WASHINGTON — The Redskins could have had Kirk Cousins signed to a long-term deal for less than $20 million per year, 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen reports.
According to “a source with knowledge of the Redskins’ decision,” Cousins’ camp offered the Redskins a “three-year deal last February worth $19.5 [million] a year with significant guarantees.” That offer was still on the table in July.
The Redskins weren’t interested in budging from their much lower number because of the substantial guarantees in the deal, which would make it hard for the team to move on from Cousins in the future if he failed to perform in 2016. That deal would have kept Cousins in Washington at a team-friendly rate, but had he regressed after a strong finish to the 2015 season, the Redskins would have still owed him significant money if they wanted to move on from him.
Cousins, of course, followed up with a record-breaking season that saw him just barely miss the 5,000-yard mark, and now the Redskins are paying the price for their hesitation.
Considering the Redskins offered Cousins a $20 million per year contract this offseason, per The Washington Post, and he’s due to make $24 million this season on the franchise tag, it seems the team missed a significant opportunity due to uncertainty that he was a franchise quarterback.
Former NFL agent Joel Corry told The Sports Junkies on 106.7 The Fan back in January that Cousins could fetch as much as $90 million in guaranteed money on the open market right now.
“I’m going to say conservatively, it’s gonna be $26.5 million a year is the average, and $90 million in overall guarantees where at least $60 million will be fully guaranteed,” Corry said then, when asked what Cousins’ earning potential was.
With some beginning to speculate Cousins is simply holding out for the most possible money, the fact that he was willing to settle a year ago is telling. And Washington’s hesitation is now going to pay off for the quarterback.