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Redskins QB Cousins on contract: 'We all don’t look much further than this season'

Redskins QB Cousins on contract: 'We all don’t look much further than this season'

Kirk Cousins appeared on Redskins Nation on CSN on Tuesday. Host Larry Michael talked with the sixth-year quarterback about leadership and how the offense might look this season before getting to Cousins’ contract status.

Cousins is under contract with the Redskins for this season via the franchise tag. He has signed the tender, giving him a one-year guaranteed salary of $24 million. The Redskins and Cousins have until July 15 to agree to a long-term contract. If they don’t, they will have to wait until 2018, when the Redskins tag options are very expensive, meaning that Cousins could well hit free agency.

RELATED: Redskins one per player one-liners--Offense

When Cousins has been asked about his contract this offseason he has been very vague and generic in his comments. What he told Michael was more of the same.

“I think the short answer is, it’s been positive. I feel good about where we’re headed,” said Cousins. “I like coach [Jay] Gruden’s quote yesterday where he said, ‘I’m not really worried about it because we’ve got him for this year and that’s really all that matters.’ That’s the way I’ve always felt. There’s so many guys on this team who are on one-year deals. Even if it says it’s a three-or four-year contract the only guarantees are this year so many of us are playing on one-year deals, I’m not the only one. We’re not going to have long careers if we don’t have a good year this year. We all don’t look much further than this season.

“I feel good about our owner, he’s done a good job communicating this offseason with me, and the same with Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden and our scouting staff, our coaches. I feel good about the direction we’re headed and we’ll see where it ends up but bottom line, I’m in a good place right now and we’ll go win a lot of football games.”

Cousins has told others that from his perspective, he’s just one of many players on one-year deals. It has been his way of saying that he is perfectly willing to play the season on the franchise tag. That makes him different in a league where many players will sacrifice future forays in free agency for the security offered by agreeing to a long-term deal and getting a signing bonus, the only money guaranteed in most NFL contracts.

MORE REDSKINS: Tandler's rookie camp practice observations 

That’s smart negotiating on Cousins’ part. You have to be prepared to stick with what you have or the other side can take advantage of it. It’s also smart to keep as many options open as possible. When Michael asked him about the advantages of signing with the Redskins, Cousins make it clear that he is perfectly happy to stay in Washington.

“When you start listing all the pros, there are a lot,” he said. “This organization is second to none in terms of history, the former players, the Super Bowl trophies, an owner who’s committed to winning, who has passion about wanting his team to be successful, a head coach who I have a good relationship with, there’s been continuity there.  Continuity is very important in the game of football. Teammates that I love and respect and I feel really good about, not just the offensive line but stars like Josh Norman and Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, the list goes on and on, Chris Thompson. All these guys I really enjoy playing with. So there’s a lot of positives. My wife and I love living in this city. I can go on and on. We feel really good about having been drafted here and our five years here.”

Successful starting quarterbacks rarely change teams, in part because of the advantages of continuity. Cousins could be reluctant to pull up stakes and start over someplace else in 2018, when he will turn 30. That doesn’t mean he will give the Redskins any sort of a hometown discount to stay. But he could be open to staying for a market-value offer.

These negotiating methods are the tip of the iceberg; most of the real negotiations are going on under the surface, out of our view. And reports that Cousins will be very reluctant to sign a long-term deal with the Redskins persist.

The talk is fine but it’s cheap. Serious negotiations are unlikely to take place until just before the July 15 deadline. We will see if the Redskins can persuade Cousins to get himself off of that one-year deal.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger

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Need to Know: The Redskins' best players who are 25 or younger

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 17, 39 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The best Redskins players 25 or younger

Here is a look at the best Redskins players who have played at least one season and will be 25 or younger as of Week 1 this year. 

WR Jamison Crowder, 25 as of Week 1—Crowder hit the ground running in his first year, with 59 receptions, a team rookie record, and gaining 604 yards. He has been very dependable in his three years, averaging 64 catches, 747 yards, and four receiving touchdowns per year. 

OLB Preston Smith, 25—Since he came into the league, no player but Smith has at least 20.5 sacks, three or more interceptions, and four or more forced fumbles. His sack numbers tend to be up and down from week to week, but Jay Gruden has said more than once that Smith is very consistent in getting pressure on the quarterback even if he doesn’t always get home for the sack. 

DL Matt Ioannidis, 24—A year ago it was thought that he would face an uphill battle to make the 53-man roster. Now goes into the season as a starter and key contributor. The 2016 fifth-round pick got much stronger between his first and second seasons and he took well to the coaching of new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Only a broken hand that cost him two games and had him playing with an awkward cast for a few more kept him from threatening to make double-digit sacks. 

DL Jonathan Allen, 23—The Redskins were just starting to get a hint of what Allen could do early in the season. Pro Football Focus credited him with a total of three sacks in the Redskins third and fourth games. But in their fifth game, he suffered a foot injury that ended his season. Allen was a full go for the offseason program and there is no reason to think that he won’t pick back up right where he left off. 

S Montae Nicholson, 22—Like Allen, Nicholson’s rookie season was shortened due to injuries. He took advantage of the absence of anticipated starter Su’a Cravens and made an impact from the beginning. While the 2017 fourth-round pick and free-agent pickup D.J. Swearinger were in the lineup the decade-long struggles the Redskins have had at the safety position were suddenly gone. 

Best of the rest: WR Josh Doctson (25), C Chase Roullier (25)

It should be noted that DL Daron Payne turned 21 in May and RB Derrius Guice will the 21 later this month so they could be joining this list soon. Assuming those two start, the Redskins will have nine quality starters aged 25 or younger this year. 

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

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Timeline  

Redskins wide receiver Jamison Crowder was born on this date in 1993. 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 39
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 53
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 76

The Redskins last played a game 166 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 84 days. 

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Trent Williams has really good things to say about Alex Smith and Derrius Guice

Trent Williams has really good things to say about Alex Smith and Derrius Guice

The most significant thing to come from Trent Williams' spontaneous chat with the media on Wednesday is that the left tackle expects to be ready for training camp.

But two other topics Williams covered while talking were his initial impressions of new teammates Alex Smith and Derrius Guice. 

And while having one player compliment other players in the offseason is the second-most common thing in the NFL behind the Browns losing games, No. 71 went beyond the normal, clichéd positivity you're used to hearing. 

He was first asked about Smith, a QB he'd only met at the Pro Bowl until these offseason sessions in Ashburn.

“He’s a winner," Williams said. "As you all know, you don’t win in this league without a quarterback, so us being able to have one and have one right now, it does everything for our team and our attitude and the faith we have to win."

Next came a question about Guice, the rookie who looks like the most talented running back to date that Williams will have the pleasure of blocking for. What are his thoughts on the LSU product?

"When you watch him on film it's like he's been here before," Williams observed. "He's a specimen."

As for the 'Skins being able to snag Guice where they did in the draft, the 29-year-old admitted he was quite surprised.

"Extremely lucky to get him in the second round," he said. "I don't know how that happened... It's not going to take very long before people recognize him as an elite NFL talent."

Williams is coming off of surgery, will turn 30 in July and, during last season, spoke about how the injuries he constantly fought through started to take a toll on him. Ready to hear something sad? He's never won a playoff game.

So, for a veteran who's aging like him and who hasn't captured anything of signifigance yet, having confidence and trust in his backfield is paramount. Fortunately, judging by the quotes above, it sounds like Williams is already there when it comes to Smith and Guice.

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