Washington did, however, improve that offer to $15 million annually, according to Garafolo. However, Cousins could wait out the Redskins and receive the franchise tag, which would pay him a salary of close to $20 million guaranteed for the 2016 season.
Ian Rapoport reports that Cousins is looking for “at least” $19 million per year in a long-term contract.
This would also give him leverage in contract negotiations with the Redskins, so there isn’t a lot of incentive for him to jump at the reported offer.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported yesterday that the Redskins were planning to tag Cousins, but were still deciding between using the franchise or transition tag on him.
However, the transition tag would give them the right of first refusal, which allows them to match an offer he receives on the open market.
Redskins GM Scot McCloughan told reporters at the Combine that conversations are going on “every day” Cousins and his reps. McCloughan added: “He wants to be a Redskin.”
McCloughan did, however, make it clear that he won’t overextend the franchise to get Cousins locked up long-term.
“I would love to do a long-term deal with Kirk, but I’m not going to ruin the organization financially to do it,” McCloughan said, per Michael Phillips.
Cousins, 27, played out the final year of his four-year, $2,572,688 rookie contract that included a $472,688 signing bonus and was in position to be the best available quarterback in this year’s free agent market.
In 2015, Cousins threw for 4,166 yards while completing 69.8 percent of his passes to go along with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over the course of 16 games. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 16 quarterback out of 37 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2016 Free Agents list.