Kirk Cousins "holds more leverage than any quarterback in history" (1 Viewer)

superchuck500

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The Redskins, yet again, writing the book on how not to run an NFL franchise. In the age of the quarterback, the Skins actually gambled that Cousins wouldn't succeed . . . and now he holds all the cards after putting in a season with 4917 yards, 25/12, and another season north of 67% completion ratio.

The Skins are going to have to tag him, the second year in a row, which means that if he plays 2017 under the tag, the Skins will have paid him $44 million for two years, and have no contract to show for it that would keep him around under more favorable terms in the out years. And letting him play under the tag essentially just doubles down on the gamble that he's not going to succeed . . . because if he does perform at a the same level has he has in his last two seasons (his only years as the team's starter), the situation will be even worse next year.

Or, if they release or tag/trade him, they be left without a quarterback - basically going back to the drawing board on the most important position in the league (after having a top 10 performer in his 20s!). His trade value is diminished because the team acquiring him will basically be taking over the same terrible bargaining position that the Redskins have.

So it is clearly in the Skins' interest to sign him (they would have until July 15 if they tag him) . . . and nobody knows that better than Cousins and his agent. Either way, Cousins is in good shape to have earned a huge amount of money over two seasons, and if he plays well in 2017, it only gets bigger next off-season.

Not bad for a guy who still prefers to drive around in a 16-year old van he bought from his grandmother.


Before diving into the civil strife, let’s absorb the logistics of finance that are in play now for Cousins. On Wednesday, he is due – and from all accounts from league sources, about to receive – a franchise tag that will amount to a one-year deal for $23.94 million in 2017. This means Cousins will be on the books in Washington for a two-season total of $43.89 million in guaranteed money.

After following this situation for the last year and speaking with multiple sources familiar with the negotiations, this much is unequivocal: If Washington had offered Cousins a multiyear deal last offseason that included $44 million guaranteed and base salaries of $20 million, he would have taken it. Anyone who says otherwise (on either side of this negotiation) is either lying or trying to rewrite history with alternative facts.
This is how badly the Washington Redskins have financially botched things with Kirk Cousins

Here’s the bind [the Redskins] are in:

• The Redskins don’t tag Cousins and they lose him right now for nothing more than a third-round compensatory pick next season, then head back to the drawing board at quarterback. That would signify that the franchise is in some stage of a rebuild, losing a starting quarterback that they (publicly claim to) believe in.

• Tag Cousins and trade him – a move that will draw far less of a draft pick or player compensation now than ever because NFL teams can see the flames lapping against the windows of the negotiation room.

• The Redskins tag Cousins and he plays out the season at a similar pace of the last two seasons. The option here is the Redskins let him go after 2017, blowing through $43.89 million and having no long-term answer to show for it. Or Washington can franchise tag him for a third season at a clip of $34.47 million for 2018. After that? They’d have sunk $78.36 million into Cousins for three seasons – significantly more guaranteed money than any player has ever made over a three-season span. And they’d be forced to let him go to free agency, having nothing to show for one of the biggest financial negotiation blunders in NFL history.

• The Redskins can franchise tag Cousins in 2017 ($23.94 million) and transition tag him ($28.78 million) in 2018, paying out $72.67 million over three years – still more than any player has ever earned in three years. But under the transition tag in 2018, Cousins would have the right to negotiate with other clubs. And if the Redskins matched, they’d be on the hook for a brand-spanking new deal likely to come with at least $50 million in guaranteed money. And with the salary cap climbing, that $50 million guaranteed figure in 2018 is very conservative. This means Washington pays out $43.89 million for 2016 and 2017 and then, if its hand is forced, matches a transition offer sheet that delivers potentially another $50 million in guaranteed money, most of which will likely be paid in the first two years of the deal. That would put Cousins at likely more than $93.89 million in guaranteed money for four years of work.

To put that digit in perspective, the New Orleans Saints will have paid Drew Brees and his massive, mismanaged, back-end contract just over $71 million the last four years of his deal. The Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck just signed a deal that if it goes as planned, will pay out about $88 million in cash over the next four years. To recap: Brees, $71 million over four. Luck, $88 million over four. Cousins, $93 million (or more) over four.
This is how badly the Washington Redskins have financially botched things with Kirk Cousins


The two sides very well could still reach an agreement, and have until July 15 to do so, but it’s clear to two NFL experts that, if there’s a “winner” and a “loser” to any contract negotiations, the Redskins have already lost. It’s just a matter now of how badly.

The Redskins wanted to hammer this thing out before the tag deadline, but the reality was that was never going to happen. Nor is an extension likely before mid-summer. Why, you ask? Business.

It’s the goal of Cousins’s agent to get his client the best possible situation, and as much money as possible. And right now, according to former NFL executive Joe Banner, who spent 12 seasons as the Eagles’ president and two seasons as the chief executive of the Browns, and Joel Corry, a former player agent and current analyst for CBS Sports and National Football Post, Cousins and his agent are holding all the cards. In fact, Banner believes Cousins holds more leverage in these negotiations than any quarterback in the history of the NFL.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...kirk-cousins-contract/?utm_term=.22c42c9497e6
 

Swampy Saint

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Sooo...why don't / aren't they interested in signing him to a long term deal?
 
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superchuck500

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Sooo...why don't / aren't they interested in signing him to a long term deal?
Bruce Allen is the bean-counter and contract guy there, and I think he's stuck in this view that Cousins is good but not great - and he doesn't want to pay him more than he thinks he's worth. But he either gambled and lost, or he's trying to live in an alternate reality.

If the worry was not paying elite money for a QB who isn't elite, they have only increased his leverage . . . which translates into premium. They're going to end up paying more than they would have had they pulled the trigger last year. But I suppose that's the price of getting that extra year with no commitment. If Cousins was flat or regressed in 2017, it would have worked in the team's favor.

But it's all just bad dynamics when your strategy is based on your key player not performing. It's not a positive situation at all.
 

BoNcHiE

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Teams don't have the luxury of playing hard ball with QBs. If you have a QB who's at least above average, you do what it takes to keep him.

There's too much of a void in talent and with college all being spread garbage now.
 

bobad

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Cousins is intriguing. He can be pretty good on any team, I have seen him hit 18-19 passes in a row. I think he could be very good in the right system, or as a "system" QB.

Can he be a valuable franchise QB? Without a doubt, if he lands with the right team. Can he be a top 5 QB? I have no idea.
 

diehardfan

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Teams don't have the luxury of playing hard ball with QBs. If you have a QB who's at least above average, you do what it takes to keep him.

There's too much of a void in talent and with college all being spread garbage now.
It is literally sickening to see how valuable and rare QBs are and we have one of the best ever and can't crack .500 3 years in a row!!!

:ipuker:
 

ELLIASJWILLIAMS

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Bruce Allen is the bean-counter and contract guy there, and I think he's stuck in this view that Cousins is good but not great - and he doesn't want to pay him more than he thinks he's worth. But he either gambled and lost, or he's trying to live in an alternate reality.

If the worry was not paying elite money for a QB who isn't elite, they have only increased his leverage . . . which translates into premium. They're going to end up paying more than they would have had they pulled the trigger last year. But I suppose that's the price of getting that extra year with no commitment. If Cousins was flat or regressed in 2017, it would have worked in the team's favor.

But it's all just bad dynamics when your strategy is based on your key player not performing. It's not a positive situation at all.
The Drop off from Great to Good vs Good to Below Average is not as noticeable. So what if Cousins is middle Tier....thats enough to get you in the playoffs vs being in the latter 20-31 other QB's. Should have payed him!
 

diehardfan

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The Drop off from Great to Good vs Good to Below Average is not as noticeable. So what if Cousins is middle Tier....thats enough to get you in the playoffs vs being in the latter 20-31 other QB's. Should have payed him!
Yep. You build around him and go as far as you can. Drew Breeses don't grow on trees :)
 

St.Dan

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I only clicked it to make sure it was a Yahoo blog-type story and not an esteemed, established media outlet like the Washpost using such editorial language to describe Brees' contract.

As for the Redskins, I'll just say it's been a looooong time since they WEREN'T mismanaged -- like since Gibbs' first time as coach and Bobby Beathard finding the players.
 

Taker597

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I wouldn't invest building a team around Cousin unless you have a solid team in place. Doesn't deserve anything more than 18/19 per year in my opinion. I'd let him walk than watch him lose must win games every year and only can perform against bad teams.
 

BoNcHiE

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I wouldn't invest building a team around Cousin unless you have a solid team in place. Doesn't deserve anything more than 18/19 per year in my opinion. I'd let him walk than watch him lose must win games every year and only can perform against bad teams.
And then what do you think the Redskins will be winning with no QB?

Cousins is worth more than 18m in this market but had they signed him a year ago, they probably could of gotten him even less than that. They screwed up.
 

Taker597

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And then what do you think the Redskins will be winning with no QB?

Cousins is worth more than 18m in this market but had they signed him a year ago, they probably could of gotten him even less than that. They screwed up.
IF They signed him two years ago... sure. You can't use hindsight in this situation. Even then, his stats are super phony. I'm not buying in till he can perform against good teams.
 

BoNcHiE

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IF They signed him two years ago... sure. You can't use hindsight in this situation. Even then, his stats are super phony. I'm not buying in till he can perform against good teams.
The alternative is going another two decades with no QB. It took them this long to find one.

If that's what the Redskins do, good luck.

Regardless, he put up good numbers against the Giants, Lions, Cowboys (2x), Vikings, and Packers last season. Those are good teams.
 

Booker

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He's in a great position. The Redskins will either have to franchise him for a second consecutive season, or he gets to enter free agency at about the best time possible. At five years in the league, coming off consecutive strong seasons, he's moving right into the prime of his career.

If the Redskins don't franchise him, teams should be lining up for him -- when was the last time a franchise quarterback became a free agent right as he was going into his prime? Probably 2006.
 

saintsfaninhos

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Captain Kirk will take the tag, stay with the Washington (()))(s, and then next offseason see if the Saints move on from Drew.
 

FootballLady

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I'm sure the Jets, Texans, Bills, or Broncos would be happy to overpay for Cousins.
 

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