WASHINGTON — The Washington Redskins are in a historically difficult seat at the negotiating table, trying to pin fair market value to franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins.
If he plays well this year, he could get tagged again next year, either with another franchise tag or another transition tag, which would give him more than $50 million guaranteed over these two seasons.
That’s a reasonable starting point for long-term negotiations, which puts Cousins in historic territory over a long-term deal. Despite that, three well-respected NFL insiders believe that a deal is closer to getting done than it has in any recent offseasons.
Adam Schefter was the first to weigh in two weeks ago, reporting that “there has been an improved, encouraging tone in the contract talks” between the two sides. He was first to report that team owner Daniel Snyder has gotten involved with negotiations.
Jason La Canfora was even more bullish on the state of negotiations, saying this week that the chances of getting a deal done were nearly 80 percent.
“That’s one more face-to-face meeting than a lot of people would have at this point,” La Canfora told Chad Dukes from 106.7 The Fan about reports of a meeting between team President Bruce Allen and Cousins’ agent.
“I’m sure for Redskins fans, this feels like it’s been going on forever. But the reality is, deals of this magnitude, when they do get done, by and large, it’s usually right at the deadline,” La Canfora explained. “But none of those guys was going to be getting a ‘best of breed’ contract. I’m not saying Cousins will either, but the money is certainly going to be significantly more.
“There’s still a lot of time before that deadline and the fact that there even has been a modicum of momentum this offseason speaks to the underlying reality…that a deal behooves all of these guys.
“The time to get a deal done is July 15th, 16th and 17th, and I believe common sense will prevail.”
On Tuesday, Albert Breer offered dual confirmation that a deal was headed in the right direction.
“I’m a lot more optimistic than I was last year at this time. I’ll put it that way,” Breer said bluntly. “I would say that people there have a reason to feel better than they would have on June 20th of last year.”
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t major mountains to climb from here.
“Here’s the hard part of it: it’s what you’re asking Kirk to pass up. It’s what you’re asking Kirk to walk away from,” Breer explained. “Kirk would be walking away from a lot if you asked him to do a long-term deal with the Redskins.”
Only 26 days left until the deadline.