I don't know if Kirk Cousins or his agent, Mike McCartney, drink alcohol or not. But in any case they both may be popping a bottle of something bubbly after seeing the contract that Sam Bradford agreed to with the Eagles today.
According to reports, the quarterback will get a two-year deal worth $36 million with $26 million guaranteed. The average of $18 million per year is high for the former top pick in the draft who has been either injured or mediocre for most of his career.
Cousins was franchise tagged by the Redskins today, giving him a salary of $19.95 million that will be fully guaranteed when he signs the offer.
The Redskins and Cousins will continue to work on a long-term deal to keep him in Washington for the next four or five years. Cousins’ camp will certainly make the case that Cousins deserves at least as much per year as Bradford. Quite simply, in five years in the league (he missed the 2014 season with a knee injury) Bradford has never had a year as good as the one Cousins had in 2015.
Bradford’s career high in completion percentage is 65.0 (2015). His career completion percentage is 60.1. Cousins led the league with a 69.8 completion percentage last year. The best performance for Bradford in yards per attempt was 7.0 (2015). Cousins’ averaged 7.7 yards per attempt. Bradford’s career best passer rating was 90.9 (in seven games in 2013); Cousins’ rating was 101.6.
In NFL contract negotiations, what other players at a position are making is very relevant in determining a player’s value. Recently signed contracts are even more important. Cousins’ camp surely will make the case that Cousins should make at least as much as Bradford, if not more.
No question that $18 million per year for Bradford and just shy of $20 million for one year for Cousins are big deals for players who haven’t accomplished much. But the demand for quarterback who are capable of starting and being even competent exceeds the supply and that dynamic has teams going to great, expensive lengths to hold on to them.