WASHINGTON — Today is the day.
By Friday at 4 p.m., the Washington Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins must come to an agreement on a long-term contract extension, or Cousins will play the 2016 season on the franchise tag.
By Thursday, the tone of reports remained unchanged from the past several months.
They remained unchanged from last week, when Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported definitively the two sides would not be reaching a deal. When NFL Insider Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports put the odds of the Redskins re-signing Cousins at a whopping one percent.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter sparked a powder keg with a soundbite during an ESPN radio interview. The key excerpt was transcribed by JP Finlay of CSN Mid-Atlantic:
“All I can say is the most powerful voice or voices have ruled that [Cousins] is worth only a certain amount of money. I mean you tell me who’s got the most powerful voice or voices there, because whoever that is, whoever controls the purse strings so to speak, has deemed Kirk Cousins to be worthy of a number that is significantly less then what would be the two year franchise tag, which is essentially, if you put two years in the franchise tag would be $44 million, and I don’t think they have come anywhere close to that in terms of guaranteed money.”
This prompted a healthy rant from Chris Russell on 106.7 The Fan Thursday evening.
“I wonder what influential, powerful voices Adam Schefter’s talking about,” Russell began. “Hmmm. Well wait a second. I’m sorry, Redskins fans. I thought Scot McCloughan ran everything. I thought Scot McCloughan even cleaned the toilets at Redskins Park. Oh I thought he made all the decisions. Oh, I’m sorry, Redskins fans. Did I miss that? I thought, boy, if he wanted something done — [snaps fingers audibly] — all Scot had to do was snap his fingers, because Dan and Bruce, they’re not even a part of the mix. They don’t even matter. It’s all Scot all the time. 106.7 The Scot.”
“That’s what you people have told me over, and over, and over and over again,” he said. “How quickly you forgot who stirs the pot. How quickly you forgot who makes the needle move. How quickly you don’t remember who made an absolutely awful decision, not only last offseason to name Robert Griffin III the starting quarterback in mid-February, but to give him the five-year contract option. Who else would have ordered — to a point of a Code Red — that Robert Griffin III return on a short week against the Minnesota Vikings in early November 2014?”
“See, you guys think that just because Scot McCloughan is the General Manger, and because his poop don’t stink, that he wields the biggest sausage in the party,” he said. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. No. No. Yet. Never. Not going to happen. Not with Uncle Bruce and Dan The Man.”
“Now listen, I worked for Dan Snyder for five years,” Russell said. “I like Dan Snyder. I have no problem with Dan Snyder in terms of the way he treated me. I mean, I wish he would have stood up for me a little bit more last year. I was told he always liked me. We always had good interaction. But Dan Snyder ultimately still has too much fan in him and not enough common sense in him.
“And that’s maybe an insult to you, the fans, but a lot of you, while you think I’m crazy, and while you think I’m nuts, a lot of you are — in my view — a little crazy and nuts. And you’re fans. You’re fanatics. You’re passionate about your team. And that’s great. And I would never discredit you for that. But that doesn’t mean you’re right about everything. That doesn’t mean Dan Snyder has been right about everything.”
“And here’s the worst case, and the biggest problem that I have with Dan, is that supposedly Bruce Allen was brought here to fix this franchise, and just when they started to fix it, they did something typical of the Redskins, and typical of Dan, and typical of the way things have been,” he continued. “And then they made a colossal mistake after they first got here, which came back to haunt them. Then, there was probably the most bitter and public divorce in sports that you’re ever going to see in this modern era. Maybe Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson 20 years ago. But guess who presided over that? Not Scot; Bruce and Dan. And especially Bruce.”
“And many have asked me, ‘What do I have against Bruce?’ I don’t have anything personally against Bruce,” Russell said. “He never did anything bad to me that I know of, except — except — he tried to discredit the Bill Cowher story, which I didn’t appreciate and I’ll never forget. Because he made me look bad, and I don’t forget things like that, especially when they’re true.”
“And you guys believed that, hook, line and sinker,” he said, “Heh. Heh. Heh. Heh heh. Heh heh. Heh. But. The reason why I bring this up is Schefter, without saying names, is telling you exactly the problem here, exactly the reason why this deal did not get done and is not going to get done, is because Bruce Allen, who’s as cheap as they come…. I mean, that guy would squeeze a drop of blood out of a nickel if he could. Bruce Allen is as cheap as they come. And I mean cheap.
“Bruce Allen and Dan Snyder have conspired once again to overrule the football people, and to say, ‘You know what? You can have your little quarterback. We’ll give him the $20 million, because we have no other choice, theoretically. You can have your quarterback. Not only do we need to see more…. We’re going to embarrass him. We’re going to try and humiliate him. We’re going to try and sucker him into signing a well below market deal, because we think he’s all golly gee, aw shucks Kirky C.'”
“And Adam Schefter,” Russell said, “if you don’t believe it from me, Adam Schefter is telling you exactly what is happening here, exactly the problem. That Bruce and Dan have decided Kirk Cousins is not worth making a long-term deal with at a fair price. Not Scot. Not Jay. Not Sean. Not Kirk. Not Mike McCartney. Two people, Bruce, Dan, and I would be willing to bet a lot more of it is Bruce convincing Dan, than Dan convincing Bruce.”
Listen to Russell’s full rant below.