The Washington Redskins are one win away from clinching a rare playoff appearance, but are also thinking about their future, which will go hand in hand with Kirk Cousins at quarterback.
The mess they’re in with Robert Griffin III, who they picked up his option for 2016, which means $16.1 million next season as a cap hit? That’s a different issue. They’ll probably release him, which might also mean the end of his NFL career unless someone is willing to take a chance on him. They need to release him before the first day of the 2016 league year, unless they plan on making his contract fully guaranteed.
Cousins might not have been the most consistent or exceptional of quarterbacks in 2015, but as he heads into free agency, he’s done enough to make the Redskins believe he’s the guy for them in the next few years, and good enough to work in the current offensive system. He completed 69.7% of his passes so far this year for 3625 yards, 22 touchdowns and most importantly, only 11 interceptions, eight of them coming in the first six weeks.
How much will it take to keep him? Cousins, a four-year veteran, can always be kept under the franchise tag, but will the Redskins actually pay $20 million for him just so they can stall the long term deal option? Probably not, doesn’t make much sense. But no one is quite certain what his value is. After four years in the league, is thinking Cousins can command a $80 million, five year deal exaggerating? Maybe an incentive based deal that pays him around $8 million a season with option for more sound more normal?
The Redskins obviously missed out on keeping him on a cheaper deal, but things have changed so much in the last two years for them, going back and forth on Griffin and Cousins. This season changed their entire concept and thought about how this team will look in the next few years. Making the playoffs or not, they want Cousins as their quarterback, at least for now. You never know when decision makers will flip when it comes to the Redskins.