Redskins president Bruce Allen said that the organization doesn’t want to trade Kirk Cousins even though they don’t appear to want to do what it takes to keep him around in the long term.
Despite all the media buzz surrounding a potential Redskins trade of Cousins in 2017, Allen says that the team has firm plans to have Cousins behind center in Week 1.
“That’s why we franchised him,” Allen told CSN on Sunday at the NFL owners meetings in Arizona.
What about all the trade talk in the media?
"We haven't talked to anyone [about a trade]," he said.
So it sounds like you can take a Sharpie and put Cousins as the starting QB. Or maybe not.
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The period of time from around mid-February until the end of the draft is known around the league as the lying season. The words uttered by the people in Allen’s position are not always put out there in the interest of disseminating the truth. In fact, what is said by NFL executives and coaches is more often about subterfuge and trying to gain leverage than about painting an accurate picture.
The fact remains that trading Cousins could be the smart thing for the Redskins to do if they don’t believe they will be able to come to a long-term contract agreement with their quarterback. They would run a very real risk of losing him as a free agent in 2018 with the only compensation being a 2019 third-round compensatory draft pick.
According to Allen, the organization wants to get Cousins to sign a long-term contract.
“Our goal from the beginning was to sign him long term, July 15 is the league wide deadline to get that done so I’m hopeful and confident we’ll do it,” said Allen.
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It remains to be seen if the Redskins are going to put forth a contract offer that would make sense for the Cousins camp to consider. Cousins will make nearly $24 million fully guaranteed this year on the franchise tag and the Redskins would have to offer him about $28 million guaranteed on the transition tag to prevent him from becoming a free agent next year. Working off that, the Redskins’ offer needs to come up with around $52 million fully guaranteed in the first two years. In early March the team was reported to be offering around $20 million per year with unspecified guarantees. There is Grand Canyon of a gap between that offer and the reality of what it would take to get a deal done.
So the Redskins’ end game remains unclear. Allen says Cousins will be behind center in 2017 even though a trade might make more sense. The team president says he wants to get Cousins signed to a long-term deal but there hasn’t been a report of a contract offer that would even come close to getting that done.
The adage to keep in mind here is that you should not listen to what they say but watch what they do. Allen could be telling it like it is but the situation still bears watching.