The Washington Redskins placed their franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins for the second straight year after the two sides could not come to a long term deal before the franchise tag deadline on Monday.
Cousins, of course, will become the first quarterback to play two straight seasons under a team's franchise-player tag, which will pay him about $24 million this season. He will make $23.94 million on the franchise tag in 2017 after earning $19.95 million a year ago.
Team president Bruce Allen said in a prepared statement that the team's goal was to sign Cousins to a long-term contract and offered him $53 million guaranteed or $72 million for injury.
The two sides are not allowed to negotiate on a long-term deal between now and the day the Redskins season ends, whether on January 1, 2018, or after a playoff game. Even if that is true, simply to play for the franchise tag in 2017 and again in 2018 would exceed that figure by $5.3 million and still make him a free agent in 2019. He's also saying all the right things, telling former Redskins quarterback turned Washington broadcaster Joe Theismann he wants nothing more than to be a Redskin for life.
The Washington Post's Mike Jones makes the following point: "The only scenario in which the Redskins could benefit from failing to sign Cousins now would be if he takes a step backward on the field in 2017 and is forced to lower his asking price".
The Carolina Panthers fired general manager Dave Gettleman after four seasons, the team announced.
But the Redskins made it clear that they wanted to see more from Cousins; a common refrain in the building was that he only played "nine good games".
But Cousins's exact standing among quarterbacks doesn't actually matter at the moment.
The Redskins could also just let Cousins walk and get absolutely nothing for him. Cousins has thrown for a franchise record in passing yards in each of those two seasons. The Washington Redskins' QB would be an obvious choice.
But his outing in Texas was a positive one, and if he has even a solid season in San Francisco some will wonder why the 49ers should spend a mint on Cousins, who is 19-22-1 as an National Football League starter, when they have any adequate and far cheaper option in Hoyer (as well as a player similar to Cousins in rookie C.J. Beathard) already in the organization.
"Great organization, phenomenal history, passionate fan base, great city", Cousins told Theismann.
Is there potential that the Vikings could attempt to sign Cousins if he were a free-agent in 2018? I'm no different, I would love to be with the Redskins long-term.
Bell, 25, ran for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns and caught another 75 passes in 12 games for Pittsburgh in 2016.
"We both share high hopes for this season and we are looking forward to training camp starting next week", Allen said in the statement. If he does not end up back in Washington, the most likely destination for Cousins might be the San Francisco 49ers.
Really, the cap space is the only thing that helps make any sense for why Minnesota was listed as a potential landing spot for Cousins.
How'd we get here?