Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, January 13, 60 days before NFL free agency starts.
—NFL franchise tag deadline (3/6) 52
—NFL Draft (4/26) 103
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 239
Laying the odds on what’s next for Kirk Cousins
It’s been a while since we broke out our $100 worth of imaginary casino chips so let’s do that this morning. Today the topic is what will transpire between the Redskins and Kirk Cousins. But before we get started, let me warn you that this will take a while to play out. Take the day you’d like it to be done with and bet the over.
Gets transition tag, leaves Redskins, $50—In this scenario, Cousins would get the transaction tag, go out and negotiate an offer sheet with another team, an offer that the Redskins would decline to match with no compensation. It’s also possible that the Redskins could do a tag and trade deal and get some compensation, although there are a lot of moving parts to it and it would require cooperation from Cousins and his new team. To break this up, I’d put $40 on the gone with nothing in return scenario and $10 on a trade.
Gets transition tag, stays with Redskins, $30—Here, the Redskins would hit Cousins with the transition tag, which carries a salary of $28.8 million, he would go out and not find any offers to his liking, return to Ashburn and sign the tag, making the salary guaranteed. He also could stay because he came back with an offer sheet and the Redskins matched it. Any offer sheet that the Cousins gets from another team will be hard for the Redskins to match, so here it’s $20 on him just signing the transition and playing on that and $10 on matching an offer sheet.
Gets franchise tag, $10—There is no point in splitting this into stay or go scenarios; if this happens, he stays in Washington in 2018. Cousins said that if he got the franchise tag he would sign it and play. His salary would be fully guaranteed and in the neighborhood of $35 million. While the franchise tag would give them complete control of the situation, the salary is just too high for one player on a one-year deal.
Agrees to contract before tag deadline, $5—Cousins has said that he will take his time and take the process into March, which is when free agency starts. But it’s possible that the Redskins will make him a contract offer he can’t refuse and he stays. That’s not likely at all, mind you, but it’s possible. This is the only thing that would shorten process and possibly trigger the “under” scenario.
Gets no tag, $5—This might not be a bad way to go, taking a chance on letting Cousins go out and explore the market. If he doesn’t find a contract and organization to his liking, he could return to Washington with a true idea of his market value and talk about a deal. This is the only way the Redskins could qualify for a compensatory draft pick for losing Cousins. And it would get the matter settled for the next several years. What makes this very unlikely is the PR hit that the Redskins will take if Cousins signs elsewhere. The possible upside to this strategy isn’t high enough to offset the beating they will take from fans and many in the media if they simply let him walk out the door.
In case you missed it
- Bang for the free agent bucks for the Redskins?
- Here are the five highest-paid 2018 Redskins
- Finlay: 'Skins should draft QB at No.13 with or without Kirk