During the last 10 games of the 2015 season, Kirk Cousins looked to becoming a franchise QB. He led the Washington Redskins to the playoffs and took control of a franchise that has mired in QB hell. For this reason, Cousins was given the franchise tag. On March 2, 2016 Cousins signed that tag making him $19.9 million richer. The Redskins and Cousins now have until July 15, 2016 to reach a long-term deal. It does not look like that is going to happen. So what does this mean for Cousins and the Redskins?
When Cousins was given the reigns of the Redskins offense in August of 2015, many in the NFL world wanted to see if this was the right move. See Cousins had a reputation of being turnover prone. Was he capable of rebounding from turnovers? He had not shown this ability in the past. He would let one turnover lead to another and another. But in week 7, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, something clicked. From then on Cousins was the best QB in the NFL in 2015.
Cousins would be rewarded at the end of the season. He would be given the franchise tag and a large raise. Cousins 2015 salary was less than $1 million dollars. $660K to be exact. In 2016 he will make $19.9 million. This could have been higher, but with no deal in sight he will have to play under the 1 year tag.
After the 2016 season, the Redskins and Cousins can once again engage in long-term talks. If unsuccessful, and Cousins has another solid year, look for a second franchise tag. This time the tag would be to a tune of $24 million.
It would be in the Redskins best interest to try to reach a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline. They would be able to save a little money. However, the Redskins want Cousins to prove that 2015 was not a fluke. I do not think the Redskins have an issue giving Cousins the big money. Especially if he goes out performs.
Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins are committed to each other. Given the intangibles of the QB and the cap space of the team, i see this coming to head before free agency of 2017. Kirk Cousins will be a Redskins player for a long time and closing the door on a position that once was permanently latched open.