The question has always been what will the Washington Redskins do with Kirk Cousins. But, what should Kirk Cousins do with the Redskins?
In all honesty, Cousins holds all the cards in the deck. Yes, the Redskins can franchise tag him for a third consecutive season. However, that comes a huge price tag of either $34 million or near $29 million on a transition tag. It’s hard to imagine the Redskins wanting to spend either tag unless they have full intentions of a long-term deal with Cousins.
But what if Cousins doesn’t want to be in Washington?
He already essentially balked at the Redskins’ last-ditch offer last off-season, creating the doubt Cousins wants to remain with the team that drafted him in 2012. While he has said all the right things, Cousins has steered clear from saying he wants to return. He must do what’s best for him. One former Redskins’ teammate thinks it may be best for Cousins to roll out of Washington.
Kirk gotta dip out on Washington. He deserve more respect.
— Duke (@NachoLyfe) January 2, 2018
That’s former Redskins safety Duke Ihenacho, who played with the Redskins from 2014 to 2016. It’s hard to say exactly what Ihenacho is referring to directly about Cousins needing more respect. However, it’s clear Washington has not respected Cousins throughout the entire ordeal. If they did, there would be a long-term deal already in place.
While a franchise tag comes with a hefty one-year salary, it’s just one year. Players rather be allowed to go into free agency to go with a team that fully believes in them versus being tagged for one year. Let’s be real, Washington’s franchising Cousins has leaned towards the front office not completely being sold on him.
An NFL.com report surfaced in November that the Redskins were going to evaluate Cousins’ final six games to decide on whether to place a franchise tag on him or let him free to free agency. On Tuesday, Redskins head coach wasn’t all that endorsing of Cousins.
Cousins has said faith led to him balking on the Redskins’ offer. He has also criticized field conditions at the team’s home stadium, FedEx Field. He also responded to that report of the Redskins needing to see if Cousins was “worth” placing a third and final franchise tag on him.
“If you still need five more games, or five-plus, to make a decision, so be it,” he said in a 106.7 the Fan interview. “But I’d like to think that I’ve played a lot of football here.”
Cousins has been telling his desire to get the opportunity to leave even if Washington does not allow him to.
So, if he does indeed leave, where to?
Again, Ihenacho offered his opinion.
— Duke (@NachoLyfe) January 3, 2018
What happens to Cousins will be the biggest storyline of the Redskins and NFL’s off-season. Washington has options going in. But in the end, it will come down to respect, and like Ihenacho alluded to, Cousins deserves more.