Redskins president Bruce Allen told reporters on Monday that it’s possible they could franchise QB Kirk Cousins for a third straight year if the two parties are unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal.
“Yes,” Allen said when asked if they would be willing to franchise Cousins again in 2018, via JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic. “In the collective bargaining agreement, we really have one year and an option that we can do at the end of next season if we don’t get a contract.”
Many assumed that the cost of a third franchise would be too prohibitive for the Redskins, but it sounds like they may be willing to go that route if needed.
A third franchise tag would run Washington $34 million fully guaranteed, which would account for around 20 percent of the team’s total salary cap.
Another option could be to use the transition tag on Cousins at a cost of $28 million. This would allow the Redskins to match any offer he receives in free agency.
As for a long-term extension, Allen said that talks with Cousins are “ongoing” but the July 15 deadline will be a “driving point” in regards to a potential deal.
“It’s ongoing,” Allen said, via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. “There’s been constant dialogue, I don’t want to say it’s been every day. I really believe July 15, the league deadline, is really going to be the driving point to it. It’s ongoing.”
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.