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Need to Know: McCloughan hopes Cousins is Redskins’ QB for ‘a long time’

Jul 21, 2016, 5:39 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Thursday, July 21, seven days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.


—The Redskins last played a game 193 days ago. It will be 53 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.

Days until: Preseason opener @ Falcons 21; Final roster cut 44; Cowboys @ Redskins 59

There are plenty of Redskins fans who are losing sleep over the recent report that the Redskins may try to find a younger and cheaper alternative to Cousins if they can’t come to a long-term deal that makes financial sense for the team. One of the concerns is that this will make Cousins feel like he is unwanted by the organization.

We’ll see about that. The Redskins won’t be able to get their Plan B quarterback until next year. Nate Sudfeld may be the very rare sixth-round pick who pans out but we’re a long way from him possibly casting any sort of shadow. Colt McCoy is a journeyman backup. I’m not sure how Cousins can feel threatened at this point in time.

In addition, Scot McCloughan has praised Cousins and has expressed his desire to get a long-term contract done with him virtually every time he has spoken to the media this year (emphasis added in all quotes).

At the combine 2/24:

“We’ve got to go with what we’re going with and you know, it’s not about the individual, it’s the sum of the parts like I always say. There’s 52 other guys that not saying same kind of talent level or same kind of financial investment, but I’ve got to make sure the organization is taken care of, but I want Kirk to be here and Kirk wants to be here. So, I think there’s a way we can get to that point.”

At the owners meetings 3/22:

“As you guys are well aware, I’ve already said it, I would love to have Kirk in a long-term deal and I think he would love to be on a long-term deal just to know, listen this is where you’re going to play and this is going to be where you are for a long time.”

To Bleacher Report 4/12:

“I told Kirk when he came in – and his wife must have hugged me for 10 minutes because he just went from making $600,000 to $19.9 million. I told him: ‘You take care of me and this organization, we’re going to take care of you, I promise.”

Pre-draft presser 4/25:

“We’re in contact – we would love to get something done prior to [the deadline].”

Post-draft presser 5/2

“Everybody in this building, if you ask to a man – players, coaches – we all want him here for a long-term deal. I would love to get something done, but you can’t force it. They have to agree to what we’re looking at, but he’s our leader on offense. He’s our quarterback. He won the East last year and that’s pretty cool because that’s what we need here. We need those types of guys.”

Sirius XM NFL Radio, 7/17 (via @dcsportsbog):

McCloughan said he feels “very positive” about Cousins’s leadership and confidence during this offseason, and that the team is “going to be fine” moving forward. He said Cousins is “a good quality person” and “a good football player,” and that “the players respect him.” He said both sides would have liked to get a deal done, and that “hopefully he’s our quarterback for a long time, going forward.”

I’m not sure how much more McCloughan can do to support Cousins. Eventually, he will have to show him the money. But giving Cousins the franchise tag was not a sign of disrespect or a slap in the fact. Letting him hit the open market like the Broncos did with Brock Osweiler would have been showing disrespect.

Giving Cousins $20 million for a “hey, we like what we saw but we want to see more” year is not insulting by any means. Cousins will get his chance to earn big money while making considerably more than the minimum wage.

Ultimately, Cousins’ performance and money will decide how this plays out. There is no need for anyone to be concerned about bruised feelings.


In case you missed it 

  1. redskins12thman - Jul 21, 2016 at 6:13 AM

    If the Redskins want Cousins for a long time… why didn’t they offer Cousins more than $24 million guaranteed? This approach would have probably cost the team $4 – $9 million LESS per season than it will now cost them, definitely before but even after Osweiler signed. Moreover, this approach is much better aligned to McCloughan’s desire to keep the cap impact lower to be in a better position to pay and retain other players. Did Scot feel as if he got burnt by picking up RGIII fifth year option (i.e., felt they could trade Griffin but that never materialized)? Having a hard time reconciling “wanting Cousins for a long time” and “being able to pay / retain multiple players” with the lack of negotiations with Cousins to offer him a long-term contract.

    • goback2rfk - Jul 21, 2016 at 10:07 AM

      They do not want Cousins as he is a product of the system and not the other way around.

      • renhoekk2 - Jul 21, 2016 at 11:12 AM

        If the system is plug and play and you can stick anyone in there and win, why is RGIII in CLE? Why didn’t they let Cousins walk and hand the keys to the offense to McCoy or Sudfeld? Why would they pay a guy $20M if they don’t really need him? They had at least three other options to play QB this year and they decided to pay Kirk $20M to do it. That should tell you something.

        • Jlb12300 - Jul 21, 2016 at 9:14 PM

          Plug and play ok then why did Rg3 fail in 14. Also with Roberts arm strength better than Kirks Robert should have been great in 14 and kept the starting job. Gruden’s offense needs a strong qb with defense reading experience. Out of college there is not many at all. With most colleges running the spread the drop back Passer is becoming obsolete. So that means it is not plug and play. Cousins will be back next year with a long term or tag.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 22, 2016 at 3:27 AM

          JLB: That’s a good point. I don’t know why we had to bring RG3 into this conversation, but you’re right about the complexities of the system compared to college systems. The play calling, audibles, shift in protection, knowing your receiver’s routs (plus their option routs), and reading the defense is far more complex than a college spread. That’s true of every single system ran in the NFL. And every team in the NFL runs a system. So technically, every single QB is a system guy.

          The argument that Cousins is a product of the system is absurd. If it were that simple then every QB starved team in the league would be running Jay’s system with any QB off the street. Or would forgo paying tons of money to guys like Luck and just keep rotating through rookie contracts. Like they’re doing with running backs. Why are these teams shipping off draft picks to over draft a guy and overpaying mediocre free agent QBs if they can just take any QB and win games with “dink and dunk?” Making that argument shows a complete ignorance for how the NFL works.

          And I’ve said it 100 times, but I’ll say it again. It’s not a dink and dunk system. It’s the West Coast system. People say Cousins “dunks and dunks” as if it were a bad thing. Or as if Gruden would want Cousins to do more, but he can’t, so Gruden has him throw short passes instead. IT’S GRUDEN’S SYSTEM. It’s what he wants his QB to do, no matter who it is. Teams have won Super Bowls with similar systems.

          And they take downfield shots to Desean every game. So I don’t really understand that argument anyway. What team throws 15 yards or more every single play?

    • abanig - Jul 21, 2016 at 10:34 AM

      Me too. I’m not very happy with how this process has gone and I’m definitely concerned we’ll lose Cousins next offseason or in the 2018 offseason.

      • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:50 PM

        How do you have any real clue about how the process has gone? Again stop the random attacks and blame game. The only fact we all know is they tagged Cousins and guaranteed him close to 20 million for one season. I’m sure Cousins is happy with his raise but you’re not? Okay!

        • bangkokben - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:08 PM

          Adam Schefter and other sources have reported that the Redskins offered a contract worth $16 million per year and guaranteed $24 million over the life of the contract at the combine and that was their first and final offer for a long-term deal. It has been confirmed from these sources that there was no offer once the tag was issued.

        • abanig - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:20 PM

          Actually, we know they low balled Cousins based on what other Qbs are getting paid in the market. You can continue to ignore that if you want but that is the fact.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 22, 2016 at 9:44 PM

          They started at 12 then went up to 16 right?

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 1:24 PM

      How is the RG3 fifth year option relevant to this at all? Theyre not looking to trade Cousins, but there’s especially no trade market if he’s on the tag.

      • redskins12thman - Jul 21, 2016 at 5:15 PM

        I agree the team is not looking to trade Cousins. I just felt there was very little risk to signing Cousins to a long-term contract; I can’t envision a scenario where the Redskins would not want Cousins at least competing for the starting QB position for the next 3-4 years, but if for whatever reason the Redskins wanted to trade Cousins part-way through a long-term contract, there would be 5 to 10 teams interested in trading for him.

        The only thing I could think of is that the Redskins got gun shy with Cousins because they thought they could have traded RGIII after the team picked up the fifth year option, and as we know, no trade materialized.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 6:05 PM

          OK I understand what you meant then. And we seem to be in agreement about the deal.

          But Cousins is a very different situation than RG3 in my opinion. The most obvious would be that any team who traded for RG3 would have given up a pick (or a player) for a one year rental. That’s not very good trade value. The player has to have a ton of upside, and the team has to feel confident they can resign him, for that to happen. Also, I don’t think anybody expected Washington to resign RG3. They knew he would be available the following season. They could just wait a year and get him (cheap) if they were interested. Cousins is a different story.

          Basically, I don’t think the 5th year option had much to do with RG3 not getting traded. It absolutely ensured he wouldn’t get traded, but I don’t think a team would have traded for him anyway. The Browns were the only team who showed him interest in free agency to my knowledge. Right now the Jets starting QB is Geno Smith and they didn’t even have RG3 in for a workout. He got no interest from teams when it wouldn’t cost them a draft pick or a player. I sincerely doubt there would have been more interest without the option. McCloughan knows this. It’s about the player’s value more than what he’s doing.

          I believe, quite simply, that Scot McCloughan disagrees with you and me about signing Cousins to a deal. He believed there was less risk in letting him play on the tag, evaluate Cousins another year, and then work on negotiations again. I vehemently disagree, but he’s in charge and very qualified to make these decesions. I think that’s all there is to it.

        • Skulb - Jul 21, 2016 at 7:26 PM

          Well then they are idiots, which I am sure we can all agree that we don’t hope they are. Robert was unable to produce on the field at all. Watching him play in 14 was like watching someone have all his teeth pulled without anesthetics. Only a fool thought there was a trade of any sort there after the option was signed. You’d have been lucky to get a hot dog and a cup of coffee even before that, but the option was just the end of everything. You would have had as much chance to trade away the plague. There is nothing similar in the Cousins situation and no real reason to expect him to regress. He might anyway but there’s no reason to expect it, which there very much was with Robert because of the knee injury and all the drama leading up to 2013 and then continuing into 14. There’s no drama with Cousins, excepting the interminable contract drama, and no crippling injury. Odds are he’ll be at the very least decent with one more year in the same offense and a few projected upgrades to the offense.
          Maybe they are gun shy. And they should be. But it can’t lead into stupidity. Safety on and at a 45 degree downward angle at all times and it probably won’t hit anyone even if it goes off somehow. Maybe we just need to send the Redskins brass to gun safety training.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:46 PM

      Do you believe every rumored report the hits the Internet? The fact is NONE of us outside a few in the organization and Cousins agent know what was the final offer and counter offer. Stop assuming the Organization low balled him when they already tagged.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 6:16 PM

        I think either Cousins agent or someone on the team leaked it. For whatever reason may serve their interests. Stuff like that happens all the time. I just don’t think it’s accurate to call it a rumor. It’s been widely reported by reliable sources (even by our friends here at CSN).

        And you’re right that this isn’t the worst thing ever and there’s still plenty reason to expect them to work this out next year. I may have preferred a deal to get done (beat the drums for it pretty hard actually) but now I’m starting to feel like the responses are getting over blown. I’ll be upset if a deal doesn’t get worked out next year but it’s not the end of the world right now.

        I don’t think McCloughan was intentionally low balling Cousins as an insult or anything. He just gave him the number he was comfortable signing Cousins at with his current body of work.

        • lezziemcdykerson - Jul 22, 2016 at 9:46 PM

          “I don’t think McCloughan was intentionally low balling Cousins as an insult or anything. He just gave him the number he was comfortable signing Cousins at with his current body of work.” Good job Trey! This is a business. Way to take the feels out of it!

  2. cpst123 - Jul 21, 2016 at 6:53 AM

    Everyone points to the Osweiler deal as setting the mark. That’s the over priced end of the spectrum, Fitzpatrick and Jets are the low end. Just because Osweiler got more than he deserved doesn’t mean everyone going forward should too.

    Cousins and the Redskins are happy on the 1 year $20 million prove it deal. We should be too.

    • renhoekk2 - Jul 21, 2016 at 10:43 AM

      It does matter what Osweiler was paid. Players and agents are not going to sit down in a contract negotiation and say “Your right, Osweiler was overpaid, let’s pretend it never happened”. Fact is, he is a QB and an NFL owner decided to give him that contract. It matters just as much as any other contract.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 11:33 AM

      So you think the team that low balled their QB and still doesn’t have him even on the roster is helping to set the market? You think teams and players are looking at the Jets and Fitz as a good way to do business? The deal has to get signed for it to help set the market. The QB also has to be around the same class as Cousins. Fitz is an older journeyman trying to get one last payday. Both the Jets and Fitz know they’re negotiating a 1-2 year deal. Cousins is negotiating his first long term deal.

      The market pertinent to Cousins was set by Osweiler and Bradford at the low end and Luck at the high end. Welcome back to reality.

      • 1222tmiller - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:21 PM

        Correct on all your analysis, but Cousins is looking for money closer to Luck and hasn’t earned it yet. I think he knows that and wants to play another year to prove the last 10 games were not a fluke. Redskins are happy to pay him that kind of money if he balls out this year. It is a win – win, so I don’t see all the negative context around what is going on with Kirk. You see lots of “tag” players complain, wait to the last minute to sign their “tag” offer, etc. Kirk came in the first day, signed it, and said then he is more then happy to play on the tag contract to prove to the Redskins he is worth a top 10 QB contract. Osweiler didn’t deserve his contract. Bradford however has a long track record and is a “market setting” deal. Eagles knew what they were getting and were willing to pay that amount of money.

        I hope Cousins has a great season, willing to give us a reasonable contract ($22m per year / 5 years / incentives) so we can resign some of the guys that will be free agents next year.

        • bangkokben - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:31 PM

          There are no needs for incentives since they either count on the cap now (if expected) and later (if achieved but not expected) and Kirk is on the record saying that he wouldn’t want incentives influencing him on how he plays.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:53 PM

      Cpst123, I credit you for a rational and sound comment.

    • bangkokben - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:13 PM

      Wasn’t just Osweiler, it was Bradford too. Cousins had he not been franchised would’ve gotten more from either the Eagles, Broncos, Jets, Browns, or Texans. Next year — IF HE PLAYS SIMILARLY — he will have as many suitors who will be willing to pay him Andrew Luck money.

  3. skinsgame - Jul 21, 2016 at 7:22 AM

    In the long run, Scot has the upper hand and is playing it wisely. They are two seasons away from this becoming a real problem and, by then, the team will know what they have in him. For now, this is needless hand wringing.

    • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:59 PM

      I totally agree! I cost in paying more later when you know the quality of the product far out weighs the cost in giving an unknown product elite money guaranteed for any seasons. I think we all know that Cousins is at worst a decent starter. However, show more consistency and prove you can beat the better teams with better defenses before shelling out the big bucks. This is a big market franchise that can afford to wait

      • bangkokben - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:25 PM

        What does being a “big market” have anything to do with it? If anything that would suggest that they can afford to make financial mistakes.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 23, 2016 at 9:55 AM

          Making financial mistakes isn’t what a GM can afford to do regardless if the Franchise can.

          If this franchise must add another 20 to 40 percent on a long term deal next season for a proven franchise QB then no one is going to care once a deal is in place and no one is going to be looking for Scot’s head if that is how it works out. However, it would be far worst for both the Franchise and Scot to pay elite long term money now for a QB that ends up average, struggles, or even regresses this seasons.

          Props to Scot and the Organization for not blindly rushing into a deal so many of you want.

        • bangkokben - Jul 23, 2016 at 10:12 AM

          Look, I’m fine with the one-term franchise tag. I’ve made my argument for why a long-term deal was financially prudent. Didn’t happen. I disagree but I’ve moved on. I’ve explained that fans thinking consecutive tags as a legit strategy is stupid. I have also stated that fans thinking Cousins will quickly sign a second tag is naive but again what the hell does any of that have to do with being a big market?

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 24, 2016 at 10:20 AM

          Few teams will be able to compete with the Redskins if they really want to resign a player. Sure the salary cap can help to balance out the competition. However, I expect the front office is preparing itself for signing Cousins to a big long term contract if he proves himself this year. Even next season the team can’t won’t lose Cousins without getting a significant amount back. The Skins have already anticipated the price they are willing to give if Cousins is a proven product. If a team with significantly more cap space wants to out bid then again the team is protected by the Cap for another season.

          You explained how other viewpoints were stupid? Give me a break! Your recent argument that includes others thinking hurt feelings could result in him not signing a long term deal or even a secon cap is weak. The smart person in the end of those negotiations will be less inclined to leave a team a system was built for unless he is an elite talent QB in the NFL. Cousins doesn’t have elite gifts and if he thrives in this offense system then he’ll be hard pressed to leave it.

          You’ve been wrong on just about everything you forecast about Cousins contract signing yet you want to play the smart man in the room setting all the naive fans that disagree straight?

        • bangkokben - Jul 24, 2016 at 3:01 PM

          JD, You’re not making any sense. The cap is why “big” market or “little” market has NOTHING to do with how NFL teams sign players. Those markets may influence other aspects of the teams’ bottom line but the pool allocated for player salaries is EASILY afforded by EVERY team. Now if a team mismanages the cap that is another thing.

          If you have something to quote me on then go ahead but I cannot respond to what YOU PERCEIVED as my thoughts to be on a subject. I have no idea what you’re talking about with “hurt feelings.”

          “You explained how other viewpoints were stupid?” My comment is very specific in regarding the proposed use of multiple tags. Considering that strategy,. I responded to “Ken” at 11:17AM July 23 in yesterday’s need to know. You can rebut any of the clear rationale put there if you want to debate the “weakness” of my viewpoint.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 25, 2016 at 3:24 AM

          I don’t think market size is nearly as relevant today as it used to be. The NFL is monsterous nationwide. If you’re a good player, on any team, you get recognized. Especially with the popularity of fantasy football.

          Think about it. Green Bay is one of the smallest markets in sports but plenty free agents would love to sign with them. I guarantee a top player would rather go there than the Jets right now. Jacksonville got some big name free agents this year and the biggest TE free agent (Julius Thomas) last year.

          There’s national coverage for most games, Redzone channel, fantasy, all the sports talk, and social media to make your brand. I remember when it seemed like every other commercial was either Greg Jennings for Old Spice or Aaron Rogers with his discount double check. Carolina is not a big market and Cam is everywhere. Markets matter a little more in less popular sports but I’m not even sure it’s a factor anymore in the NFL. Just play well and the endorsements will come your way. Unless I’m missing something.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:36 PM

          Trey, Green Bay is considered the 10th most expensive Franchise in the NFL according to Forbes and aside from the value the fan base is considered to only be rivaled by Pittsburgh.

          There is a reason teams like Jacksonville fall well below the cap every season. It’s true the NFL’s communist approach to managing teams has added a lot of balance but players are still drawned to the likes of Dallas, New England, and yes the Redskins over 80% of other teams in the NFL

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 26, 2016 at 2:17 AM

          Yeah that’s basically what I was trying to say. Maybe we’re getting our wires crossed a little. When I say market size I mean the size of the population, in the greater metropolitan area. Like, when they said LA is the second largest media market for the NFL they weren’t basing it on the amount of fans (obviously because they didn’t have a team) but in the number of people who live there. The Jets are a huge market team (the biggest) but they don’t have as many fans as Green Bay.

          Seattle is actually not a big market either. And their fan base reflected that for years. But after the last couple years the value of the franchise skyrocketed. So that was kind of my point. Market size itself doesn’t matter as much as how good the team is. If they’re good (especially if they have a QB like Brady, Rogers, or Wilson) then free agents will want to go there regardless of the media market size. The sport gets so much coverage and so much attention that players can be stars anywhere.

          The departure are teams like Dallas, Oakland, and Washington. Who haven’t won anything for Decades but still have a large fan base. But they’re a mix of old franchises that won a lot in the paST and are in big markets (if you include the whole Bay Area for Oakland). I think that was part of your initial point.

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 25, 2016 at 4:48 PM

          Also take the likes of Rogers and Farvw out of Green Bay and ask what players really want to go there? That’s why you do things like th Packers and wait until a product has developed before commuting to a huge long term contract. Neither player was handed a ton of money until you knew what you had in them

    • bangkokben - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:24 PM

      “They are two seasons away from this becoming a real problem…”

      That depends on what you consider a problem. Next March the Redskins could tag Cousins and Kirk wouldn’t be as thrilled to play on it. This year he’s getting a 3000% raise. Next year it would be 20%. That’s when players act like Dez Bryant, Von Miller, or Josh Norman — BECAUSE the team is limiting their earning potential. Who knows how he’d respond but assuming he’ll just smile and sign the tender the next day isn’t seeing the whole picture.

      • skinsgame - Jul 21, 2016 at 6:10 PM

        Even if he weren’t happy, the club still has the upper hand for two seasons and, if he has a good year this year (very likely), he will get paid for sure. There is a whole lot of road between here and there and Scot has bought himself a little more evaluation time at market value. He’s never going to get another 3000% raise so it’s a bit misleading to guess that he won’t be happy with 20% on top of that. We don’t know what he will feel about any of it.

        It’s almost not even worth discussing because it’s done and can’t even be addressed until after they win the Super Bowl in February.

        • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 6:23 PM

          But why would you tag a guy for 2-3 years in a row instead of giving him a contract? How long do you guys think these contracts are for? It’s more of a cap burden to tag a player than to sign a deal. The cap hit would go down compared to the tag. And the tags are guaranteed. Right now two tags are 44 mil guaranteed. I want to say (and I could be wrong) that the 3rd would be 78 mil guaranteed OVER THREE YEARS and with no longerm stability for the team. That approach makes no sense. It would not give McCloughan the upper hand. What is the point of that instead of a contract?

          To be clear, I’m not bashing the one year tag approach here. I’m questioning the sanity of those of you who think multiple tags is a good plan.

        • skinsgame - Jul 22, 2016 at 1:44 PM

          The reason I agree with him on a tag approach (not that he needs my approval) is because it’s all a gamble. All of it. There are no guarantees of anything and they have cap flexibility along with the ability to buy time by using the cap. Scots taking an approach that is calculated. And the downside is they might pay him a few million more than they would have. If Cousins kills it, Scot needs only to bump his offer by a few million a year more. If they sign him long term and he tanks (highly unlikely) his cap hit crushes them. It’s a risk worth taking.

        • skinsgame - Jul 22, 2016 at 1:45 PM

          *by using the tag*

        • redskinsnameisheretostay - Jul 23, 2016 at 9:49 AM

          I completely follow skinsgame’s logic. Regarding the tag, the money goes against the cap now so you know the impact you have and can build a roster accordingly. Scot indicated the contract is not based on one player it’s part of the sum of the roster. Right now, he may not be willing to commit a large long term deal on a player he wants to see more out of and its in my view Scot would agree with the position that sealing a long term deal now instead of waiting out another season is not what is best for this roster.

  4. garg8050 - Jul 21, 2016 at 9:09 AM

    Based upon their offer, the ‘Skins didn’t have any intention of getting a long term deal done, and that’s fine. They need to see more. I get that. McCloughan probably should have just said that right off the bat.

    But, he didn’t. And that’s fine. Let’s hope the team has a really good season, Cousins plays well, and they can agree on a long term deal without having to use the tag. That should give them a chance to potentially retain Galette, Baker, etc., and consider extending Moses and/or Breeland.

  5. goback2rfk - Jul 21, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    There never has to be a long term deal for Cousins. He very well could get the tag again in 2017-2018.
    Redskins have a sh|t history at the QB position and I do not blame them for being scared to invest.

    • renhoekk2 - Jul 21, 2016 at 10:47 AM

      If you’re willing to give him all of that guaranteed money in the form of repeated franchise tags, it makes more sense to manage the cap better and do it in the form of a long term deal.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 11:35 AM

      Do you even have any concept of what the tag would be in 2018? He would, by far, be the highest paid QB in the league. And the team would still have no long term stability.

    • ET - Jul 21, 2016 at 5:18 PM

      One year with the tag is ok, but after that both the team and player see diminishing returns. The player gets no long-term deal, no long-term guarantee, no chance to shop his skills around. The team pays a premium price, a premium on the salary cap (no creative structuring), and they can’t use the tag on another player (a factor that could hit the Skins next season if they can’t sign Cousins to a deal). It’s meant to be a stop-gap, not a long-term solution.

  6. abanig - Jul 21, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    If he and the others in the front office want Cousins to be the QB “for a long time” then, they’re going to have to pay him. I just don’t see Cousins regressing at this point. He’s only going to get more expensive. I think they made a huge mistake by not giving him a few more million a year. I mean hell! Next year we are going to pay a corner $20 M, and they couldn’t give Cousins an average of $19 or $20 M each year for the next 4 or 5 years?

    We’ve gotten cheap where we shouldn’t have. They’ve gotten too cute and I think they’re playing with fire.

    I still say if they don’t franchise cousins next year or pay him on a long term deal at market value that he’s going to go somewhere else that will pay him. If we franchise him next year for a second time I almost guarantee he’s going to leave in the 2018 offseason, I don’t see us franchising him a 3rd time because that costs $34 million for just one season.

    • COSSkinsFan - Jul 21, 2016 at 1:49 PM

      Totally agree with you. I would’ve been ok wait for a year and see approach. Until they signed Norman and extended Reed. Norman had basically one good year as well and Reed has been a weapon when healthy but that has been a big issue and was last year to a lesser extent. How could Cousins not take this negatively. He has been with the skins his whole career, they know him and still need to see more. I don’t get it. I thought they should begin extension talks after the philly game. I don’t know what we are saving because if he were to play poorly this year which I doubt, he would have to totally implode for his price tag to drop. The market is what it is, we should’ve paid the man. It doesn’t sound like he was unreasonable in negotiations, it sounds like they never really took place.

      • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:43 PM

        I’m with you guys that we should have tried harder for a deal; but I don’t think Norman and Reed have anything to do with this subject. I get the similarities but I doubt Cousins sees it like that. There’s plenty of money to go around for all of them. And those two are only going to help Cousins win.

  7. smotion55 - Jul 21, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    As Rodgers said last year.. Lets try to RELAX and just play this year and then figure out next year next year. worst case is they tag him next year.

  8. Skulb - Jul 21, 2016 at 1:14 PM

    Seriously, if he hoped that he should have signed him. If Cousins plays poorly he will be cheap but why would you want him? And if he plays well he will now be ludicrously expensive. And this was very easy to understand even last autumn. The longer the Skins waited after the Bucs game the more expensive it would get.

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 1:21 PM

      Not to mention it’s a fantasy that Cousins will ask for significantly less if he doesn’t play well. The cost of the next tag is still leverage. Or that another desperate team will pay him. Cousins would have to be truly awful for him to take a discount. If he’s even average, he’s going to ask for a big contract.

      • bangkokben - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:39 PM

        See Nick Foles to see how losing his job “cost” him.

        $12M guaranteed; two seasons averaging $12M. That is what Cousins can expect if he stinks this year because he will still have ALL of 2015 on his resume — not just the “mythical” ten games.

      • Skulb - Jul 21, 2016 at 7:12 PM

        Precisely. This whole horse trading routine by the Skins is making me uncomfortable. QBs are expensive. But we have one now so let’s buy him so we don’t immediately return to QB limbo with Nate and Colt.

  9. Skulb - Jul 21, 2016 at 1:17 PM

    Also, slapping facts is very rude.

  10. kenlinkins - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    IMO the Redskins GM placed a value on Cousins back in Feb and held firm to that value. Many things when into figuring out that value (i.e. knowing he could keep Cousins here on short term deals for 2 more years, knowing that Luck was going to get paid, knowing he could use a draft pick to try and find a long shot QB to develop, knowing how many free agent QB’s were going to hit the open market, knowing about how much the Cap would be in 2016 and 2017 etc etc). Cousins found himself in a very rare position and that alone could have made the Redskins GM play if safe as he knew he was going to allow the big investment into RG3 walk off the roster. IMO the smoke just didn’t clear enough for the Redskins GM to pull the trigger on a Big long term deal. Beside, in the Redskins GM’s mind the dead line for a deal was not July 15 2016, it was somewhere else down the road as paying Cousins $19.9 million in 2016 was never a concern. The Redskins still have control of Cousins, Cousins still got paid for his one big year, and both sides understand what happened and if Cousins has a big year both sides will be happy. Whats not to like?

    • Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:38 PM

      What’s not to like? No long-term security. I value stability and continuity. Also that we know McCloughan will either have to pay Cousins a big deal eventually, or we’re back in QB purgatory. I don’t think not getting a deal is a horrible thing. I just would have preferred one. Another tag though, that I would view as a very bad thing.

      But the draft and free agent points are irrelevant. There won’t be a free agent available with more potential than Cousins. And the draft (especially the long shots you mentioned) is a complete crap shoot. I love that McCloghan is our GM. But even he doesn’t have the best track record drafting QBs. Mostly because it’s hard. You never really know with these guys. Alex Smith was actually the better QB prospect than Aaron Rogers. McCloughan made the right choice at the time, and look how that turned out.

      There’s a reason why it’s been DECADES since this team had a real franchise QB. They’re not easy to find. It’s not as simple as “if we can’t work it out with Cousins we’ll just go find someone else.” He’s the best bet we’ve had in a long time. So just commit to the guy and let’s see what happens. Worst case, you’re overpaying a mediocre QB. But you have stability and continuity while you find his replacement.

      Because Cousins is mediocre at worst. And teams with an established starter (even a mediocre one) have an advantage over teams desperate for a QB. They don’t have to overdraft a replacement and start them too soon. They can draft a guy late in the first, second or third, and develop him for a year or two instead of ruin them by starting them too soon (aka what happened with Alex Smith vs. Rogers). That’s worth paying for.

    • bangkokben - Jul 21, 2016 at 4:10 PM

      Some of your “knowns” are big assumptions. For instance, keeping Cousins on short-term deals for 2 more years. How is that a known? Sure, he has the ability to tag Cousins three years but that seems like a huge miscalculation. There is the traditional acrimony that occurs when expensive players can’t get their max due to the tag. Then when you talk about the cap increasing — that’s a given, but the estimates are considerably less than the increases in the tag. Cousins tag would increase by 20% next year and 44% the following year while the cap estimates are 7-10% a year. That is poor management of a cap that you’re (the GM) so arduously giving as rationale for slowly make a decision on the most important position. The other factors, I have no issue with. I have no issue with the “prove it” year. What I have issue with is two fold: 1) that some fans think this is a way to go for more than a year, and 2) that fans think that the Redskins will gladly pony up the market value if Cousins continues to play at the level he played for the bulk of last year. What words or actions from the GM in the past week or five months indicate that they will pay market value? Take Rich’s piece today and juxtapose it with what McCloughan has said this week. It basically says, “We want Kirk to be our quarterback on a long-term deal provided that we can add players from other teams at the rate we’re paying Josh Norman because this team has holes.”

  11. Trey Gregory - Jul 21, 2016 at 2:47 PM

    Since you asked Rich: It’s actions over words for me. McCloughan is saying the right things because that’s his job. But we all know coach speak. We all know you can’t believe a word that comes out of their mouths. It’s what they do that tells us how they really feel.

    And they low balled Cousins then didn’t budge. Their initial offer was lower than what they extended RG3 for; the guy they cut and started Cousins over. They reportedly never really tried to negotiate a realistic long-term deal with Cousins. That doesn’t seem like a great way to tell someone, “we value you and want you around for a long time.”

  12. colmac69 - Jul 21, 2016 at 3:31 PM

    What’s done is done……Cousins has gd yr he gonna get well rewarded (xpensive perhaps but skins more than happy to pay guy who b the qb for nxt few yrs)

    He already says himself that he plays poorly he doesn’t deserve big contract,,,,in that scenario will he still b a redskin nxt yr?both him and skins are losers in that worse case scenario

    Enough of cousins contract position and just concentrate on upcoming season and we all can hope it ends with best case scenario

  13. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© - Jul 21, 2016 at 4:43 PM

    Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster that training camp is almost here.

  14. kenlinkins - Jul 21, 2016 at 9:03 PM

    Rich, How sure are you that the Redskins tried to Low Ball Cousins? I have known guys who low ball (i.e. show them the ground floor) and then wait for a counter offer (i.e. be shown the penthouse). Then both sides start working toward the middle (i.e. playing the game). When I did a deal, I started within 10% of where I placed the real value so I had some room to move but made it pretty clear by only increasing offers in small 2% or 3% moves that the other side knew the general area I would go to (I admit I never had a deal where I had a “tag” to deal with). Could it be that Cousins side miss read the Redskins offer as a low ball offer and waited to see if they took a big jump trying to close the deal near the dead line or did the Cousins rare position allow him to wait / bet on himself and force the Redskins into pushing the deal back a year? I feel that the Redskins GM really believed that Cousins value was only $16 million/ $24 million guaranteed and have a hard time figuring out why the Redskins would Low Ball Cousins.(again, way to many moving parts and no real history to pull from). Archives

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