on the tag and seeing what happens. I still think both sides are taking an unnecessary risk here, but I also understand why each side is doing what they’re doing…gonna be interesting to watch it all play out. I just hope this isn’t an indication of McCloughan losing some sort of power struggle within the organization. That would be a very bad sign.

    • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 15, 2016 at 7:19 PM

      I think I saw the power struggle theory elsewhere too but I would lean towards “not” since Dan would’ve signed him on his small sample size and overpaid. The reluctance is Scot not wanting to cut a check before knowing if he’s a 25 INT a year guy or 12 INT.

  3. redskins12thman - Jul 15, 2016 at 6:50 AM

    Don’t forget countdown to training camp: 13 days!

    • redskins12thman - Jul 15, 2016 at 6:54 AM

      Sorry hit send accidentally. Do the players start full-contact drills and intra-team scrimmages right away or do they ease into it since they have been away for six weeks?

      • celticsforever - Jul 15, 2016 at 8:22 AM

        Between the union and the leagues idiotic rules regarding contact, the players spend the first week of training camp painting in watercolour how they will tackle, block, pass and catch. In week two they perform a slow non-contact re-enactment of a running play. Come week 3 when “contact” begins, 14 guys blow out their knees. Welcome to your 2016 new-age NFL.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 12:23 PM

          It was a funny thought though

      • Rich Tandler - Jul 15, 2016 at 11:37 AM

        They do not ease in. With just one padded practice per day they will go full from Day 1.

  4. sidepull - Jul 15, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    I think hes not signing. If he continues to progress they will get a deal done before they would tag him again. Really, as soon as he got tagged and no deal was reached, you kinda knew it was going to turn out like this. I dunno maybe they get a last minute deal in place but it sure doesn’t sound very promising from what the media speculates. And the report by Shefty, lets hope he is wrong. No one but the people in the room know for sure whats going on behind the scene. It has been nice to not hear leaks since Shanny left. Was it coincidence?

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 1:28 PM

      There could be some kind of Demarius Thomas last min deal. But I think even that deal was hammered out by this time last year. So yeah, it’s not looking good for the deal. I’m at peace with it. I wish they would have gotten it done but oh well.

      Let’s hope playing on the tag motivates Cousins, he plays great, and we sign him the second we’re allowed to next year. Cousins could end up being the highest paid player in the league by this time next year. Which I’m fine with if he plays even relatively close to his last 11 games of the 2015 season.

  5. mattphillipsdc - Jul 15, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    I have to disagree with you on this one. Last year was much different in regards to RGIII, he had to be a good teammate and create no distractions to get a second chance. Kirk and the Redskins will be asked after every game how it this lack of confidence from the Redskins to give a long term deal effects his play. Reporters won’t be able not to ask the question and it’s only human nature for Kirk not to question the Redskins lack of confidence. If I’m Kirk and I have a good year (which is more likely then not) I will make the Redskins make me the highest paid player in the NFL with the most guarantee money. Having said that I still believe a deal will get done.

    • wvredskins - Jul 15, 2016 at 9:13 AM

      I totally agree with you. The Redskins not willing to up the price shows one thing, They (Allen/Danny boy IMO) are not 100% sold on Cousins. And what did Cousins say after the Green Bay loss? “I just want to be where I am wanted.” I just hope and prey that Cousins tears it up this year, not only because I am a die hard Redskins fan, but also because I would love to see him get what he deserves. And hopefully when this season comes and go’s, those who were not 100% sold on him say “Damn we should have signed him last year, when we had the chance to get him cheaper!” HTTR

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 15, 2016 at 11:36 AM

      If you want to think it will shake out that way, fine. I’m with the guys who would ask those questions every day and it will not be a continuing topic.

    • Youngster Jedi - Jul 15, 2016 at 6:13 PM

      No way they give him that kind of money even if he duplicates last season. He would have to make the probowl and have a top 3 offense to be considered. I like his game but not that much when I have DJack and Jordan Reed on offense. I would offer 17mil a year for 4 years with 35mil guaranteed but anything more you are over paying for the sake of fans.

  6. Eli - Jul 15, 2016 at 9:02 AM

    McCloughan, Schaffer and Allen have approximately 75 years of combined experience dealing with player acquisitions, player retention and player contracts. And the reputation they have, in at least two cases, is stellar. And although Allen’s reputation may be a notch below the other two, he did win an NFL executive of the year award. Moreover, Allen’s 2013 post-Shanahan and pre-McCloughan draft without a first round pick looks outstanding. And it’s really hard to identify too many bad contracts negotiated by Allen during his time with the Redskins. Lastly, there aren’t too many people today criticizing the current head coach Allen hired.

    Conversely, radio boy Chris Russell has never been a professional scout, drafted a single player, negotiated a player contract or managed an actual football team and cap. Although his admiration for and love of Haz endures the test of time.

    • Eli - Jul 15, 2016 at 9:05 AM

      Correction: 2014 draft.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 1:14 PM

      I can appreciate your respect for McCloughan and Schaffer. It’s also reasonable to trust actual front office executives over analysts. But you lost me with the Allen stuff.

      How does the 2014 draft look outstanding? So far there’s a grand total of 2 starters from that draft. Trent Murphy is not a terrible player but he was over drafted. Spencer Long was also over drafted. Breeland was a great pick but sometimes dumb luck strikes. Just about everyone else from that draft are gone or haven’t really contributed.

      Just go back over the player selections and see who we could have drafted. Not necessarily on what we know now, but based off what kind of prospects they were. I’m not saying it was a terrible draft, but I wouldn’t call it outstanding. This franchise would be locked in mediocrity if we drafted like that every year. 2013 was a terrible draft though.

      The best thing Allen ever did for this franchise was finally realize he’s not a personnel guy. Maybe he’s brilliant with the cap and team president duties. But he’s not a good roster builder. He recognized that (even after his 2014 draft) and talked Snyder into hiring McCloughan. That’s where I’ll praise Allen.

      Side note: someone around here once said Allen hired consultants for the 2014 draft. They specifically said McCloughan helped him. They were essentially saying 2014 was a McCloughan draft. Which sounded suspect. But I’ve never been able to confirm, one way or the other, if there’s any validity to that. Does anyone know for sure?

    • smotion55 - Jul 15, 2016 at 2:24 PM

      What part of drafting RG3 does Allen take blame for and paying off Fat Boy’s contract and getting slaped with 36 million penalty from the league. How many years does that count for 3 maybe 4. Get Real about Allen.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 3:40 PM

        I didn’t even think about the salary cap penalties. That’s such an underrated reason for why this team has been so bad the past couple years. People just don’t often talk about it for whatever reason. Most of us probably wouldn’t bash the RG3 trade if he was the QB they thought. But that cap penalty would hurt no matter what.

  7. colorofmyskinz - Jul 15, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    If the Redskins hold the line it will backfire. Cousins WILL light it up this year. His targets increased huge. They will try to tag him next year and that is when the wheels will fall off the bus. My guess if they try a second tag, Coudins will not be so nice, and will not sign the tender and take it to market. Skins are playing with fire. And my guess is that ther can only be one reason Gruden can’t get his guy signed today – SNYDER! Yep Snyder screws everything up and he is still dragging his heals over the QB situation. HE is the reason they extended RGIII and the reason he became untradable. HE is the reason we went from Gruden saying QB compitition after 2014 season and then it changed to him the starter. And then Gruden pulling the plug last minute and benching RGIII. Gruden would have benched him much sooner had Snyder not imposed his will. And it is Snyder again the one not willing to lock Cousins up this year. We have a devil at the top of the org that imposes his will at non-opportune times. There is a history of this over the last 15 years that is deep. If there is no contract I put it square on SNYDEE!

    • colorofmyskinz - Jul 15, 2016 at 9:43 AM

      Only Snyder would be dumb enough to be OK with being the FIRST team to ever play a QB on the Tag.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 12:25 PM

        Didn’t Drew Brees play on the tag?

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 15, 2016 at 8:44 PM

          I don’t believe he did. Threatened to sit out the year and got traded. I could be wrong but I remember seeing somewhere no QB has ever PLAYED on the tag.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 16, 2016 at 2:03 AM

          He played on the tag in 2005. Which, thankfully, is all over every news article related to Cousins today. Because it’s really hard to remember. Especially since he went through all that other tag drama in 2012. Which is a good thing to re-lookup if you want to know why I don’t think it’s a good strategy to tag players you want to keep around.

          Look at Brees, Von Miller, and even Jimmy Grahm. Players hate the tag. Von Miller’s recent quotes are proof of that. I guarantee it will be a big sticking point in the next CBA. Our differences in opinion about wether a deal should have gotten done are one thing. You, and a whole bunch of other people, have legitimate concerns. But I can’t imagine Cousins being happy if we try to tag him again. I hope everyone (including the front office) will realize another tag won’t be so amiable for Cousins. I believe it’s either a big deal next year or we’re back to the QB lottery. It’s only been 20 years since our last real franchise QB. I’m sure we’ll find a guy in no time if the Cousins situation implodes.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 18, 2016 at 3:17 PM

          All of those players are proven veterans. Not guys that have only one full season of up and down then consistent play preceded by a handful of up and down starts.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 19, 2016 at 3:36 AM

          Yes I agree. But that has nothing to do with the point. The point was that players hate the tag. They see it as a way for the team to screw them out of the contract (and long term security) they deserve.

          Look, business isn’t actually a science. But human behavior, psychology, and economics are. I’m not splitting the atom when I say happy/satisfied employees are proven to work better. Or that employees perform better when they feel their employer has confidence in them. Or that disgruntled employees aren’t as productive. And that employees who feel they’re being undervalued are more likely to become disgruntled. You can say “Oh he’s getting $20 mil” all you want. But it would only be perfectly normal for Kirk to have a point in the season where he takes a big sack, is slow to get up, and thinks “forget these guys. I’m playing my ass off and sacrificing my body for them without guaranteed paycheck after next year.” Right, wrong, irrational, rational: that’s how humans think. Cousins’ pay is more normal in that career field. They’re not jaded by all the 0s. These guys know what their value is and they want to get it. Just like anybody else.

          It’s important to me that Cousins (and all or most of our players) feel good about their work situation because I believe that leads to better play on Sunday. That’s why not jerking him around mattered to me. It’s obviously not as high on your list of priorities. And that’s OK. There’s a chance we both get exactly what we want. We just have to wait and see what happens

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 19, 2016 at 3:33 PM

          If Kirk played better in the beginning of the year I doubt we’re having this conversation. How many possessions did we get in that GB game to get back in the game? There are some questions marks and I’m fine with them asking him to do it again. I don’t fall in love on the first date. Or the second. We need to go through some stuff and see what you’re made of before I really can see myself committing. Now no one is saying break up with Kirk, let him try his luck on the FA market. And Kirk is on record himself saying that HE DIDN’T EARN A DEAL he’s going to go out there and prove it, he’s confident in his play and if he doesn’t play well he doesn’t deserve a contract. So you’re projecting your own softassilk feelings, Kirk knows it’s a business. Kirk played OK when you averag out the first half second half of the season plus the playoff game. Now you may be ultra sensitive but Kirk is getting 20 a year and still can get a long term deal that could double his guarantees, he’s not disgruntled, you are. This situation has unprecedented circumstances if I was Scot I wouldn’t throw a big money deal at an unknown either. Put him in place to thrive and see what he does, if he earns it he gets it, if he’s up and down see what Colt can do or draft another QB.

    • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 9:57 AM

      I don’t necessarily disagree with you but this is the thing, if Cousins performs well — which we both think he will — Snyder will get the blame for not signing; conversely, if Cousins performs terribly, McCloughan will get the praise for not signing him to a long-term contract.

      • colorofmyskinz - Jul 15, 2016 at 10:31 AM

        That is precisely the repercussions for making 15 years of poor decisions. Hard to untag yourself as NOT the person that screwed it up after 15 documented years of screwing it up.

        ONLY Snyder could be so dumb to think he is smarter than all other GMs in the NFL, to become the FIRST and ONLY team to play a QB on a franchise tag. Only Snyder. And I wonder why would 31 other teams never do this??? Why are we different???

        Only one person can think they can outsmart all other GMs by doing something so different and atypical… SNYDER.

        Ok, so you franchise a QB and basically claim they are the most important player on the team, and then don’t sign them long term. Real smart for the QB position. It will backfire for so many reasons that are so obvious. SNYDER.

        • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 10:46 AM

          There is no way Snyder can get shake the stigma. He will always be the reason/answer to anything a fan disagrees with that the organization does.

          As for playing on the tag, Brees did so in 2005, his last season in San Diego. It is possible that this is the GM’s decision and like the Jets and Broncos he is unswayed by the recent signings by the Texans and Eagles. Both the Jets and Broncos HAD to use the tag on other players. The Jets don’t want to pay Fitzpatrick big money (and wouldn’t tag even if they could) and the Broncos didn’t want to pay Osweiler what he got. The Redskins don’t want to pay Cousins. Time to move on but there may be a bunch of unintended consequences.

        • Rich Tandler - Jul 15, 2016 at 11:34 AM

          No other GM has had to tag a QB with one year as the starter. Simply a unique situation, not trying to outsmart everyone.

        • Redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 15, 2016 at 2:29 PM

          Speculation ….speculation …and more speculation. Man do you have any supportive facts the shows Snyder is the reason for not signing Cousins long term? You don’t even have a clue about Cousins asking price. Get off your soap opera box since Snyder is probably the least of the issue in getting a deal done. He has opened his wallet to every player that a GM has asked for and you want to push some idiotic notion Snyder is the issue with the purse now?

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 15, 2016 at 8:54 PM

          Rich says “No other GM has had to tag a QB with one year as the starter.” and that ends it, I say that and I’m not making sense. Too small of a sample size sheesh!
          Meanwhile in Oakland.. Not saying that a big contract yields production but THIS is why I’m NOT mad at the skins for taking this middle road. You move on from a player too soon and end up paying Norman a fortune at age 28. Sign them without a clear portrait of who they are and you could be headed towards Colin Kaepernick-Jerem LinVILLE where the view is crap but you’ve already paid for it. Hopefully Cousins just has a great season so all of this whining can end.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 16, 2016 at 3:28 AM

          Lezzie… Come on. Amerson and Cousins are completely different. One position is significantly more important than the other. You handle QBs different than any other position in the draft (BPA does not apply if you need a QB), free agency (QBs get overpaid all the time because of the thin market, high demand, and importance) and when to move on from them (good QBs are significantly harder to find than CBs. That’s why we jump through all these hoops).

          Amerson was terrible in DC. You love talking about sample size, we saw enough. It was best for both sides to move on. It was widely reported that he didn’t take his job serious. He admitted so much first hand. He didn’t prepare or work hard and it showed. Amerson had a bad work ethic, just like the thousands of talented athletes who failed in the NFL before him. They think they’ve arrived and don’t have to work anymore. The cut was a wake up call. It lit a fire under his ass and he played for his career last year. We have no way of knowing if he would have gotten motivated and played well for us. But, based off human nature, I don’t think he would have. The cut was exactly what he needed.

          And let’s see if he keeps it up before we get role excited. He played well for less than a full season with his career on the line. I have no doubt that he’s talented and can be a good player. If he continues to work hard then I expect he will be good (not great). But he has security now. He could fall back into his old ways and fall off again.

          He got cut because the team saw his work ethic. Not because of his ability. And he never performed well for us. That’s very different than the Cousins situation.

          And Norman is a clear upgrade. I don’t know what some of you guy’s obsession is with saving cap space like it’s your money. You have to spend it. Fans don’t get bonus checks if we don’t spend it all. But the team will get it taken away if we don’t spend enough. This team is financially sound. We’re not in cap trouble and have plenty to spend next year. You draft well and keep rotating players through on rookie salaries so you can get guys like Norman when they’re available. Most of Norman’s contract was already wrapped up in Culliver anyway. It was a good move.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 18, 2016 at 3:33 PM

          Which is funny because you and I have had the “i wonder if we cut Amerson too soon” I also don’t quite see how you managed to write an entire article based on me saying “NOT SAYING BIG MONEY YIELDS BIG PRODUCTION… THIS IS WHY I DON’T MIND TAKING THE MIDDLE ROAD.” I like Norman, would I rather we had given Amerson at least the rest of the season to turn it around, like when breeland started playing well and preston was causing trouble, we would see something. Now I do believe Norman is an upgrade. His knock was that he didn’t have the production before his breakout year to warrant this type of payday. Maybe he was no number one. I don’t believe that but it’s a knock PEOPLE like to use against him. Now Amerson was inconsistent in the beginning of his time here and it’s not like he had a Norman like year but he did improve once he got to Oakland. Hmm inconsistent play followed by improvement “that’s very different from the Cousins situation?” OK bud. Yes small sample size, not as small as Kirk’s, as in we didn’t let him finish his rookie contract. I wish we would’ve at least held on to him the rest of the season. If he stayed maybe the competition at CB, since we did have guys step up when he was cut, could’ve helped him turn the corner as the season progressed. Don’t know where the fans don’t get bonus checks rant came from honey, you ok over there?

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 19, 2016 at 3:21 AM

          I think you’re thinking of someone else with the “wonder what would have happened if we didn’t cut Amerson” thing. I was on board with his cut from the beginning. I don’t know, maybe I’m confused about the conversation you’re referring to.

          It’s irrational to think he would have improved with us. Because he was terrible with us (he was) and then got better weeks later in Oakland. So am I supposed to believe everything would have clicked if we held on? If we just would have been more patient he would have improved his play. All he needed was three more weeks for the lightbulb to turn on!

          No. That’s absurd. Obviously the situation was the problem and it was fixed when he was cut. He was lazy, unprepared, and didn’t take his job seriously. He was wasting a roster spot. He always had the potential but he didn’t realize it in Washington. The cut woke him up. It’s that simple.

          Amerson never played well for us and didn’t take his job seriously (he literally said that himself). Cousins had an outstanding season last year and the coaches see him studying and working hard. If you’re going to ignore every other difference I said then at least get that one.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 19, 2016 at 3:49 PM

          If we would’ve been more patient as our pass rush was picking up and Breeland was increasing his play. Amerson wasn’t a bum. A bit inconsistent but he was a decent corner that could’ve tied it together as the season went on. I mean he did it in Oakland so why is it impossible to believe given the chance he wouldn’t have gotten better playing with a playoff caliber defense? We always hear that players rise to the level of play around them, what was our level of play when he got cut? The cut woke him up? That’s a possiblity or maybe he was poised to pick his play up anyway. Not fogetting that our DB core was hit with injuries basically patch and pray filling in for safeties as well. Do we know what additional responsibilities he had o pick up in a pinch? Over thinking leads to busted coverages. He had 17 PD his first three years with us and finished ’15 with 25 PD and 4 INT’s. You can’t say “Am I supposed to believe he would’ve improved?” when he actually did. In real life Trey. Not Narnia or wherever you’re sending these wacked out over emotional replies from. Ambien.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:49 AM

          Geez Lezzie, I wonder who could have seen this coming? Keep puffing your chest and talking all the trash you want. But that’s right from the horses’ mouth.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:50 AM

          Sorry, forgot the link *

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 12:37 PM

      Why on earth do you think Jay Gruden is responsible for getting a deal done with Cousins? Scot McCloughan is the GM. Gruden is the coach. McCloughan is the personnel guy.

    • Youngster Jedi - Jul 15, 2016 at 6:28 PM

      The RF no trade was because Gruden made him untradable by 1 saying all those things about him to the media. Let’s say you go out on TV bad mouthing your company products especially one that is important. Why would another team bite that bullet?? That’s not Snyder but an employee that undermines an organization’s goal. I have seen far worst players go to other teams but not mismanaged like it was here.

      I personally would not put that long money out there when I know this team will only win with a stacked roster or a QB who can actually beat teams with a winning record. Cousins is no way right now a top 10 qb. Maybe he proves me wrong which I am open to that but we will see. Big game football is what we want not stat fillers

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 16, 2016 at 3:38 AM

        So you think every NFL GM in the league isn’t capable of making their own assessment of Griffin? That, even though there’s 3 years of tape on him, they just heard Jay Gruden talk for less than a minute and based their decesion off that? If Jay simply would have kept his moth shut another team would have traded us a draft pick to inherit a struggling QB with a $15 mil price tag guaranteed for injury? Come on man.

        You also seem to be ignoring that football is a team sport. Kirk Cousins didn’t lose to every team we played with over a .500 record, the Washington Redskins did. They were team losses. The defense was terrible in so many of those games. Plus fumbles, injuries, special teams mishaps, and dropped balls had nothing to do with it? The only game I think Cousins personally blew in 2015 was the first Giants game. Other than that, he played good/great.

        Ive been saying this a lot but I guess I’ll keep going. It’s been 20 years since Washington had a real franchise QB. Kirk Cousins is the best bet we’ve had in a long time. But you guys want do give him the short end of the stick for who? Or what? What’s the alternative. Because whatever you think, we haven’t been without a real QB for 20 years because you thought of a plan they didn’t. Don’t blow the best chance you have if ending that drought over ridiculous crap.

  8. bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 10:52 AM

    Good points by Rich per usual. However, a couple quibbles because this is the equivalent of not agreeing with the organization picking-up the 2016 option on Griffin — it doesn’t make the best business sense but it certainly isn’t the same as signing Albert Hayensworth or trading for TJ Duckett. If Cousins has a bad game within the first quarter of the season, one of the first three questions is regarding the pressure of playing for a contract.

    As far as the $4 million difference of signing him, that would be the average per year which would not be just 2.4% of the 2017 cap but more likely 2.0% of the cap each year over the life of contract. The APY is usually at the middle of the contract (year 3 of a 5-year contract). So the first year of a $21 million APY is more likely $17 million against the cap increasing by $2 million a year as opposed to a $25 million APY starting at $21 million increasing $2 million a year. So the savings a long-term deal would make is actually greater than 2.4%. Saving $3 million from this year’s tag if a long-term deal was made, making Cousins cap hit $17 million this year would be 2.6% savings. Then that $4 million can be carried over to next year cap increasing the cap space another 2.4% or $4 million. Or in essence not making a long-term deal eliminates 5% of potential cap space. Still not a HUGE deal but it would have affects on the bottom of the roster. (My math is clearly fallible but the point I’m trying to make is that although the difference isn’t cap crippling it isn’t as insignificant as it sounds either.)

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 15, 2016 at 11:33 AM

      Not following your numbers at all. I think you’re using the same “savings” twice to calculate your percentage.

      • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 8:05 PM

        I sort of am — with bad math by the way, but let me try to flesh it out more clearly. Let’s use your examples of average per year (APY) cap hits of $21M if a deal could’ve been done today and $25M APY next year. Then let’s suppose this deal would’ve been a five-year contract structured as: $17M in 2016, $19M in 2017, $21M in 2018, $23M in 2019, and $25M in 2020. Compare that to next year’s deal structured at: $21M in 2017, $23M in 2018, $25M in 2019, $27M in 2020, and $29M in 2021.

        Now let’s use the LEAGUE cap numbers of $155M in 2016 and $166M in 2017. Had the ‘skins got a deal done before 4:00PM today, their cap hits would’ve totaled $36M (using the above figures) or 11.21% of the league cap over the next two seasons.

        Now let’s suppose they get the $25M APY deal structure as exampled next year. That with the tag ($19.953M) would take 12.76% of the league cap over the same two year period. That appears to be not much of a difference. (1.56%)

        Not so fast. Because of the CBA changes, teams can carryover unused cap space to the following year. OTC has the Redskins 2016 cap at $161,402,474 and currently they are $11,009,645 under the cap. Had they got a deal like the one I outlined above done before 4PM, that cap space would’ve increased to $13,962,645 [adding the difference ($2,953,000) of the tag].

        The Redskins will still use some of that total cap space finalizing their roster (53 players, IR, practices squad, etc.) but they should be able to carryover about half of their current cap ($5,504,823) or half cap + tag savings ($8,457,823) had they been able to get a deal done.

        So going back to this morning and “counting twice,” I was adding the savings for this year ($4,000,000) with the additional savings the team would make this year by going from the tag to a long-term deal (now correctly represented $2,953,000) and carrying over that difference to next year’s cap.

        So adding the difference between deals ($4M) along with the ability to carryover the difference between the tag and the first year cap hit of a long-term deal ($2.953M), you get $6,954,000 which would be about 4.189% of next year’s LEAGUE cap but more importantly cap space that existed potentially that now no longer does.

        In conclusion, I agree with: ” I think that is an amount that the collective IQs of Eric Schaffer and Scot McCloughan can maneuver around.” But, it does limit the flexibility that they had next year and more than a minuscule amount.

    • Trey gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 12:53 PM

      When I thought about this becoming a distraction I too thought more along the lines of after a loss or a bad game. There’s a strange schism with Redskins fans that’s probably leftover from the RG3 vs. Cousins ordeal. Some almost want Cousins and Gruden to fail. So there will be a lot of “see I told you so,” after a loss.

      I’m not saying the reporters would create a distraction, but I can see them tactfully asking Cousins questions about mounting pressure to perform and the high stakes of a $100 mil contract after a bad game too. But most of the distraction I anticipate would be internally with Cousins. That is a lot of pressure. He knows what people are generally saying and he knows the stakes. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. But is it so unreasonable to think Cousins could play worse under this pressure? Especially with the fan expectations after last year’s playoff run?

      As far as the contract Bang: I understand what you’re saying even if I don’t completely follow the math (Journalism major, we’re not math people). But I was thinking the opposite with a long term deal. That we should sign Cousins to basically the opposite of the 2012-2013 Flacco deal. Front load the cap hit and bite the bullet through our rebuilding years then free up cap when the team is better suited to compete after multiple McCloughan drafts. But also so that we could cut Cousins for min dead cap if he doesn’t work out. The guaranteed money could be the same but we front load most of it into the first 2-3 years. Then it’s no big deal to cut him when we’re ready. Am I just dreaming here? Or is this a terrible idea for some other reason I’m not seeing?

      • COSSkinsFan - Jul 15, 2016 at 1:32 PM

        I totally agree with you. Pressure can be a good thing, even in my job I like to know my boss has faith in me. What Cousins has shown is commitment to improving, leadership and true passion for the game. I worry about the effect of not signing him long term will have on the rest of the players. We preach rewarding production and player development. How is that congruent with giving Norman his contract and not giving Cousins a long term deal?

      • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 4:51 PM

        “Am I just dreaming here? Or is this a terrible idea for some other reason I’m not seeing?”

        Not really but there are a couple of things you should be aware of. First, NFL teams are now allowed to carryover the unused portion of their caps to the following year. Here is a link to the recent year:
        Therefore there is no incentive to front load the contract to USE cap space.

        Secondly, when it comes to guarantees, it is the signing bonus and option bonuses that are prorated over the life of the contract up to a maximum of five years. So, here you could push a $30M signing bonus into equal $15M hits in the first two years instead of $5M hits over five years (not counting any actual salary) IF the player would sign such a contract. He’s getting that money at signing not when they count against the cap and he’s making it easier for you to release him after two seasons so he may not be inclined.

        • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 7:32 PM

          Should say “$6M hits over five years” not $5M.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 16, 2016 at 4:04 AM

          See, I wasn’t sure if you could vary the cap hit for the bonuses. I didn’t know if it was evenly spread over the entire contract or if you could front load it. Because that would have been a huge snag in my plan.

          Your posts here (especially the one where you re explained the first) were really well done and thought out. Fun to read. But A couple points then some questions maybe you could clarify.

          I know it would make Cousins easier to cut. But he would get the guaranteed money either way right? It would have to net more than 2 tags anyway. Plus, if Washington wanted to cut him instead of pay him 6 mil in year four, that would probably mean something went horribly wrong. He could think of it as a way out for himself. A way to get a fresh start and a new contract. Which would be especially beneficial if there was no offset language.

          As far as the rollover. How long does it roll over for? Because if it’s just one year, is it really doing that much for us? Also, wouldn’t the rollover increase the amount we have to spend? Teams have to spend 89% of the cap. I’m assuming that we would have to spend 89% of the cap with the rollover too. So wouldn’t our floor keep rising and force us to spend the money? I just have a hard time imagining they would allow a team to bank 11% of the cap for years. You could do it for 5 years then create a super team with your bloated cap.

          There has to be a downside to the rollover. That article said 3 teams (Denver, LA, and NOLA) chose not to roll their full amount over. Why would they do that? it had to somehow benefit them or else they would have kept it all.

          I just see a front loaded compromise as a way to make everyone happy. That’s what negotiations are all about. Each side gets what the want. Not one side wins and the other loses. So Cousins gets more money than two consecutive tags, more security than he currently has, no more contract drama, and the opportunity to stay on one team for at least the next 5 years if he plays well. The agent gets the same fee regardless of how it’s loaded. And the team gets their QB with a way out if it all goes south. If they can’t all get on board with an agreement that helps them all like that then someone in that room is seriously demented and unreasonable.

        • bangkokben - Jul 16, 2016 at 10:20 AM

          Lot’s of questions. I’ll try to answer a few and then give you a link that will fill in the rest. Cousins gets the guaranteed signing bonus either way AND he gets any guaranteed salary. This, i believe, is usually divided into 17 game checks including the bye. That is how you give a player incentive to sign. That is what the Redskins did with Norman. $15M signing bonus (prorated at $3M a year over the life of the five-year contract) AND guaranteed salaries in 2016 ($5,000,000) and 2017 ($15,500,000). Roster bonuses are guaranteed but only paid to the player if on the team at a certain date in the year they’re assigned. Option bonuses are like signing bonuses but they are triggered later in the contract.

          That is the kind of contract they’ll have to offer Cousins next year — just bigger. As for year four in the previous scenario, it is actually $12 million (the remaining prorations for year four and year five) and yes the Redskins would have had to have seen enough.

          As for the remaining questions, I think the following link explains it best but I think the teams’ caps keep rising and the reason those teams mentioned didn’t move all of it is because of the 89% rule which is their own cap.

  9. bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 11:01 AM

    Off topic. Rich, why do the Redskins continue to have just 89 on the roster? It has been over a month and continue to have an opening. Are we to expect a signing before training camp?

    • Rich Tandler - Jul 15, 2016 at 9:29 PM

      I’d say at this point they will just wait, see who can’t participate when they give physicals at the start of camp and then sign someone based on who can’t go. Unless there’s someone you really want there’s no point in signing someone now.

  10. Domenic Sebastiani - Jul 15, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    If Cousins has another good year, why would they have to franchise him again?
    Wouldn’t that be enough proof that Cousins is for real, and they would do what ever it takes to sign him?
    As hard as it is to find a franchise QB in this league, at that point the Redskins have to sign him to a long term contract.

  11. skinsgame - Jul 15, 2016 at 12:57 PM

    Playing on a franchise tag, they can’t negotiate a new deal until after next off seasons free agency period begins?

  12. Eli - Jul 15, 2016 at 2:14 PM

    Just to be clear, I specifically stated that Allen was below McCloughan and Schaffer in term’s of reputation. And I agree that Allen’s greatest move was admitting that he needed personnel help. How many people in this league of arrogant people admit that they’re not good enough? How many people in society in general admit that they’re over their head? That said, all indications are that Allen is very good in negotiating contracts. That’s really his background as a former agent. And he did win one more executive of the year award than most of us.

    As for the 2014 draft, I kind of agree with you but not across the board. I agree that I’ve heard the same rumors that Allen used consultants, and the Skins were a client of McCloughan’s so he probably had a hand in the players drafted. But ultimately Allen pulled the trigger. As a qualitative analysis of the 2014 draft, I couldn’t disagree more. Without a first round pick that Shanahan traded away, the Skins acquired five players that are either in the rotation, legitimate starters or borderline top level talent. Both Murphy and Grant are rotational players who should have average but long careers somewhere. Spencer Long started the majority of games last season. Moses (drafted in the 3rd round) played extremely well last season and, short of injury, should be a productive RT for several years.
    And Breeland (4th round) is probably a top 20 CB and will get a huge second contract from some team. That’s five productive players in one draft. And had Shanahan not pissed away four high picks for Griffin, the Skins would’ve fetched six contributing players entering the third season following that draft. The final first round pick the Rams received in the 2014 draft was a very high pick following the awful 2013 season.

    Be well.

    Semper Fi.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 2:24 PM

      Well it’s hard to argue with most of what you said. Even if Allen used consultants then it was a good move.

      The only thing: I don’t quite understand why you said Shannahan traded that first round pick. He was the coach. Every report Ive seen said Allen and Snyder negotiated and wanted the RG3 trade. There have even been reports that Shannahan wanted nothing to do with it. So I blame the lack of a first on Allen. He should have counseled Snyder against the trade if he didn’t believe in it.

      That being said, any draft is a great draft if you can find 5 guys who regularly play well. Four guys is still good. I only took issue with you calling it outstanding. I count the lack of a first against Allen and I still believe two of his top 3 picks were over drafted. I don’t believe Allen thought Breeland could be this good. But all 32 GMs failed to see that. Or else he would have been drafted by at least the second. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to credit Allen as a clairvoyant. We desperately needed DB help and he waited until the fourth to draft a guy he thought could maybe be a solid backup. Breeland was a pleasant surprise but let’s not act like Allen saw it coming.

      • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 7:28 PM

        That pick was ALL on Shanahan. HE was the president of football operations. The buck stops with him. Now Bruce and Dan have been notoriously influential so there’s no doubt that they had influence and used it but c’mon Shanahan knew that coming into the job. Lastly, the reports that you mention are almost all if not all AFTER the fact and from Shanahan’s perspective.

  13. smotion55 - Jul 15, 2016 at 3:25 PM

    Shanahan did not piss the picks away, Allen and Snyder were the ones who wanted RG3.They had to change his mind on that and Shanahan flat out told them it would take 2 or 3 years for RG3 to become a pocket passer. Shanahan wanted Russell Wilson in the 3rd round. Your PISSING in the wind on that BS

  14. redskins12thman - Jul 15, 2016 at 4:44 PM

    NFL media reported that “As the franchise tag deadline passed, Kirk Cousins and the Redskins did not come to terms on a new deal. In fact, Washington’s offer hadn’t changed in five months. The Redskins extended a contract to Cousins at the NFL Scouting Combine that included $16 million per year and $24 million in guarantees, NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported Friday.”

    The Redskins needed to offer more than $40 million guaranteed and somewhere north of $16 million per year. With no further contract proposals, I understand why a deal was not reached. I am surprised that Scot did not counter; it’s just going to cost that much more…

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 4:48 PM

      God I hope that’s not true. They couldn’t even go up to $18 mil to see what would happen. I personally think $20 mil was about right. But they couldn’t even go up to $18? Seriously? I’ll never understand this one.

      • bangkokben - Jul 15, 2016 at 7:37 PM

        I’m with you here. The best explanation is that it was one year and that weren’t going to let other desperate team influence their bidding. Still rings hollow and seems to potentially sow the seeds of acrimony.

  15. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 15, 2016 at 8:59 PM

    Former Redskins David Amerson got a deal:

    Ian Rapoport@RapSheet

    #Raiders & CB David Amerson have reached an agreement on a 4-yr extension worth a max value of $38M, source said. Almost $18M in guarantees

    I guess getting cut here was a wake up call for him?

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 15, 2016 at 9:07 PM

      I think that’s exactly correct.

      But I could never truly trust a guy like that. He can’t take his job serious the first two + years for the team that drafted him. But once he’s cut, feeling desperate, and on the verge of a new contract he wakes up and plays well for less than one season. Who’s to say he doesn’t slip back into their old ways now that he has security? I’m glad to be rid of him.

    • kenlinkins - Jul 16, 2016 at 6:58 AM

      Bottom line: Oakland got him to play well and the Redskins didn’t. Archives

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