ASHBURN — Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins said on Wednesday that he has not spent much time thinking about why the organization has yet to make a credible long-term contract offer to him and agent Mike McCartney.
Cousins will play under the franchise tag for a second straight season ($23.9 million) if he and the team do not agree to a new long-term deal by the NFL’s July 15 deadline. That makes the next seven weeks critical to his future with the franchise.
Cousins, however, much like team president Bruce Allen earlier this week, remains positive about the ongoing talks.
“It’s a process,” Cousins said. “Nothing happens right now. And as one person told me – deadlines do deals. That’s just kind of a rule in negotiating. And so why would something happen way before a deadline? It just doesn’t make sense. I’m not in a hurry. They’re not in a hurry. We’ll just see how things go. I’m being patient.”
Cousins’ words echoed what he’s said much of the offseason. Allen, too, insisted he remains optimistic when talking to reporters at the organization’s annual charity golf event on Monday at Army Navy Country Club.
“It’s ongoing. There’s been constant dialogue,” Allen said. “I don’t want to say it’s every day. I do believe that July 15 league deadline really is going to be the driving point to it, but it’s ongoing.”
Cousins, of course, has set the franchise passing record two years in a row, led Washington to an NFC East title and the playoffs in 2015 and an 8-7-1 record in 2016. The Redskins could use the transition tag ($28.7 million) or the franchise tag ($34.4 million) on him one more time next offseason and prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
But that’s a lot of money to pay one player under a salary-cap structure unlikely to top $175 million in 2018. It all leaves Washington’s quarterback in an uncertain place as the deadline approaches. It’s a question Cousins has heard in some form almost every day for 18 months.
“I talk about as a quarterback getting experience and getting reps,” Cousins said. “I feel like when it comes to the contract I’ve gotten reps now. I’m getting used to answering questions and going through this. Now the second time through so I’m not a rookie anymore when it comes to this stuff. So it’s a similar deal here, too.”
Cousins added: “But it’s been very positive. I’ve had really positive conversations with everybody involved throughout the process this offseason. I feel like everybody’s on the same page. I really have nothing further to add from what’s already been said. I feel good about where I’m at, where this team is at, where my teammates are at. Just a matter of trying to move forward and we’ll see what happens come July 15. It’ll be a telling date – as it was last summer.”
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