WASHINGTON — Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins will play a second straight season under the franchise tag after he and the team failed to get a long-term deal done by the 4 p.m. Monday deadline. This means Cousins will earn $23.9 million this year under the franchise tag.
This unprecedented territory. No quarterback has ever played two consecutive seasons under the franchise tag.
What does this mean for next offseason?
The Redskins can use the franchise tag again next offseason for a third straight year, but this time it would cost them $34.4 million. If they franchise him, then Cousins would not be able to negotiate with any other teams. The Redskins could use the transition tag on him after this season as well. If they go that route, then they would pay him $28.7 million, but Cousins could shop himself around and could sign an offer sheet that the Redskins would have the ability to match.
The Redskins could also just let Cousins walk and get absolutely nothing for him.
By not coming to terms on a contract, Cousins is counting on himself having another good year and upping his worth next offseason. He’s coming off a year where he threw for 4,197 yards and 25 touchdown passes. The team came up short of the playoffs by one game.
We don’t know how close the two sides ever came to getting a deal done this year, and we may never know. Either way, unless the Redskins backed up the truck, Cousins didn’t really have an incentive to sign anything that he wasn’t comfortable with because of his options next offseason.
The Redskins begin training camp in Richmond next Thursday.
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