The Washington Redskins don’t have many options with Kirk Cousins, but they do have a few.
After the 2017 season, they can transition tag him at $28.8 million. They can franchise him for a third straight year, this time at $34.5 million. Or they can let him walk in free agency, which would essentially be saying goodbye. Once he’s allowed out the door, he’s not coming back.
There is one additional measure the Redskins could take. As proposed by Dan Hellie of NFL Network, they could beg and plead Cousins to stay by admitting they made a mistake.
“All you need to know about Cousins is that he didn’t even counter the offer that they made public,” Hellie told Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan. “And the reason — as far as I understand — that he didn’t counter was because he was afraid they would say yes. He doesn’t want to be there. He’s gonna say all the right things publicly. He absolutely will.
“And this is how I would handle it if I were Dan Snyder,” offered Hellie. “And I would do this as soon as possible, because to say that this last four or five games is essentially a tryout and they need to see how he handles it is absolutely asinine. I would go on my hands and knees and I would say, ‘I’m incredibly sorry with the way this has gone down. What will it take to keep you here?’
“And I believe Cousins when he says it’s not all about money. Now, he’s gonna get $29-$30 million somewhere.”
“But I think if he really did want to stay in Washington, he would try to work out a team-friendly deal so they could bring other people in,” he added, “but I just don’t believe that he wants to be here, and I don’t think the Redskins are going to handle it in that manner. If they do tag him at $34.5 million, it will be the most unprecedented salary cap gaffe in NFL history.”