Cousins Arrives in Richmond as Starter, But Without His Van

RICHMOND, Va. — Kirk Cousins enters his first full training camp as the starting quarterback. Yes, his contract is the big topic of conversation. The Redskins placed the franchise tag on Cousins, meaning he will make $19.95 million this season. That’s a pretty good bump from the $600,000 he made last year.

But all that contract stuff can wait — Cousins’ conversion van was the first thing he was asked about in his first training camp press conference. Just because he is now making all that money doesn’t mean that he was ready to get rid of his ride. But there was one problem when he went to start it to drive down to Richmond.

“I left it at Redskins Park for the summer, and I went to turn it back on and the battery was dead,” he said Thursday at Training Camp. “I didn’t even get a start at all. I called AAA, but they were going to take too long, so I just headed down here in my pickup truck. The van will be waiting for me when I get back. Hopefully my wife will be able to replace the battery while I’m gone.”

Now that we’ve covered the important issue, back to the contract.

The Redskins are coming off a 9-7 season in which they won the NFC East and lost a home playoff game to the Packers. Cousins set a number of team records in the process, which led the Redskins to place the franchise tag on him. With that price tag comes higher expectations, both internally and externally.

“I don’t know what’s going on on the outside,” he said. “I know that inside the building I’ve always been expected to play at a high level and if I didn’t, then I wouldn’t be in this league or on this team. So I think within the team and organization, the expectations have always been and always will be the same. On the outside, I can’t really comment on what is being said or not said because I’m in ignorance.”

The deadline to sign him to a long term deal was July 15. That came and went with no deal, meaning that Cousins will play the season under the franchise tag.

“I was given a great opportunity last season it’s not just like I took it,” Cousins said. “I was put in a spot to succeed with great coaches and great teammates. Fortunately, we had a great year, but I think the franchise tag says a lot. They didn’t have to tag me. No one forced them to do that — they chose to do that of their own accord. In this league it’s one year at a time, whether you’re on a long-term deal, one-year deal, or two-year deal. I mean, I had a four-year deal as a rookie, but it didn’t feel like a four-year deal, it felt like a one-day deal every single day I was here.”

Cousins knows that it’s a process in this league and he said he’s doing the little things every day in order to get better. He wants to lead this team to the next level and wants everyone to know, he’s not worried about playing this year without a long-term contract.

“I’m OK. I’m not lying awake at night. I’m good, I feel comfortable. I got a pretty good raise this year. Last year I was looking at a one-year deal making a lot less than I am making this year, so I feel fine. You’re not going to hear any complaints from me.”

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