If Washington does, in fact, go this route, it would run them 44 percent more than the $23.94 million they paid Cousins in 2017 to franchise him for a third time. This comes out to $34.47 million fully guaranteed.
Florio points out that $34.47 million represents over 19 percent of the team’s total available cap room for the entire roster next year.
Another option that the Redskins could consider with Cousins is to use the transition tag on him, which would cost them $28.72 million while ensuring that they would have a chance to match an offer from another team. This would allow the market to set Cousins’ value and still give the Redskins the opportunity to match that offer.
A few weeks ago, Cousins mentioned during an interview with Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier of 106.7 The Fan that it would be “foolish” to say he doesn’t want to be in Washington.
“That has been the question, right?” Cousins said, via the Washington Post. “That’s what we talked about last summer in July. The short answer is yes. I just feel that it’s been a very positive six years. Obviously, we don’t have Super Bowl rings to show for it, we don’t have playoff wins, but it’s a privilege to play here. I’ve felt that for all six seasons. I’d be foolish to say I don’t want to be here. It is truly a dream come true and a privilege to be here. Now obviously, it’s not that simple or that easy, and we have time to figure all that out, and work through all the circumstances that have to take place to feel really good about that, but I do feel the short answer is yes and let’s work through it.”
Cousins said that guaranteed money is obviously is going to be part of any offer he and his agent, Mike McCartney consider any team interested in signing him.
“Guarantees are a big part of what Mike McCartney is going to be talking about with whoever he’s talking to say again, ‘This is something if you’re not going to do, then we might as well just play on one-year deals,‘” Cousins said. “Guarantees are really that security, or at least knowing I’m going to be here, is why I would commit to being here. If I don’t know that, why would I extend commitment. It’s like dating instead of getting married sort of thing.”
After playing under franchise tags the past few years, Cousins said it would be nice to have some long-term security for once.
“There’s a part of me that would like to get settled, but I haven’t even gone there yet and thought about what-if, what-if that happens,” Cousins said. “I haven’t thought that far ahead.”
Cousins, 29, 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 last year and he made $23.94 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season.
In 2017, Cousins has appeared in all 16 games and thrown for 4,093 yards while completing 64.3percent of his passes to go along with 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He’s also rushed for 179 yards and four touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 20 quarterback out of 40 qualifying players.
We have him featured in our Top 100 – 2018 NFL Free Agents list.