Scot McCloughan spoke at length for the first time since his departure from the Redskins, joining 106.7 the Fan's Grant and Danny show, and in the process perhaps shed some light on the ongoing contract talks between the organization and Kirk Cousins.
The situation with Washington and Cousins is well known: The team has placed the franchise tag on their passer for a second straight season. Long-term contract talks seem largely stalled, as team and player have not come particularly close on a multi-year value.
McCloughan explained that the team and coaches all like Cousins, and there isn't a question of talent. The odd part in his comments came when the former 'Skins GM talked about Cousins' agent, Mike McCartney.
"[Cousins is] going to make a lot of money this year and he's earned it for what he's done the last two years. It's a big business," McCloughan said (click here for full audio). "The agent's got to be understandable that they're involved in it too. It's not just us and the player, the agent has to be able to understand, well ok, 'I can make this, if you don't tender him, I can make this for the next five years for him.' It just didn't work out."
Hearing McCloughan specifically invoke the agent carries some weight. Remember during the 2016 negotiations reports showed that communication between the team and Cousins' representatives had completely broken down in spots. Earlier this year, speaking during the NFL Combine, McCartney said he was working hard to maintain a positive dialogue with the Redskins.
To be clear, an agent's job is to maximize money for their clients. NFL management doesn't always appreciate that approach, but it doesn't mean an agent is doing anything wrong.
It's also logical to infer that the Redskins organization does not agree with the premise that the franchise tag should set the annual salary value for a long-term Cousins deal. Cousins' representatives would obviously feel the opposite. Not to suggest one side is right or wrong, but the reported offers from the 'Skins to Cousins have not approached the full franchise tag dollar figure in average annual value.
McCloughan did not waiver, however, on his assesment of Cousins as QB.
"I hope they do get a long-term deal done because I'm telling you he's high character, he's a good football player, he's smart, he's a good teammate, he's got leadership qualities," McCloughan said. "I've been around Brett Favres, I've been around Russell Wilsons, I've been around Matt Hasselbecks. Those are the characteristics that stand out, becuase you know he's got talent. He's got arm talent and you know he can move around and make plays with his feet."
Of the lack of a multi-year contract, McCloughan didn't take the blame, but he didn't pass it off either.
"It's too bad it didn't happen but that was an organizational thing."
Previously, McCloughan has said that teams need to be wary of overpaying at quarterback, and he didn't back off that notion either.
"The market is so high," he said. "If you're overpaying the quarterback, you're going to lose an offensive lineman, you're going to lose a defensive lineman, you're going to lose a corner."
In the end, McCloughan seemed resigned to the same belief that many Redskins fans have of their quarterback.
"He's going to be successful, here or somewhere else."
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