Bruce Allen: Redskins offered Kirk Cousins $53 million, but he prefers franchise tag
It makes perfect sense why Cousins wants to play under the tag
Kirk Cousins will be the Redskins' starting quarterback in 2017, but he may not have a long-term future in Washington. At 4 p.m. ET on Monday, the franchise deadline came and passed, which means Cousins will once again play under what is essentially a one-year contract.
By the sound of it, Cousins is completely OK with the limited security the franchise tag offers. But the Redskins don't sound happy about it.
Minutes after the deadline passed, team president Bruce Allen released a statement that revealed the contract the Redskins offered Cousins. According to Allen, they offered Cousins $53 million guaranteed, but Cousins preferred to play under the franchise tag.
Here's their entire statement, which reeks of desperation:
Our goal was to sign Kirk to a long-term contract with the final objective of having him finish his career with the Redskins.
On May 2nd, right after the draft, we made Kirk an offer that included the highest fully guaranteed amount upon signing for a quarterback in NFL history ($53 million) and guaranteed a total of $72 million for injury. The deal would have made him at least the second highest-paid player by average per year in NFL history.
But despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from Kirk's agent this year.
Kirk has made it clear that he prefers to play on a year-to-year basis. While we would have liked to work out a long-term contract before this season, we accept his decision.
Andrew Brandt of The Monday Morning Quarterback and Mike Jones of The Washington Post provided more contract information:
Deal offered by @Redskins added 5 years (6 total) with $29M more guaranteed than $24M scheduled. So $1M more than Transition Tag next year.— Andrew Brandt (@AndrewBrandt) July 17, 2017
I'm told the proposed deal (5 more years) by Redskins only guaranteed 1 more year beyond this. Cousins fine taking his time.No hard feelings https://t.co/JfOYuLlACn— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) July 17, 2017
As our Will Brinson noted, the Redskins' offer really wasn't great. It's easy to see why Cousins turned it down. He had no real incentive to take the Redskins' offer. It couldn't have been a difficult choice for him.
Under the franchise tag, Cousins will make $23.9 million this year. Last year, he made $19.9 million under the tag. So in all, Cousins will have made nearly $44 million in two years by accepting the relative lack of long-term stability that comes along with the franchise tag. Translation: His move to bet on himself has worked out pretty well, even if he still hasn't inked a long-term deal.
There are a couple of different ways to look at the upcoming season. The first way is that Cousins is set up to earn a huge, long-term deal following the season. Assuming Cousins can maintain his level of play from the past two seasons -- he's completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 9,083 yards, 54 touchdowns, 23 interceptions and a 99.3 passer rating since 2015 -- or even improve, someone might hand him an Andrew Luck type of contract. That's the deal Cousins is seeking. Maybe it'll be the 49ers, who are coached by ex-Redskins offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Maybe it'll be the Redskins. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Cousins is still open to signing a contract with the team after the season.
The second way of looking at this year is that Cousins will struggle now that DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon are gone. But even if that happens, Cousins will still make his money. Heck, Mike Glennon just got $18.5 guaranteed this offseason. Someone will pay Cousins in a quarterback-needy league.
No matter which way you look at it, Cousins comes out on top. And the Redskins, once again, certainly don't look like the best-run franchise in football.
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