When it comes to Kirk Cousins and signing a long-term deal, the deadline is the deadline.
Cousins was asked if he was willing to sign a new contract during the season if he didn’t agree to one by July 15.
“I don’t know all the rules but my understanding is I wouldn’t be allowed to,” he said. “So after July 15, I don’t even know when I would then be allowed to again. So I’m not even that well-educated on it, which goes to show how much I’m asking the agent to handle it all. That’s my understanding is July 15, let’s just go play football and we’ll see you on the other side.”
Cousins understands the rules well. July 15 at 4 p.m. is the very definition of a drop-dead mark. If a long-term deal doesn’t happen by then it isn’t going to happen in 2016. The rules prohibit a new deal being signed from then until after the team has played its final game of the season. That is scheduled for January 1 and the Redskins hope to be playing later than that. Only when they get finished playing will they be “on the other side”, in Cousins’ vernacular.
Cousins recently told CSN Mid-Atlantic that there has been “no progress to speak of” in contract negotiations. That’s not surprising since there really is no reason for either side to make any concessions at this time, a month before the deadline.
This could change as July 15 gets closer. The Redskins may be willing to up their offer to avoid the need to go through this same dance in 2017. Cousins might look at an offer with a lot of guaranteed money and decide that the security of signing a deal that will set him up for life is preferable to the risk of going through an NFL season and facing possible injury and/or a decline in his level of performance.
We will see. Right now the thought process in the Redskins organization is to hold a firm line for fiscal sanity and Cousins’ mindset is to bet on himself. We’ll see if the team’s need to get the quarterback position settled and Cousins staring at a large pile of money that may shrink if he waits until 2017 override the current thinking.