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Don't count out a third straight franchise tag for Kirk Cousins, and here's why

Don't count out a third straight franchise tag for Kirk Cousins, and here's why

For the second straight season the Redskins placed the franchise tag on Kirk Cousins. While the two sides are speaking amicably about a long-term deal, the July 15 deadline for those negotiations continues to inch closer without much expectation that contract will get signed. 

A second year on the tag is unprecedented for a quarterback. In 2016, Cousins made nearly $20 million playing on the tag. In 2017, that figure goes up to $24.

If the Redskins don't get a deal done with Cousins, many think the organization would not again go with the franchise tag because the price tag jumps to an exorbitant $34 million. 

Think again. 

Asked on Monday if another franchise tag would be an option for Cousins in 2018, Redskins team president Bruce Allen was clear.

"Yes," he said. "In the collective bargaining agreement, we really have one year and an option that we can do at the end of next season if we don’t get a contract."

Those options include the exclusive franchise tag, the non-exclusive franchise tag and the transition tag. Both franchise tags carry the same cost, but the non-exclusive allows Cousins' representatives to shop his services around the NFL. If a deal gets struck, and the Redskins don't match the contract, Washington is due two first-round draft picks as compensation for losing their franchise player. 

The transition tag carries a $28 million price tag, and the Redskins can match another contract but risk only receiving a possible 2019 third-round compensatory pick if Cousins walks.

Considering those options, another year on the non-exclusive tag might make sense. The NFL salary cap will be at least $168 million, which means Cousins at $34 million would account for about 20 percent of the Redskins' salary cap.

That's a crazy allotment for one player. Crazy. The Redskins do have about $54 million in cap space for 2018, so technically, another franchise tag could work. 

But the entire manner of the contract dealings with Cousins and the Redskins has been quite unconventional. The Redskins have already made history by franchising Cousins a second straight year. 

"I think even Kirk said it, there’s a lot of players round the league who are on a one-year deal. It’s the nature of it, we’d like to get him a long-term deal and I think he should want to get one," Allen said. "Kirk’s played well on a one-year contract the last two seasons."

At this point, it doesn't require a degree in advanced mathematics to understand that the Redskins and Cousins have a different picture of the quarterback's long-term value. That could change by July 15, it could, but it doesn't seem likely. The Cousins camp has little incentive to bend, as $24 million fully guaranteed for 2017 represents a great payday.

And maybe the Redskins don't plan on bending because the option of a third straight franchise tag doesn't worry them. Or at least the option of letting Cousins shop his services on a non-exclusive tag, and then making a decision to match a deal or receive compensation seems a worthwhile endevaor. 

For Cousins, he's not counting out any possibility. 

"People, I’ve heard say, ‘There’s no chance they franchise tag him or even transition tag him the following season,’ and I chuckle because if the team has franchise tagged me for two years in a row," Cousins said to an ESPN podcast in March. 

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Redskins Charitable Foundation donates over 2,500 food baskets at annual Harvest Feast

Redskins Charitable Foundation donates over 2,500 food baskets at annual Harvest Feast

The combination of frigid temperatures and the Redskins' scheduled off-day did not stop a few members of the Burgundy and Gold from giving back to the local Prince George's County community on Tuesday.

Linebacker Jon Bostic and offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom highlighted a handful of Washington players who participated in the Redskins Charitable Foundation's 17th annual Harvest Feast, an event designed to give back to the local community around Thanksgiving time.

Bostic and Bergstrom helped lead an effort with over 200 volunteers to put together 2,500 Thanksgiving food baskets that will be distributed to Prince George's County families in need on the holiday. Baskets include full turkeys and several side dishes for these families to get the full Thanksgiving experience.

As to why he chose to spend his little free time helping in the community, Bergstrom's answer was easy.

"This time of year, it’s all about giving thanks and being grateful," Bergstrom said. "We’re so grateful for a community that’s supported us through everything. So coming here and being able to be a part of their Thanksgiving, it’s awesome. Anything you can do to help."

In just a few hours, over 90,000 pounds of food and 30,000 pounds of turkey were packaged and ready to be sent out to those families.

Seeing young children volunteer at the event really stuck with Bostic, and that was one of the main reasons he wanted to give back.

"You see kids out here, I’ve been in places just like them," Bostic said. "Now, where I’m at, anytime I can help somebody else get to where I’m at, or give them some type of encouragement, I’m always up for that."

Both Bergstrom and Bostic have fond memories from Thanksgiving growing up and want families in their local community to experience something similar to what made their Thanksgivings so special.

“Every Thanksgiving, we’d go to my grandmother’s house and our whole family would be there," Bostic said. "You had people coming from all over, so I know how much I cherish family. So to be able to help them, get the family together, sit down and watch football, have a good time and enjoy each other, what more could you ask for?”

“Oh, man, it’s awesome. Football and Thanksgiving go together," Bergstrom said. "I grew up in Utah, but I was a Lions fan because of Thanksgiving. I probably couldn’t tell you a single guy on their team before that. Just being able to be a part of [these families] Thanksgiving is awesome. We’re making some Redskins fans for life.”

Several of the volunteers posed for pictures with the players and continuously thanked both Bostic and Bergstrom for coming out and giving back.

"Anytime you can put a smile on somebody’s face and better their day, that’s what we do it for," Bostic said.

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Adrian Peterson is not worried about splitting time with Derrius Guice, and there's one main reason why

Adrian Peterson is not worried about splitting time with Derrius Guice, and there's one main reason why

Entering the 2019 season, how the Redskins planned to split their rushing attack between veteran Adrian Peterson and second-year back Derrius Guice was sort of a mystery. Peterson was coming off a 1,000-yard season and proved he still has plenty in the tank, while Guice was in the final stages of his recovery from a torn ACL he suffered in August of 2018. 

But just hours prior to the Redskins Week 1 contest in Philadelphia, then-head coach Jay Gruden decided to make Peterson a healthy scratch for the first time in his career. The move did not sit well with Peterson and many of his veteran teammates. Guice injured his right meniscus in the loss and landed on Injured Reserve, forcing Gruden to activate Peterson the following week.

Peterson has been the Redskins lead running back since Guice's injury, but his production has greatly increased since interim head coach Bill Callahan took over in Week 6.

It's been nine weeks since Guice's injury, and he's healthy again and ready to play. For the first time in the 2019 season, both Peterson and Guice will be active when the Redskins host the Jets on Sunday.

So, will Peterson and Guice be the lead back going forward? While Peterson knows his role will slightly change, he's not worried about it. Why is that?

Well, there's one main reason: Jay Gruden is no longer the team's head coach.

"Yeah, coach Gruden was here," Peterson said. "He's no longer here, so it's a different scenario."

Peterson smiled a little while giving his response, but his message was clear. The 34-year-old was not pleased with his usage under Gruden in 2019.

While there seems to be a strained relationship between Peterson and his old head coach, there's no bad blood between Peterson and Guice. The veteran had to hold back tears after finding out about Guice's injury earlier in the season, and is looking forward to seeing what the duo can do in the coming weeks.

"It's going to be exciting. We were kind of just talking about it today as we were walking off the field," Peterson said on the duo. "Just having a guy, when you come out, you can kind of relax, because the guy that's in there is going to get the job done. It's going to be interesting to see how things go."

How Callahan determines the split between the two has yet to be determined, but both Peterson and Guice will have to be on their 'A' game on Sunday; only the Buccaneers allow less rushing yards per game than the Jets. 

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