John Keim of ESPN writes that the Redskins and QB Kirk Cousins have once again reached another critical juncture in their relationship, as they have juts one more week to reach an agreement on a long-term extension or Cousins will play out another year under the franchise tag.
As of now, Keim says that “a deal remains a long shot” but there’s at least a chance that an agreement could be reached in time.
One of the main issues that Cousins and his reps are looking for the $50 million fully guaranteed he could make by playing out the season and testing the open market next year. However, Keim says that Washington doesn’t want to offer him that much.
The Redskins previously offered Cousins a five-year deal that included around $20 million per year, but multiple sources tell Keim that they’re pessimistic.
According to Keim, the vibe in the Redskins’ front office about signing Cousins long-term appeared to change back in March after they fired GM Scot McCloughan. There’s now “a more unified voice” regarding their appreciation for Cousins and owner Dan Snyder is more involved in the situation.
Multiple sources tell Keim that Cousins was encouraged by how the spring workouts went and it’s possible that the bond between HC Jay Gruden and Cousins could benefit from Gruden calling plays this year.
However, Keim adds that no one close to Cousins has expressed any optimism that a deal will get done before the upcoming deadline and there’s no guarantee that Cousins is even willing to sign an extension right now.
All of this fits with a recent report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who reported that while there is an “improved tone” between the Redskins and Cousins regarding a long-term deal, it’s still considered a “long shot” for the two parties to reach an agreement before the July 17 deadline.
Cousins, 28, is a former fourth-round pick of the Redskins back in 2012. He played out the final year of his four-year, $2,572,688 rookie contract that included a $472,688 signing bonus when Washington elected to use the franchise tag on Cousins that paid him $19.953 million fully guaranteed for the 2016 season.
The Redskins franchised him for the second year in a row this past February and he’s now set to make $23.94 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season.
In 2016, Cousins has appeared in all 16 games and thrown for 4,917 yards while completing 67 percent of his passes to go along with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 8 quarterback out of 36 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding a new deal for Cousins as the news is available.