Cousins and the Redskins failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract prior to Monday's 4:00 PM EST deadline, meaning he'll play a second straight season under Washington's franchise tag, Stephen Czarda of Redskins.com reports.
Cousins is scheduled to earn nearly $24 million in guaranteed money this season, which could end up being his last with the Redskins. The signal-caller will become a free agent next offseason, and with 9,083 passing yards and 63 touchdowns (54 passing, nine rushing) the past two years, he's sure to draw heavy interest around the league. In its defense, Washington released a statement following the failure to secure Cousins, detailing the offer the team presented to the 28-year-old. To summarize, Cousins would've been guaranteed $53 million while becoming at least the NFL's second highest-paid player ever by average per year. With the leverage to command even more guaranteed money next offseason, though, Cousins opted to bet on himself once again, eschewing the offer. Although he's lost his top two receivers from last season, as well as his offensive coordinator, Cousins' motivation ahead of a massive payday makes him an enticing commodity to monitor.
Cousins has until 4:00 EST on Monday to ink a long-term contract with Washington, or else he'll play a second straight season under the team's franchise tag. Without a recent breakthrough in negotiations, the latter scenario is widely expected to unfold, which would see Cousins earn nearly $24 million in guaranteed money this term. Under that scenario, Cousins would then be able to re-evaluate his future with the Redskins after the season, all the while preserving the possibility to secure a long-term pact elsewhere ahead of the 2018 campaign.
Cousins is currently scheduled to play a second straight year under Washington's franchise tag, which is slated to earn him $23.9 million in guaranteed money this season. Although his representatives and the Redskins have reportedly met at least twice since late March, the parties remain apart on how much guaranteed money Cousins' next contract should include. Without common ground on his annual salary either, there's little optimism Cousins' prolonged contract saga will suddenly be solved by next week. As a result, Cousins could be entering his final season with the Redskins, but the motivation of another big pay day looming should once again drive him to prove his worth. In two seasons as a starter, Cousins has totaled a whopping 9,083 passing yards to go with 63 touchdowns (54 passing, nine rushing) versus 23 interceptions.
It appears as if the Redskins are making a push to get Cousins a long-term deal before the July 17 deadline, but the two sides are still a ways apart. The quarterback's team believes all offers thus far have been under market value, a benchmark that has been made much clearer after Derek Carr signed a $125 million extension last week. With Matthew Stafford also in talks for a new deal, it appears Cousins' best option at the moment is to remain patient. Both sides have made public their confidence in a new deal being reached, but with only 20 days until the deadline there's a real chance Cousins will once again be stuck with the franchise tag.
Cousins suggested he's fine with playing under his franchise-tag salary of $23.94 million if the alternative is accepting a contract that the Redskins can get out of after a couple seasons. The team did offer him a five-year deal worth approximately $20 million per year, but the offer was so far from what he's seeking that Cousins' side didn't even bother countering. Depending on how much of the deal is guaranteed and when those guarantees kick in, Cousins might be amenable to a contract with an average annual value that's only slightly above $20 million. The two sides have until July 15 to reach an agreement, but even if nothing gets worked out by that time, both Cousins and the Redskins have repeatedly stated he'll be with the team for at least one more season. The team probably won't even listen to a trade offer unless it includes multiple early-round picks.
|P1||8/10/17||@ BAL||7:30 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ TB||7:30 pm|
|2||9/17/17||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|4||10/2/17||@ KC||8:30 pm|
|Bye: Week 5|
|7||10/23/17||@ PHI||8:30 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ SEA||4:05 pm|
|11||11/19/17||@ NO||1:00 pm|
|13||11/30/17||@ DAL||8:25 pm|
|14||12/10/17||@ LAC||4:05 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|