Redskins

Redskins

Kirk Cousins probably isn't signing a multi-year contract with the Redskins before the July 17th franchise tag deadline. From a purely financial perspective, Cousins should play on the tag, make $24 million this season, and then either hit free agency, agree to a massive contract with Washington, or play on another tag next season for at least $28 million.

That said, a case can be made that Cousins should give the Redskins a bit of a hometown discount. It's highly unlikely to happen, but there is an argument for it to. Consider:

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  • Gruden goes all in - As much as Mike and Kyle Shanahan talked about Cousins' potential, it wasn't until Jay Gruden took over in D.C. that Cousins became the starter. Gruden was the coach who stood up to ownership and benched Robert Griffin III to start Cousins. Shanahan did not. That should carry great weight. 
  • All the tools - In two years as the Redskins starter, Cousins has piled up strong statistics, including twice breaking the franchise single-season passing record. Part of that success is Cousins' personal talent, a big part, but he's also playing on a fairly loaded offense. His past two seasons he played with Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson, two highly coveted wideouts that got big money this offseason in free agency. There's also Jordan Reed, arguably the most skilled tight end in the NFL, and a stout offensive line that features the best blindside protector in the league in Trent Williams. Garçon and Jackson are gone now, but Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson will again give Cousins talented receiving options, not to mention Jamison Crowder's emergence in the slot. The Redskins offense is still loaded, and that helps a QB look good. 
  • Comforts of home - When young quarterbacks struggle it's often a result of too many system changes. The intricacies of an NFL offense can get pretty arcane, and the expectation of knowledge for passers is really, really high. Conceptually, Cousins knows the Redskins system very well. He has run Gruden's offense efficiently and knows his progressions in a tight time frame. Now, there are two other offenses Cousins is familiar with in the Rams and the 49ers, but his success in Washington should not be out of mind. 

To reiterate, Cousins is unlikely to give the Redskins a deal. NFL players have a limited shelf life, and all should maximize their dollar value in a world without guaranteed contracts. That said, as laid out above, there are plenty of reasons for Cousins to want to stay with the Redskins.

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