The Washington Redskins locked up QB Kirk Cousins for the 2017 season at least by placing the Exclusive Franchise Tag on him.
It’s what the Redskins always said they would do. Exclusive rights gives the Redskins some control over the contract value, which could have exploded with a non-exclusive tag.
But the exclusive tag sets the floor for the deal which should pay Kirk $52M guaranteed over next 2 seasons. Cousins has no incentive to sign a long term agreement that offers less. It’s the scenario the ‘Skins should have expected — and said they would be glad to pay — when they declined to offer a long-term deal before the 2016 season.
It could not have been easy for (ahem) everyone in Washington’s front office to swallow this. If Cousins is the long-term answer, then the Redskins made some poor choices in 2013 and 2014. Mike Shanahan wanted to force a quarterback competition between Cousins and Robert Griffin III to push RG more than to advance KC.
Yes, I went there.
Griffin has never been forced to win the job, either here or in Cleveland. Cousins was always on the roster. If he played like a back-up, it’s because the Redskins developed him that way. In 2013, during joint practice with New England, “somebody” on the Patriots declared Cousins the best quarterback on the Redskins’ roster.
Two years of turmoil split the fan base even when the team booted Shanahan.
Of course, Cousins must continue to develop as clutch in the red zone. That seems more certain than life would have been without him.
Uncertainty that the Redskins can keep its receiving corps together added urgency for keeping Cousins in the house.
The Redskins made other important roster moves by shoring O-line depth with tenders to Ty Nsekhe and Vinston Painter.