Kirk Cousins and the Redskins aren’t fazed by the looming July 15 deadline to sign franchise-tagged players to a long-term deal.
That’s because Cousins and the Redskins are so far apart that it’s a foregone conclusion that the quarterback will play under the tag in 2016, according to Pro Football Talk.
Cousins will earn $19.953 million in 2016. He made $660,000 last season and earned his exponential raise essentially for what he did in the final 10 games. He threw 23 touchdown passes and three interceptions. The Redskins went 7-3 in that stretch and won the NFC East with a 9-7 record.
In the first six weeks of the season, however, Cousins threw six touchdown passes and eight interceptions. The Redskins want to make sure that form doesn’t resurface before signing him beyond 2016.
However, if Cousins proves it while playing under this prove-it deal, the cost to tag him again in 2017 would be $23.94 million, a 20 percent raise.
The $19.953 million franchise-tag figure for quarterbacks is the highest of any position. The second-highest is defensive end at $15.701. Of the 10 players tagged in 2016, Cousins is the only quarterback. The franchise tag isn’t as onerous for Cousins as it is for players at other positions. He’s likely in no hurry to sign a long-term deal if he can make well north of $20 million next year.
The Redskins, meanwhile, will want to work out something a little more cap-friendly if they decide that Cousins is their franchise quarterback in a non-tag sense.