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Redskins QB Cousins on contract: 'We all don’t look much further than this season'

Redskins QB Cousins on contract: 'We all don’t look much further than this season'

Kirk Cousins appeared on Redskins Nation on CSN on Tuesday. Host Larry Michael talked with the sixth-year quarterback about leadership and how the offense might look this season before getting to Cousins’ contract status.

Cousins is under contract with the Redskins for this season via the franchise tag. He has signed the tender, giving him a one-year guaranteed salary of $24 million. The Redskins and Cousins have until July 15 to agree to a long-term contract. If they don’t, they will have to wait until 2018, when the Redskins tag options are very expensive, meaning that Cousins could well hit free agency.

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When Cousins has been asked about his contract this offseason he has been very vague and generic in his comments. What he told Michael was more of the same.

“I think the short answer is, it’s been positive. I feel good about where we’re headed,” said Cousins. “I like coach [Jay] Gruden’s quote yesterday where he said, ‘I’m not really worried about it because we’ve got him for this year and that’s really all that matters.’ That’s the way I’ve always felt. There’s so many guys on this team who are on one-year deals. Even if it says it’s a three-or four-year contract the only guarantees are this year so many of us are playing on one-year deals, I’m not the only one. We’re not going to have long careers if we don’t have a good year this year. We all don’t look much further than this season.

“I feel good about our owner, he’s done a good job communicating this offseason with me, and the same with Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden and our scouting staff, our coaches. I feel good about the direction we’re headed and we’ll see where it ends up but bottom line, I’m in a good place right now and we’ll go win a lot of football games.”

Cousins has told others that from his perspective, he’s just one of many players on one-year deals. It has been his way of saying that he is perfectly willing to play the season on the franchise tag. That makes him different in a league where many players will sacrifice future forays in free agency for the security offered by agreeing to a long-term deal and getting a signing bonus, the only money guaranteed in most NFL contracts.

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That’s smart negotiating on Cousins’ part. You have to be prepared to stick with what you have or the other side can take advantage of it. It’s also smart to keep as many options open as possible. When Michael asked him about the advantages of signing with the Redskins, Cousins make it clear that he is perfectly happy to stay in Washington.

“When you start listing all the pros, there are a lot,” he said. “This organization is second to none in terms of history, the former players, the Super Bowl trophies, an owner who’s committed to winning, who has passion about wanting his team to be successful, a head coach who I have a good relationship with, there’s been continuity there.  Continuity is very important in the game of football. Teammates that I love and respect and I feel really good about, not just the offensive line but stars like Josh Norman and Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, the list goes on and on, Chris Thompson. All these guys I really enjoy playing with. So there’s a lot of positives. My wife and I love living in this city. I can go on and on. We feel really good about having been drafted here and our five years here.”

Successful starting quarterbacks rarely change teams, in part because of the advantages of continuity. Cousins could be reluctant to pull up stakes and start over someplace else in 2018, when he will turn 30. That doesn’t mean he will give the Redskins any sort of a hometown discount to stay. But he could be open to staying for a market-value offer.

These negotiating methods are the tip of the iceberg; most of the real negotiations are going on under the surface, out of our view. And reports that Cousins will be very reluctant to sign a long-term deal with the Redskins persist.

The talk is fine but it’s cheap. Serious negotiations are unlikely to take place until just before the July 15 deadline. We will see if the Redskins can persuade Cousins to get himself off of that one-year deal.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

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AP Images

Redskins leave Philadelphia with more injuries than they came in with, somehow

The Redskins went into Lincoln Financial Field somewhat banged up. They left in worse shape than they were when they arrived.

The most significant injury seemed to be to guard Brandon Scherff. Coach Jay Gruden said that he had an MCL injury and that he will get an MRI on Tuesday. He left the game late in the third quarter and did not return. Scherff rarely takes plays off and the feeling is that he could have a significant injury. He headed to the team bus to the airport with a brace on the knee.

OT Trent Williams came into the game with a patella injury in his knee and he aggravated it late in the game, missing the Redskins’ last couple of possessions. He did not practice all week to rest the injury. We will see as the week goes by if the injury will allow Williams to continue to play.

OT Morgan Moses sprained both ankles and he returned to the game after each injury. He undoubtedly will be very sore tomorrow and we will see how he recovers.

MORE: FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM A DISCOURAGING LOSS

The other reported injuries were more minor in nature, although they could cost the players some games. CB Fabian Moreau had a hamstring strain and he left the game. OLB Preston Smith, who has been one of the team’s best pass rushers this year, left the game with a groin strain. He attempted to return but he had to go back out. CB Josh Holsey had a chest contusion and he returned after going to the locker room to be examined.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.

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Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

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USA TODAY Sports

Five takeaways from the Redskins' discouraging 34-24 loss vs. the Eagles

Here are my five takeaways from the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles:

The Redskins have to keep the hammer down—They scored the first time they had the ball and then they had a few empty possessions. Washington took a 10-3 lead but the Redskins then got into the cycle of short, ineffective offensive possessions getting their defense back on the field too soon. The way Carson Wentz is playing, if you give him enough chances you will pay for it.

They won’t win if they don’t run—The running backs carries 14 times. Sure, the game got away in the second half, reducing their opportunities, but the rushing game was an issue throughout. In the first half they had a pair of third and ones and a third and two and they passed all three times. All three were incomplete, which led to the issues in the first item here. If the Redskins have a balanced offense they have a shot at beating almost anyone. If they don’t run the ball enough the odds are against them.

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Redskins fans have the Cleveland Browns to thank for 10 years of Wentz—The Browns played Moneyball and traded the rights to draft Wentz to the Eagles. Like just about everything the Browns do, it didn’t work out. Now the Redskins, Giants, and Cowboys will pay for the Browns’ mistake for years to come. That run out of the pack of rushing linemen was both amazing and critical. It turned a punt back to the Redskins, who were down by seven, into a first down and an eventual touchdown.

The defense needs to get itself off the field—It’s easy to blame the offense for the problems with possessing the ball. But the defense could do its part, too, by getting itself off the field. At times, it feels like the Redskins’ defense is better than it has been in years but they gave up touchdown drives of 81, 80, 80, and 75 yards. At some point you have to show you’re better and get a takeaway or just make a stop to get off the field. Until then, the group has not improved in a meaningful way. I should note that the injuries have something to do with it, for sure. Dunbar did not play poorly but they pay Josh Norman $15 million per year for a reason.

There is a lot of season left to be played—The Redskins are 3-3 and two games away from the midway point to the season. They would have to rely on an Eagles’ collapse to win the NFC East but it’s entirely possible that they could. All but one other second-place team has three losses and the Redskins get their shot at the Seahawks in a couple of weeks. Fans have every right to feel frustrated after this loss but it’s not the end of the line. There still is plenty for this team to play for. Some of the injured players aren’t coming back but if they can round into reasonably good health in the next few weeks they still have a lot that they can accomplish.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.