For Redskins fans desperate for a Kirk Cousins long-term contract, news from the last week has been positive. The organization made it clear to Cousins he’s wanted for the long haul, and team president Bruce Allen twice met with the quarterback’s representatives.
That’s all well and good, but ultimately, this thing is about money. Cold hard cash.
Considering that, news from the West Coast could have a large impact on Cousins situation. The Raiders are working towards a long-term deal with Derek Carr, and per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the 26-year-old passer wants $25 million per year.
“It is very possible that Derek Carr could be the first $25 million quarterback,” Rapoport said. “The benchmark of where all QBs want to get to.”
Great for Carr, but troubling for the Redskins.
The problem? Cousins is already slated to make $24 million this year playing on the franchise tag. It makes no sense for him to sign a new deal worth less than that on an annual basis.
While Carr has made two straight Pro Bowls and led the Raiders to a 12-3 record last season before he broke his leg, Cousins’ numbers are superior.
First, their career numbers:
- Cousins - 46 games | 65.9 completion percentage | 12,113 yards | 72 TDs | 42 INTs
- Carr - 47 games | 60.9 completion percentage | 11,194 yards | 81 TDs | 31 INTs
Then, last season's:
- Cousins - 16 games | 67 completion percentage | 4,917 yards | 25 TDs | 12 INTs
- Carr - 15 games | 63.8 completion percentage | 3,937 yards | 28 TDs | 6 INTs
A few things the numbers tell us: Cousins completes more of his passes for a lot more yards, while Carr throws more touchdowns and fewer interceptions. What the numbers don't tell us is that Oakland ran the ball very well last season, which probably led to fewer pass attempts for Carr.
Also worth pointing out, Carr led the Raiders to 12 wins in 15 games last season and was in the conversation for MVP. Cousins led the Redskins to an NFC East title in 2015 with a record of 9-7.
Is Carr worth substantially more than Cousins, though? The numbers don't suggest it.
In turn, if Carr gets to $25 million per year in a new contract, combined with the fact that Cousins is already due $24 million this season from Washington, the simple truth is the Redskins are going to have to pay way up to keep their QB.
Cousins' representatives will point to the same numbers to illustrate why their client deserves just as much, if not more, than Carr gets from the Raiders. Rapoport suggested that Carr might even wait until July 15th, the franchise tag negotiating deadline, to see what happens with Cousins.
Both Carr and Cousins are one year away from free agency. Oakland has more options with Carr, as he's still on his rookie deal. The Redskins are running out of options with Cousins, after using the franchise tag the last two seasons.
Eventually, Cousins is going to get paid. Handsomely.
Washington needs to decide if they will be the team that does so, and the Cousins' camp will certainly be watching to see what type of contract Carr signs.
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