Quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins are no longer discussing details of a new contract, making it increasingly likely the two sides will resort to the franchise tag at some point during the next two weeks.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Cousins and the Redskins “have broken off contract talks,” and “no further talks” are currently scheduled.
Cousins, 27, had a career year in his fourth NFL season, throwing for over 4,000 yards with 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. The Redskins have expressed on numerous occasions a desire to get a long-term deal done with their quarterback, but it appears the two sides are still far apart in the worth of such a contract.
Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports recently reported Cousins and the Redskins were “nowhere close” to a new deal coming out of the Super Bowl.
If no progress is made, general manager Scot McCloughan might have to use the franchise tag to extend the negotiation phase and keep Cousins off the open market.
The two-week period for using the franchise tag opened today, and lasts through Tuesday, March 1.
Then again, both reports might be negotiation ploys from the Redskins. The two sides still have two long weeks before the opportunity to tag expires, and the NFL Combine—which begins next Friday, Feb. 26—is often used as a setting for more contract discussions. Breaking off talks now feels premature, even if the two sides are far apart on a price.
Cousins should still be expected to return to Washington for 2016. The Redskins want him back, and the franchise tag gives them a handy tool to make it happen—regardless of how long-term contract negotiations are unfolding.