Redskins, Cousins headed toward expensive contract deadline

1:12 | NFL         The Biggest Contracts in the NFL

Because the Redskins made him a four-round pick in the 2012 National Football League draft - installing him as a back-up to first-round pick Robert Griffin III - Cousins has had no say in where he plays and no opportunity to test his value on the open market. Determining which team that will be could be a major story line around the league next spring.

In a public statement, the Redskins placed the blame squarely on franchise player Kirk Cousins' camp for the sides' inability to reach a long-term agreement by Monday's 4pm ET deadline. Cousins will make $23.94 million on the franchise tag in 2017 after $19.95 million past year.

So why aren't the Redskins doing whatever they must do to keep Cousins in the fold? The Redskins could re-sign him after the season. But possible and likely are two very different things. The first is the transition tag and the second is the franchise tag for a third consecutive year, but both options would cost the Redskins a pretty penny for a one-year deal. All unused cap space from one year can be carried over to the next.

Kirk Cousins will not rule the Washington Redskins, even if both sides can not come to an agreement by the deadline.

Cousins enters his 6th season with the Burgundy and Gold. That, of course, is a signal that Cousins and his representatives logically would send: Why eliminate any potential bidder? Cousins also could walk away and become a free agent.




But as mentioned in the report regarding McCloughan, the members of the front office still in tow weren't sold on Cousins in 2015 and likely still aren't given how the situation has played out to now. That would drop his salary to $28.7 million but would allow Cousins to negotiate with other clubs.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins is in the driver's seat as contract negotiations go. "You don't necessarily have to go out of your way to avoid the tag". That's because what Cousins seeks isn't simply a fatter bank account.

Cousins turns 29 next month. He started 32 games the past two seasons and completed 68 percent of his passes for 9,083 yards with 54 touchdowns, 23 interceptions and a passer rating of 99.3. Cousins has a season to deepen his bond with Gruden, who players like and who has been an advocate for Cousins in the building, who will now be calling his plays.

I believe Shanahan is the first 49ers coach to really trust on something like this since Jim Harbaugh came on board in 2011 and moved to re-sign Alex Smith and nudged the team into drafting Colin Kaepernick in the second round of that draft.

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