Washington GM Scot McCloughan is optimistic
If the two parties don't reach an agreement by July 15, Cousins will play out 2016 at his franchise-tag salary of $19.953 million. Washington would then have to wait until the following offseason to offer him a new contract, with the asking price potentially much higher. There's no guarantee a deal gets done, as the team is understandably hesitant to give Cousins true franchise quarterback money after just one good season.
Kirk Cousins will sign his non-exclusive franchise tender Thursday, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports 1 reports.
After he was extended the tag Tuesday, Cousins will be able to participate in the entire offseason program, while simultaneously working on a long-term deal. After setting career highs in every major category in his first full season as a starter, a happy medium is likely desired from both parties.
Cousins' representation and Washington brass have been negotiating for some time on a long-term contract, but by placing this franchise tag on the quarterback before Tuesday's 4 PM ET deadline, the team will receive compensation in the form of two first-round picks if another organization swoops in and hands him an offer that he can't refuse. If the two sides are unable to reach terms of a deal by July 15, he'll play under the franchise tender of $19.953 million in 2016 and then be eligible for free agency next March. Setting career highs across the board last season, Cousins completed 69.8 percent of his passes for 4,166 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions en route to the NFC East title.
Cousins and the Redskins haven't found an agreement in contract negotiations yet, so Washington may opt to use its transition tag on the quarterback. By doing that, Cousins would receive a one-year tender offer worth the average of the top 10 quarterback salaries. Additionally, the Redskins would be guaranteed the right of first refusal to match any offer extended Cousins' way by another team. While it remains to be seen which route the Redskins will ultimately take with regards to Cousins, it appears the transition tag is the latest option under serious consideration.
It comes as no surprise that the two sides are far apart, but it still seems highly likely that Cousins will return to Washington in 2016. If no long-term agreement is reached before March, the team could opt to use the franchise tag as a bridge to continue long-term negotiations. Washington might even allow Cousins to play out a full season under the tag, as his performance before 2015 was largely unimpressive. He was good enough last season that the team will take a massive PR hit if he leaves, but the hesitance to pay him like a top-15 quarterback is still understandable.
|P1||8/11/16||@ ATL||7:00 pm|
|P4||9/1/16||@ TB||7:30 pm|
|3||9/25/16||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|5||10/9/16||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|7||10/23/16||@ DET||1:00 pm|
|8||10/30/16||@ CIN||9:30 am|
|Bye: Week 9|
|12||11/24/16||@ DAL||4:30 pm|
|13||12/4/16||@ ARI||4:25 pm|
|14||12/11/16||@ PHI||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/16||@ CHI||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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