Let’s face it; despite the lip service and public statements two things seem to be clear: Kirk Cousins wants to play somewhere else and the Washington Redskins are pissed off.
That much is clear after the Redskins and Cousins failed to reach a contract agreement ahead of Monday’s franchise tag deadline.
In a video released on the Redskins’ team website on Monday (h/t ESPN.com’s John Keim), team president Bruce Allen outlined the team’s process in attempting to re-sign Cousins (whom he called “Kurt”) and the offer that the team made:
“Our goal was to sign [Kirk] to a long-term contract with the final objective of having him finish his career with the Redskins. On May 2, right after the draft, we made [Kirk] an offer that included the highest fully guaranteed amount upon signing for a quarterback in NFL history [$53 million] and guaranteed a total of $72 million for injury.
“The deal would have made him at least the second-highest-paid player by average per year in NFL history. But despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from [Kirk’s] agent this year. [Kirk] has made it clear that he prefers to play on a year-to-year basis. While we would have liked to work out a long-term contract before the season, we accept his decision.”
Cousin’s appeared on 106.7 The Fan on Tuesday and talked about the Redskins offer saying he was at peace in regards to not counter-offering Washington’s proposal.
Cousin’s also took the high road in what appears to be, when reading between the lines, an eventual bitter divorce.
“It was closer than people would think,” Cousins said (h/t NFL.com).
“Even up to a week ago, I was still praying over whether we should send an offer … but ultimately I just felt peace on not making an offer and leaving it up to the team … based on their offers being able to go from there and then the deadline passed and play the season out. That’s what I felt the most at peace about so that’s what we ended up doing.”
When discussing the team’s video statement on Monday, Cousins said that it “doesn’t rub me the wrong way at all.”
“It has always been my first choice to be with the Redskins,” Cousins proclaimed.
“When you look around the league and you see great quarterbacks, they’ve nearly all played for one team. And the ones that haven’t, it really wasn’t their choice. It was usually a situation that dictated they had to move on, but that wasn’t their preference. I’m no different, I would love to be with the Redskins long-term. That’s why I think that there’s still a lot of hope that next offseason, when the season ends, the Redskins are going to have I think about two months to be the exclusive team that I can talk with. Then they still have the opportunity, if we’re not anywhere at that point, to use one of two tags.
“From there, there’s still time. While the ball is in my court during the season to play football well, the ball certainly goes back to the Redskins’ court to continue this process. So while there was a deadline this summer, the real deadline to make a decision of next year is next year. That’s now where my focus is, my focus is on playing football, but there will be plenty of time to figure that all out down the road. Again, my first choice would be to be with the Redskins long-term. We’ll see with more information if we can make that happen.”
It’s possible that the Redskins could again tag Cousins, but that would come with the price tag of $35 million and at that point Washington would be better off drafting a quarterback and undergoing a rebuild.
Afterall, Cousins is a solid quarterback but his play does not equate to the type of paycheck that the Redskins would have to pony up to keep him in Washington beyond next season.
“If I’m getting tagged a third time, that means this season went really, really well and that would be a beautiful thing,” Cousins said.
Sure, his bank account would love it, but Cousins seems to be interested in playing for a different team and Washington should appease him for the benefit of all parties.
It will be interesting to see how things play out this season.
If the Redskins stumble out of the gate it is likely that the Cousins trade rumors will kick into high gear ahead of the NFL trade deadline and won’t stop until Cousins is donning another jersey.
But the writing on the wall has been clear; Cousins wants out of Washington.