When it comes time to pay the piper, the Redskins will probably pay Kirk Cousins, Charley Casserly predicts, and they might even overpay him.
Washington won’t have that opportunity until after the 2017 season, when Cousins’ franchise tag expires.
In Casserly’s view, San Francisco’s acquisition of Jimmy Garoppolo took a major Cousins suitor out of the mix, which could be instrumental in the Redskins quarterback’s future.
“You take [out] one guy, [Kyle] Shanahan, who loved him and probably would have had the strongest conviction of everybody out there, which equals dollars,” Casserly told Chad Dukes on 106.7 The Fan. “I think that’s important.”
“I think there’s a balance here,” he said. “There’s a balance of desperation. Add Arizona probably in there, Cleveland in there, the Jets in there, but it’s at what price?”
“When I talk to people away from the Redskins, the general consensus is Kirk is a good quarterback, not a great quarterback,” he said. “Not a guy that can carry it on his own, and not a guy who’s proven he can carry it on his own, but a good quarterback. Okay, so what’s that mean financially?”
“Who knows what it means,” he said. “Nobody would have bet [Brock] Osweiler would have got $18 million, when he was playing in the middle of the season. So you just don’t know.”
Teams in the market for a quarterback in 2018 — likely the Jets, Cardinals, Browns and Jaguars, and maybe the Broncos — will need to weigh their options, whether to start fresh with a rookie quarterback, or spend richly on a free agent like Cousins, if he’s available.
There are several reasons to believe Cousins may not even make it to free agency, however. Once the season ends, the Redskins will have an exclusive window with which to negotiate a long-term deal. Cousins, notably, made note of this after July’s deadline passed.
“When the season ends,” Cousins told 106.7 The Fan, “the Redskins are going to have, I think, about two months to be the exclusive team that I can talk with. And then they still have the opportunity, if we’re not anywhere at that point, to use one of two tags, and then from there there’s still time.”
Team president Bruce Allen, too, made a coy reference back in March to “an option for the 2018 season.”
“These teams are gonna have to weigh where they’re picking, the top quarterbacks in the draft — [Sam Darnold (USC), Josh Rosen (UCLA), Josh Allen (Wyoming)] — who are not playing well in college right now,” said Casserly.
“And then you’re gonna have Cousins out there, Bridgewater may be out there as a guy, so there’ll be a market for him. My gut is — and this is only a guess and a gut — is the Redskins will pay him more than anybody else. He’s got to be smart enough to know where he wants his address.”
“He takes the most money, he’ll be like Osweiler,” he said. “A disaster.”