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Source: Washington, Cousins haven’t broken off talks


Washington and the agent representing quarterback Kirk Cousins have broken off contract negotiations. Unless they haven’t.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that the two sides have not stopped talking, contrary to an ESPN report that talks have ended.

The source was adamant, and it’s unclear why someone would leak that the talks had stopped when they haven’t. From the team’s perspective, leaking that talks were broken off when in fact they weren’t would amount to a show of force aimed at creating the impression that the organization will walk if it needs to -- or that it will apply the franchise tag if it chooses to. From the player’s persecutive, leaking that the team broke off talks would let other teams know that Cousins could be available (perhaps generating offers that would pressure Washington to offer more). Also, it would potentially generate support from fans, the media, and teammates for Washington to put more on the table.

The team apparently believes that Cousins wants to stay. Other teams apparently believe it, too. To get other teams to drive up the market, other teams have to believe that their offers would be something more than leverage aimed at getting Washington to sweeten the deal.

None of this means Cousins will definitely remain with Washington. Plenty of players want to stay put; when their teams try to take unfair advantage of that desire to not change teams, the only option becomes changing teams, especially if hard feelings emerge. (And they possibly will.)

For now, it’s too early to know whether Cousins will re-sign or leave. It’s definitely too early to break off talks. And that hasn’t happened, yet.