Cousins didn’t get a long-term deal from the team before Monday’s deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions. He’ll play this season on the franchise tag. That’s a cool $23.9 million for one season.
The Redskins went on the offensive Monday afternoon, trying to fool their fans into believing Cousins was being greedy. They put out a statement explaining how Cousins turned down $53 million guaranteed, but as Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported, that’s practically the same amount Cousins would get the next two seasons with this year’s franchise tag plus the 2018 transition tag of $28.7 million. Washington basically offered him nothing extra on a team-friendly, pay-as-you-go (after the first two years) deal and then tried to paint their quarterback as a villain when he didn’t take it or make a counter offer. Washington has smart football fans who can see through that.
None of this is bothering Cousins. On 106.7 The Fan radio in Washington, D.C., Cousins said Tuesday morning he was fine with the situation.
“I just felt peace about not making an offer and putting it in the team’s court,” Cousins said, via Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post.
While the team fights a public battle against its quarterback for at least this season, Cousins is fine living on the high road. Cousins said he needed more time, as the franchise has gone through many changes. It mirrors how the team handled the situation last year, basically wanting Cousins to prove himself on the franchise tag before giving him a huge extension.
Cousins didn’t even flinch when Redskins president Bruce Allen appeared to continually refer to his $24 million quarterback as “Kurt” Cousins.
“I’ve been called Kurt my entire life,” Cousins said.
Cousins didn’t even mind that Washington put out the (misleading) statement detailing its offer.
“I understand where he and the organization is coming from,” Cousins said.
It’s a smart approach. Cousins just keeps collecting his millions while letting the team dig a deeper hole. Washington has botched this situation in so many ways – “you may never see a franchise quarterback negotiation this screwed up again,” Robinson wrote about it – and Cousins is shrugging all the way to an even bigger payday next March.
“It’s always been my first choice to be with the Redskins,” Cousins said Tuesday.
Maybe that will happen. Perhaps Washington will finally realize it can’t keep trying to lowball Cousins and just expect him to happily take it, when he has all the leverage. If not, Washington will lose its starting quarterback, or pay him a ghastly $34.47 million on another franchise tag next season. Either way, Cousins will keep smiling.
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