The Redskins organization appears to be on message when it comes to the status of Kirk Cousins for the 2017 season.

When asked about it at the Senior Bowl on Tuesday, Jay Gruden said, “I totally anticipate him coming back to the Washington Redskins.”

That is all well and good but it’s not totally up to Gruden. He will have a voice in the decision and general manager Scot McCloughan will have even more say. But with a big dollar deal like this, owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen will get involved. We haven’t heard from Snyder in quite some time but Allen was on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday. His message was in line with Gruden’s.

Related: Gruden confident that Cousins will return

“Kirk is our quarterback," said Allen. "I know there's other speculation, but it doesn't come from the Redskins."

When asked to put a number on the likelihood of Cousins returning to the team in 2017 on a scale of 1-10, Allen said it is a 10.

However, 2017 is not the big question. Requiring him to play in Washington in 2017 is totally in the team’s control. They can put the franchise tag on him, a move that will cost them just shy of $24 million in salary.

The big question is not 2017. It’s 2018 and beyond. Will the Redskins sign him to a long-term deal? If they don’t think that the can do so are they going to risk letting him leave after the 2017 season without any compensation?


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Unless and until Cousins signs a long-term contract, all of the talk is great. But saying he will be back in 2017 is not anything that we don’t know, barring a trade.

Saying that Cousins will be back in 2017 is not fake news. It hardly qualifies as news at all. But the banner headlines will come if Cousins signs a deal that goes beyond the next 16 regular season games.

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 @Rich_TandlerCSN.