The boss has jumped into the Kirk Cousins contract talks and that is a positive sign for the long-term future of the Redskins and their starting quarterback.
Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that team owner Dan Snyder has gotten involved in the negotiations, “making it known how much Washington wants to re-sign Cousins.”
The team president also is getting into the act. Bruce Allen had his first face-to-face meeting with Cousins’ agent since the franchise tag dance started over a year ago. Previously, Mike McCartney had met with Eric Schaffer, who handles the team’s salary cap and is the point man on contracts.
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Cousins has changed his tone on the possibility of re-signing with the Redskins in recent months. Talking to the media after one of the Redskins’ OTA sessions last month, he praised Snyder, coach Jay Gruden, and talked about his respect for the organization and the team’s history. There was a notable contrast between his words then and the non-committal tone he took right after the end of the regular season.
The Redskins and Cousins have until July 15 to come to a long-term deal. If they don’t get one done by then, they will have to wait until after the season ends to strike a new deal. Schefter said that despite the “positive outlook” that getting a deal done by the deadline would be “challenging”.
But Schefter said that even if the July 15 deadline passes without a deal that the chances that a deal can be made in 2018 are good.
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Waiting could be costly for the Redskins. Their only options to retain Cousins outside of a long-term deal are the transition tag, which would give him a one-year salary of $28 million, or the franchise tag, a move that would cost the Redskins a whopping $34 million for one season.
This is all good news but nothing really changes until the two sides get close enough on the financial terms of a deal to start serious negotiating. At this point there is no indication that that the Redskins have made an offer that gets there.
Until such an offer is made, this is all public relations. But stay tuned, this could get interesting in the next five weeks.