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Kirk Cousins: The Logic Behind Rejecting Redskins Contract Offer

Kirk Cousins Washington Redskins

Kirk Cousins will once again get the franchise tag from the Washington Redskins. The pro bowl quarterback and the team could not reach an agreement before the franchise tag deadline on Monday, July 17. Washington Redskin president Bruce Allen said an offer was given to Cousins and his agent in May, but the team received no response to the offer. The Redskins released a statement and mentioned that the contract was for five years with $53 million in guaranteed money.

The guaranteed money in the contract would have been for this coming season as well as next season. If Cousins and the Redskins cannot reach a deal next off season, the team can place the franchise tag on Cousins for a third-straight year. If they do, the Redskins will shell out roughly $34 million to do so. Cousins was selected by the Redskins in the 4th round of the 2012 NFL draft out of Michigan State as a safety-net to their 1st round draft pick Robert Griffin III. After injuries plagued RGIII for three seasons, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden announced that Cousins would be the starter just days before the first game.

In 2015, Cousins led the Redskins on a 90-yard game winning drive against the Eagles with a touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon. He also brought the Redskins back from a 24-0 deficit against Tampa Bay to 31-30. Cousins finished the 2015 NFL season leading the Redskins to a 9-7 record and won the NFC East division title. Cousins led the NFL that season in completion percentage (69.8%) and finished 5th in the NFL with a 101.6 passer rating. The Redskins placed the franchise tag on Cousins prior to the 2016 football season and the quarterback didn’t disappoint as he threw for 4,917 yards and 25 touchdowns.

What Cousins is doing by rejecting the Redskins contract is actually a smart move on his part. He knows he’s going to get paid very well wherever he goes or by keep playing under the franchise tag. So money doesn’t seem to be the issue as to why Cousins isn’t playing long term for the Redskins at the moment. He wants to gauge where the Redskins stand in building a team that can compete in the playoffs. Cousins took to the airwaves (getting paid for the spot) to explain his reasoning for not signing a long term deal.

“There have been a lot of changes in our organization since the end of last season,” Cousins said during his paid appearance on 106.7 The Fan radio Tuesday. “I want to allow time to help make this decision. I believe wisdom is never impatient, and so I think it’s smart to slow the process down, and to be patient and to allow things to play themselves out, to gather more information. I want to make the best decision I can. Being that in most NFL situations, this is the only year that’s promised to us anyways, I don’t feel a whole lot of extra security by having a long-term deal. So the one-year deal didn’t really scare me.” So now we are hearing his side of the ordeal.

The reasoning Cousins stated as to why he isn’t signing a contract offer actually makes sense. He says he wants to see what direction the Redskins are going in and how the front office will make the proper changes before he commits long-term. It’s possible that Cousins doesn’t want to be stuck with the Redskins if they aren’t committed to winning. The NFC East is getting tough and Washington will need to make some changes if they want to compete. The lost offensive coordinator Sean McVay as he took the Los Angeles Rams head coaching job and they allowed both of their 1,000 yard receivers in De’Sean Jackson and Pierre Garcon to leave as free agents. So the reasoning is there for why Cousins wants to see where the team is going. Calvin Johnson was a great example of being stuck in a less-than-ideal situation. He couldn’t get traded and the Lions weren’t going to the playoffs anytime soon, so he went to his “last resort” option. He retired. That could be a situation that Cousins doesn’t want to get into. Seeing what direction the Redskins go in and then determining if he wants to stay or not puts him in total control.

There is another angle that Cousins could be playing behind the scenes to. It’s not one that would make him popular with the fans, but an angle that would still be a very smart move on his part. Cousins could be playing a franchise tag game with the Redskins. Last season, Cousins made $19.95 million under the franchise tag. This season, he’ll make $23.9 million under the franchise tag again. So between the two years, the Redskins will pay Cousins almost $44 million for placing the franchise tag on him. The quarterback may even hope the Redskins place the franchise tag on him for the 2018 season at $34 million. If that would happen, the Redskins would fork over $77.85 million to Cousins for just three seasons. Almost $25 million more than the five-year deal the Redskins offered. While it’s unlikely that Washington will use the franchise tag for a third year, it could be possible if they’re in desperate need of a quarterback.

The second reason could be a little far-fetched, but money definitely was a driving point. Even Cousins said that the numbers were fair and close to what he was looking for. But the fact of the matter is that it wasn’t. That’s what has the Redskins front office frustrated. Neither Cousins or his agent, Mike McCartney, responded to the most recent offer submitted by the Redskins. That could have been a ploy in hopes that a larger contract was coming, but it could as well be because of what Cousins said the reasoning. So does Kirk Cousins not signing with the Washington Redskins mean he doesn’t want to be there? No. Does this mean that Cousins will be playing elsewhere next season? Absolutely not. Redskin fans have expressed concern as former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is now the head coach for the 49ers and Pierre Garcon inked a five-year deal with the 49ers so maybe Kirk Cousins is also looking to head out west. One thing is for sure though. The 2018 off season will be a tense one between Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins.

What are you’re thoughts on Cousins not signing with the Redskins. Place your comments below. (please keep it clean)

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