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Former agent says issue with Redskins and Kirk Cousins isn't money


Former agent says issue with Redskins and Kirk Cousins isn't money

For Redskins fans wondering what might be the hold up in contract talks between Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins, look beyond the money. With the franchise tag looming, Cousins' camp knows roughly the money on the table. Considering the $19 million franchise tag as a baseline, what is most important for Cousins and his agent Mike McCartney is the structure of a deal. 

Why does the structure matter so much? Recent team friendly deals signed by the Bengals' Andy Dalton and 49ers' Colin Kaepernick have skewed the scenario for young quarterbacks looking to work out new contracts with their teams. For the Redskins and Cousins, former agent and salary cap expert Joel Corry said those deals should not even be a consideration.

"The money’s not going to be the issue, it's going to be the structure. They’re going to want something along the lines of Dalton and Kaepernick structurally," Corry said of the Redskins.

"Hell is going to freeze over before Mike McCartney agrees to that type of structure for Kirk Cousins."


Corry explained that unique circumstances brought about the Dalton and Kaepernick deals, and that will not be the case in Washington with Cousins. 

"It’s basically a year-to-year proposition," Corry said of the deals Dalton and Kaepernick signed. "It doesn’t matter what the contract says if it’s that kind of structure, Mike McCartney’s not going to have Kirk Cousins sign that. You could make him the highest paid player in football with that type of structure and he wouldn’t do it."

So what will happen? Corry said the franchise tag "is probably legitimately in play." And that means a one-year deal worth at least a guaranteed $19 million. While that may sound like a lot, even as the franchise tag is likely to creep closer to $20 million, Corry pointed out that it's only about $4 million more than the team allotted for Robert Griffin III and his $16 million option for the 2016 season. Does that mean $16 million could make sense for Cousins?

"You’re not getting him for anything like $16 million per year," Corry said. "He’s gonna laugh at that.”

Even if the team places the franchise tag on Cousins, both sides can keep negotiating towards a long-term deal until mid-summer. And what might that deal look like? Corry said that McCartney will use the $20 million franchise tag as a baseline for a long-term deal. Further, if the 'Skins do franchise Cousins, it could mean they have to do the same next season, and that tag would carry about a $23 or $24 million price tag. 

"I'm sure the first offer was over $20 million per year. I’ve not talked to Mike McCartney about that, but any decent agent the first proposal is going to be elite quarterback money."

And what's the sales pitch for Cousins and McCartney? Corry said it would go something like this: "He’s an ascending player, once the offense was tailored to him and DeSean was back, you saw what he could do."

The numbers back it up: Cousins broke nearly every relevant Redskins season passing record and led the team on a four-game win streak to close the season and win the NFC East. 

"He had a phenomenal second half of the year," Corry said of Cousins. "He was a top 5 quarterback, granted it’s a small sample size."

It's almost more about what happens if the Redskins don't bring back Cousins than anything else. 

"Fear of the unknown drives quarterback deals," Corry said. "McCartney knows he has leverage. He would do cartwheels if Kirk Cousins can get to the open market because there aren’t enough QBs for each team."

Looking at the numbers, Corry said adding up both possible franchise tags could give an estimate for the amount of guaranteed money Cousins might look for in a long-term deal. So, were the 'Skins to use the franchise tag in 2016 and 2017, Cousins would be due roughly $40 million guaranteed for those two seasons. Should the Skins offer a four-year deal with a suitable base salary and a guaranteed figure in that ballpark, maybe things could work out. 

"If you’re gonna franchise him, you’re gonna have to pay him the average of those two franchise tags," Corry said. He added that Cousins and McCartney might "give you a little discount on the two franchise tags because [they're] getting it a little sooner." 

What kind of discount? Corry suggested a guaranteed figure that gets to at least $36 million. 

The big question in Washington is what happens next, as the clock is ticking. Corry said both sides will likely reinitiate conversations soon, perhaps next week at the NFL Scouting Combine, but that something will happen before the franchise tag deadline in March. Washington's chief negotiators Bruce Allen and Eric Schaffer know what's at stake, and in the end, it seems highly unlikely the sides don't work out a deal at least for a year. It's also possible that some in Ashburn aren't totally convinced by Cousins, which bodes well for the franchise tag.

"It might make more sense if they’re not sold on him, it's a nice problem to have if he goes out and does it again then you know for sure you’ve got your franchise quarterback," Corry said. "You’re not going anywhere unless you have a capable quarterback. You’ll pay for a QB if you have one, it ensures you’re going to be in the mix." 

Asked bluntly who will be the starter come Week 1 in Washington, Corry had no doubts.

"It’s Kirk Cousins. They franchise him if they have to. They don’t have any other options," he said. "What's your alternative? Colt McCoy? RG3? You’re gonna end up last in the division with that."

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Redskins schedule preview: Weeks 13 and 17 vs. Eagles

Redskins schedule preview: Weeks 13 and 17 vs. Eagles

We’re previewing every game of the 2018 season with a look forward and a look back. Up today, it’s the two games against the Eagles. 

Week 13 December 3 (Monday night), Lincoln Financial Field

Week 17, December 30, FedEx Field

2017 Eagles: 13-3, First in NFC East, Super Bowl champions 

Projected 2018 wins per Westgate SuperBook: 10.5

Early line: Week 13, Redskins +7.5; No lines established for Week 17

Key additions: DE Michael Bennett, WR Mike Wallace

Key losses: DE Vinny Curry, WR Torrey Smith, RB LeGarrette Blount, DT Beau Allen

Notable: Quarterback Carson Wentz is aiming to be ready for Week 1 after suffering a torn ACL late in the season.  

Biggest questions: 

  • If Wentz isn’t ready, the Eagles have Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles ready. Is the real Foles the one who has been a journeyman or the one who starred in the playoffs? And will Wentz continue the freewheeling style that helped make him successful after the injury?
  • After winning Philadelphia its first Super Bowl, will the Eagles suffer from a hangover? 

Series history

The Redskins lead the all-time series 82-75-6; the Eagles won both meetings last year after Washington had won five straight. 

Series notables

The first time: October 10, 1937, Griffith Stadium — With the Redskins trailing 7-0, rookie Sammy Baugh twice led the Redskins deep into Eagle territory. Washington couldn’t push it across the goal line either time, though, and Philly got out with a 14-0 win.

The last time: October 23, 2017, Lincoln Financial Field — The Redskins took a 10-3 lead midway through the second quarter, but Wentz and the Eagles took over after that, scoring 21 unanswered points. The Redskins got it back within a touchdown and on a third and eight play early in the fourth quarter, it looked like they had Wentz sacked. However, he scrambled out of trouble and ran for the first down. That drive ended with a touchdown pass and Philly went on to win 34-24.

The best time: January 5, 1991, Veterans Stadium — After getting pummeled by the Eagles in the Body Bag Game (see “The worst time” below), the Redskins qualified for the playoffs and got their shot at revenge. The seedings called for the Redskins to return to the scene of the crime, Veterans Stadium, for a first-round playoff contest.

A near turnover that wasn't was the game's turning point. The Redskins had taken a 7-6 lead and were driving for more when the ball popped loose from Earnest Byner's grasp when he was tackled at the Philadelphia six. CB Ben Smith scooped the ball up and ran 94 yards for an apparent TD. 

Fortunately for the Redskins, instant replay showed that the ground caused the fumble and the call was reversed, with the Redskins retaining possession. The reversal became a 10-point turnaround as Chip Lohmiller connected on a short FG and instead of a six-point deficit, the Redskins had a four-point lead. The Eagles' offense never could get untracked and the Redskins won 20-6.

The worst time: November 12, 1990, Veterans Stadium — As the Redskins went into 1990, the core players on the team, Art Monk, Joe Jacoby, Jeff Bostic, Charles Mann, Darrell Green, Don Warren, and Monte Coleman, were on or approaching the over the hill side of 30.  The team had gone from Super Bowl Champs in 1987 to a losing record in ’88 to out of the playoffs again in ’89. They were facing their last stand as they went into The Vet for a November Monday night game.

This one became known as "The Body Bag Game". Five Redskins had to be carted off of the field as Buddy Ryan's team knocked a total of nine out of the game, including both of the active QB's. The carnage induced one Eagle to yell, "Do you guys need any more body bags?'' as yet another injured Redskin was lying on the turf. The Eagles and Ryan taunted the Redskins after the game, a 28-14 Philadelphia win that was not nearly that close.

Redskins schedule series

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page,  and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS  and on Instagram @RichTandler

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Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Sprinkle as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 


Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

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