It seems the Washington Redskins have found their franchise quarterback with Kirk Cousins.
Cousins, 28, has 20 touchdowns to seven interceptions on his season so far, putting him right in line with his 16-game totals of 29-11 last year. He has helped stabilize the Redskins offense after years of struggles and the team would be a much bigger story if it weren’t for the Dallas Cowboys in the very same division.
Not that Cousins much minds—according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Cousins is well on his way to becoming one of the NFL’s highest-paid players:
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport spoke with three general managers about the Redskins’ QB conundrum this week. All three executives anticipate that Cousins’ next contract will be worth more than $20 million annually, placing him in exclusive company with the highest-paid players in the league.
McCloughan fully understood that he would be forced to pay a tax on Cousins’ long-term deal if his quarterback surpassed expectations this season.
A note from NFL Research says quite a lot about Cousins’ effectiveness:
With the Redskins at 6-4-1 and the quarterback position as a whole around the league looking rather downtrodden, it makes sense Washington will dole out whatever necessary to keep Cousins in town. Rest assured at this point he’d be one of the hottest commodities on the open market given the league-wide circumstances.
Over the years, the definition of a franchise quarterback has changed. With guys like Aaron Rodgers struggling in Green Bay and a rookie like Dak Prescott in Dallas lighting it up, Washington making Cousins one of the most expensive players in the league isn’t as crazy as it sounded this time last year.