Some NFL players react negatively to receiving the franchise tag. In plenty of cases, the guy who is tagged views the designation as an insult or takes it as a sign that the organization doesn't fully trust him.
Kirk Cousins, though, an athlete who could seemingly find the bright side in anything — even something as gloomy as the ending to Marley & Me — said on Monday he has no issue with his team's decision to give him what's essentially a pricey one-year deal. The quarterback actually went so far as to borderline compliment the franchise's decision.
"I think that people make great decisions when they have a lot of information at their disposal, and if the Redskins would like more information from this next season to be able to make a decision on me long-term, I totally understand that and understand where they’re coming from," Cousins said during his weekly appearance on 106.7 The Fan's Grant and Danny Show. "I think the ball’s in their court and I will react accordingly to whatever decision they make."
That's not to say the 27-year-old is simply going to accept the tag, though. During the interview, he reiterated his intentions of proving his worth on the field — that comes off as his top priority. With that being said, he's still not closing the door on his talks with the 'Skins, yet.
"I want to go out and earn it, and prove myself, and if I need to prove myself again, that’s fine. I’ll go see if I can do that," Cousins said. "By no means am I, or are we, going to try to force their hand in any way. They can do what they want and we’re going to react accordingly, but if they call, I’ll pick up the phone. We’ll see where it goes from here."
The terms of his agreement with the organization that drafted him may still be under some questioning, but his status as the starting signal caller absolutely isn't. So, with an eye toward next season, which will be his second as the lead man, Cousins said he's focused on taking more control as an individual and simply building himself as a passer.
"Stepping up vocally, being a little more confident in asserting myself that way," Cousins identified as something he's continuing to pick up. "With experience and with time, you get better and you get better and you get better, and you get more confident, and that helps you play better. I can feel myself on that growth process."