By Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON — With a hair under three weeks until the Redskins’ July 17 deadline to re-sign Kirk Cousins long term, reports are swirling the two sides remain far apart, or they’re closer than ever to a deal, or there’s no news to report, or whatever it is you last read six minutes ago.

On Tuesday, ESPN made the latest offering to clarify how negotiations are going.

“An improved tone between the two sides,” Adam Schefter tweeted. “But a long-term deal still is considered a long shot for the time being, per sources.”

Dianna Russini, a Redskins beat alumnus who currently covers the NFL for ESPN, added some darkly tinged color to the conversation, saying the two sides “need each other” but “don’t want each other.” And the prospect of a long-term deal “doesn’t look promising,” she wrote.

Cousins to Join 106.7 The Fan for Deadline Special

That sure doesn’t sound like a long-term deal is imminent. Unless, of course, you get your Redskins news from elsewhere.

Only a week ago, CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora — another Redskins beat alumnus — wagered there was an 80 percent chance Cousins would be under contract long term by July.

“This is the time to make something happen,” La Canfora wrote. “And [Bruce] Allen knows that and he is motivated to make the quarterback a known and fixed cost for the owner. Letting Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson walk was a nod to that, and the Redskins believe Cousins can help further develop young receivers. He’s become a leader and a fixture at a position of perpetual angst for [Dan] Snyder, and this team knows what it’s like not to have a function, winning passer.”

“And they can’t go back to the abyss,” he went on. “For as much as Cousins can reasonably talk about $25M a year, he and his representatives are smart, savvy people, and if it ends up being $23M a year and four seasons are in essence guaranteed by the salary structure, that’s a major win for the former fourth round pick. I don’t see this falling apart. There’s just too much at stake for both sides.”

Bold Prediction: Against all reasonable sense, the Redskins will franchise tag Cousins for a third straight year, at an exorbitant amount of $34 million, in 2018; the NFL players will abruptly strike, forcing a renegotiation of the CBA, which will be re-written to include unlimited franchise tags; and this story will go on and on until Cousins grudgingly retires a Redskin in the year 2027, having never seen the light of free agency.

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter


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