Naturally, this has prompted the idea Cousins hits the free-agent market in 2018 and would likely be one of the highest paid quarterbacks to be targeted. That is what the latest report by ESPN states. He is guaranteed $23.94 million for the 2017 season. Washington can not negotiate with its franchise QB until after the season.
And if there is no deal, then Cousins is on the franchise tag; once the season is over, Washington could franchise tag him yet again; but that would lead to a 40 percent raise – to $34.5 million – and that is a tough one for any team to swallow.
What happens if Redskins tag Cousins again next year?
A Monday deadline could put some pressure on the Washington Redskins to sign quarterback Kirk Cousins to a new contract, but reports of internal disagreement within the organization persist. That would be an extremely expensive contract for the quarterback, but it would keep the team from losing him to free agency.
Florio added that such internal disagreement has persisted since 2015, when there was debate within the organization over whether Cousins or Robert Griffin III should be the team’s franchise quarterback.
Washington will have money to throw at Cousins next season. While there may be some holes in his game and he isn’t considered one of the elite quarterbacks, he certainly elevated the team and was a reason the team nearly made it into the playoffs. Shanahan used to be the offensive coordinator in Washington when Cousins broke into the league. Washington has good reason to hesitate on giving him a long-term extension.
Regardless of all these rumors, there is one thing we can all agree on – Cousins’ 2017 season is absolutely pivotal.
And we can all see how carefully the 49ers have maneuvered around the QB position in Shahanan’s first few months here.