If you go to an automobile dealership and you decide that you absolutely have to a particular car chances are you will overpay for it. If the salesman senses that you won’t walk away from the deal he will try to get top dollar for the car knowing that when all is said and done you will pay whatever it takes to get the car.
This principal of the needing to have a willingness to walk away from a deal applies to all levels of negotiation including real estate, business mergers, purchasing deals—and sports contracts.
While the overriding message of the Scot McCloughan had to say yesterday about contract negotiations with Kirk Cousins was that he is confiden that a deal will get done, he added something interesting to the narrative.
“We're going to figure it out,” he said at Ryan Kerrigan’s charity golf tournament on Monday. “If it’s not by July 15, don’t worry. We’ll get something figured out.”
The key here is the part about “if it’s not by July 15”. That is McCloughan saying that he doesn’t view the possibility that the deadline for getting a new deal done by the deadline as some sort of catastrophe. In other words, if they are negotiating as crunch time gets close Mike McCartney, who is Cousins’ agent, needs to believe that he can’t expect the Redskins to suddenly cave in out of desperation to get a deal done.
As for Cousins, he has made it clear that he is not anxious to get a deal done. He has indicated that he would be perfectly happy to make $20 million this year and revisit the whole contract situation in 2017.
“Whether it’s a one-year deal of a 10-year deal you have to go out and prove it every game, every year,” Cousins said yesterday. “I feel very stabilized in my role and just excited to take advantage of the opportunity I have before me.”
So it appears that Cousins will not make a deal out of desperation either. With both sides being willing to walk away from the table empty handed negotiations should be tough but fair. That is no guarantee that a deal gets done but there seem to be plenty of incentives on both sides to hammer out an agreement.