The Redskins offseason has officially begun thanks to a disappointing regular season finale, and the circumstances surrounding the team are eerily similar to the ones that were present at the end of last year.
When it comes to Washington's overall place in the NFL, they wrapped up 2016/17 a half-game below their 2015/16 record and have proven themselves to be capable of beating anyone but also vulnerable to losing to anyone. They're in better shape than they once were a long time ago, but still aren't bonafide contenders yet. In that respect, nothing's really changed in a calendar year.
What's also similar is where they stand with Kirk Cousins. Like January of 2015, Cousins is coming off of a campaign in which he posted gaudy numbers, broke franchise records but also faltered in some key spots. Now, much like the previous offseason, the dominant storyline will be what the Redskins do with their rising quarterback.
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In an interview with the Sports Junkies on Tuesday, ex-agent Joel Corry said he expects the similarities to continue in the coming months.
"I think it's probably going to play out the same way that it did last year, at least early on in the offseason," Corry said. "His contract demands are gonna go up from what they were last time. They were far apart from the Redskins in terms of reaching a long-term deal [last year]. Once those new demands — which are probably going to be in that Andrew Luck range — are communicated in an offer or counter offer to the Redskins, they're going to realize if we want to keep him at least for the 2017 season, we need to protect ourselves and stick a franchise tag on him."
Corry thinks they'll tag him once again. What happens next, then?
"Cousins will sign it immediately like he did last year because it's fully guaranteed," he said. "Then the Redskins are gonna have to determine whether they want to pay him that type of money by the July 15 deadline, or risk going into next season, where a third franchise tag would be basically $34.5 million... and letting him potentially walk out the door in 2018."
So, Corry envisions the time between Washington tagging Cousins and the cut-off date for a long-term in July as being vital. Either the 'Skins and the passer strike a deal on a multi-year contract or he ends up playing another season with the tag on and they both go through this song and dance for a third time in 2018, with Cousins likely leaving if it gets to that point.
Unfortunately for those hoping for certainty at football's most important position in D.C., Corry believes it will get to that point.
"I think there are too many or there's enough doubts within the organization to make that type of commitment to him long term," he said. "If he had played the last four, five weeks like he did in November when he was NFC Offensive Player of the Month, then it would probably be a different story. But I think they're probably still lukewarm on him. Their first offer will be a great indication of what they really think about him. Their best offer last year didn't speak volumes to them having a lot of confidence in him because it was basically Andy Dalton money with an Andy Dalton structure, which was never going to be signed."
For Corry's full comments with the Sports Junkies, watch the video in the player above.
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