Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, citing sources informed of the situation, reports that the way the Redskins handled contract negotiations this offseason was part of the reason why they were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with franchise QB Kirk Cousins.
According to Rapoport, the Redskins made Cousins a five-year offer worth $110 million with $53 million fully guaranteed and $72 million in injury guarantees back in May.
Redskins president Bruce Allen later met with Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, and had a separate meeting with him and his father. Allen reportedly told them that Washington would make Cousins another offer before the deadline to negotiate with franchise players but wound up extending him the same exact offer they made back in May without any changes to the agreement.
This is why talks between the two parties ultimately went nowhere and why Cousins is now playing out the season under another franchise tender.
Cousins explained back in July that he was close to countering their offer, but he felt at peace leaving it up to the team.
“It was closer than people would think,” Cousins said, via NFL.com. “Even up to a week ago, I was still praying over whether we should send an offer … but ultimately I just felt peace on not making an offer and leaving it up to the team … based on their offers being able to go from there and then the deadline passed and play the season out. That’s what I felt the most at peace about so that’s what we ended up doing.”
Cousins stressed that while they were unable to reach an agreement on a long-term extension, remaining in Washington “has always been [his] first choice.”
“It has always been my first choice to be with the Redskins,” Cousins said. “When you look around the league and you see great quarterbacks, they’ve nearly all played for one team. And the ones that haven’t, it really wasn’t their choice. It was usually a situation that dictated they had to move on, but that wasn’t their preference. I’m no different, I would love to be with the Redskins long-term. That’s why I think that there’s still a lot of hope that next offseason, when the season ends, the Redskins are going to have I think about two months to be the exclusive team that I can talk with. Then they still have the opportunity, if we’re not anywhere at that point, to use one of two tags.
“From there, there’s still time. While the ball is in my court during the season to play football well, the ball certainly goes back to the Redskins’ court to continue this process. So while there was a deadline this summer, the real deadline to make a decision of next year is next year. That’s now where my focus is, my focus is on playing football, but there will be plenty of time to figure that all out down the road. Again, my first choice would be to be with the Redskins long-term. We’ll see with more information if we can make that happen.”
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 Cousins and his future in Washington as the news is available.