Here we sit, just one week from the deadline to apply an unprecedented SECOND franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins. He became just the 1st QB since Drew Brees in 2005 with the Chargers to actually PLAY under the franchise tag back. Others like Matt Cassell have been tagged, but eventually traded and given a long term contract.
Kirk will be the first QB to ever get TWO franchise tags since the feature was introduced to the NFL in 1993.
And the way it looks, he’ll sign that tag immediately, and play on it for the Redskins unless they find a willing trade partner. That would put $44 million in Kirk’s bank account, and would almost certainly make him the most coveted free agent again NEXT winter, just a short 10 months from now.
This, as they say, is not working out the way the Redskins had hoped.
A legitimate uncertainty about the quality of player they had on their hands back in the late fall of 2015 when Kirk was en route to re-writing a bunch of team records, has turned into full-on paralysis over the mountain money he and his agent are surely asking for now.
All of sudden, Kirk Cousins – while betting repeatedly on himself, as the team was betting against him – became (as my emailer Jeremy Floam puts it) “worth more money than he’s actually worth.”
There are some who think a long term deal is coming, almost as sure as Linus believed in the Great Pumpkin. Personally, I’ve left the pumpkin patch and have gone home. I just don’t see it happening now. If it were going to happen, then it would have been done a long time ago.
If Dan Snyder wants something, he’s going to get it. Period. And for whatever reason, Dan just doesn’t lust for Kirk the way he did for RG3. Otherwise, this would all be long over. Kirk’s massive new deal would have set the post-season a-blaze, the QB market would have found a new high water mark, and the remaining naysayers and doubters would have penned their opus magnum’s about how “there goes Dan Snyder and the Redskins overpaying for free agents again.”
But we’d have our quarterback. We would have a clearly defined pile of remaining money for free agency. We’d have no need for another quarterback in April’s draft. And we’d have some genuine momentum and optimism building for 2017.
The new narrative that seems to be forming, is that Kirk “just doesn’t want to be here.” That may be true. I don’t know. But here’s the rub. Even if it IS true, then it is still “our” fault. And by “our” I mean the collective “we” as an organization. I mean, it’s not MY fault per se – I was converted into a true “Kirk Jerk” sometime mid-2015.
But if Kirk is still mad at Scot McLoughan for leaking the phrase “stat accumulator” during this season (never proven) that led to Kirk’s hair-tussle moment: “HOW YOU LIKE ME NOW!” then you can’t just be mad at Kirk and tell him to “get over it.” If Dan and Bruce are still mad at the Week 17 choke job against the Giants, then it’s still THEM who will have to “get over it.”
It’s our fault. It’s the organization’s fault for not eating some humble pie. It’s our fault for not selling him, and selling him, and selling him on how much he’s valued here. If it takes profuse and humble apologies for the RG3 trainwreck that Kirk had to watch while wasting his own early NFL years, then keep apologizing.
If Kirk doesn’t want to be here, that’s a huge blow to this franchise’s image. It should be the goal of the Washington Redskins to be a FIRST RATE, sought-after destination to PLAY FOOTBALL at a high level, with quality coaches and even better people in the organization.
If he ends up walking out that door, either this winter, or next, it’s a failure. Period. Full stop. And we’ll have to own it. Kirk Cousins is certainly not Aaron Rodgers nor Tom Brady, and probably not Drew Brees. But he’s a franchise QB. You pay him. He starts. And starts. And rarely gets wholloped. The ball comes out quickly. He works, and works and works. And he can lead. He’ll play for you. He’ll win for you.
That should be worth all the gold in Ashburn.
Maybe it will be, soon. But for now, all signs point to a continued standoff, that is headed for divorce.