Nothing in the NFL is as it seems.
Maybe, just maybe, their comments weren’t meant to quiet jittery fans. What if they are meant to calm Cousins to nudge him away from playing hard ball … again?
Kirk signed his franchise tender last offseason within a day of the offer. It may not go as smoothly this time. We are in new territory.
This year, the Redskins will tag Cousins to preserve their exclusive negotiating rights to him. The Redskins already put Kirk through two “contract years,” in 2015 at the end of his rookie contract and in 2016 under the franchise tag.
The Redskins know everything they need to know about Cousins, including his value on the open market.
Then came this “stuff” about exorbitant trade offers supposedly from teams (49ers, Browns) owned by the two least-competent owners in the league.
That gave the front office a new mission, convince Cousins that these stories did not originate with them.
Redskins beat writer Brian McNally tweeted Gruden’s comment about Cousins and closed with the Redskins “have the leverage, for now.”
Hog Heaven wondered about the “Redskins leverage” and asked McNally via Twitter to explain. We think Kirk has considerable leverage.
Twitter follower and co-fan, Ashburning, asked Hog Heaven to explain the leverage we saw for Cousins. Here’s our response in this twitter stream.
Teams may designate franchise players between February 15, and March 1, 2017. July 15 is the deadline for a club to sign the player to a long-term deal or lock in the one-year franchise agreement.
Bottom Line: The Redskins may have the upper hand after Kirk signs his franchise tender. Kirk’s greatest leverage in a trade scenario comes if he delays signing the tender and then refuses to sign a long-term deal with any team he does not wish to join.
Used in an example: If John Elway and the QB-needy Broncos offer a package of picks, take the deal and run out the door.
If Jimmy Haslam and the Browns, who have $110 million cap space and 10 Draft picks come a-calling, play hardball if you do not want to go to Cleveland. The ‘Skins could accept the trade, but the Browns giving up picks for a player who won’t sign a long-term deal is a non-starter.
Things would be messy at that point, but deals sometimes go down that way.
This post is as speculative and unfounded as stories about potential trades. We are bloggers. It’s who we are. It’s what we do in the dead space after the season.