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Cundiff was confident kicking game winner

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Cundiff was confident kicking game winner

Four days after redeeming himself in the final seconds by making the first of his four field goal attempts, Billy Cundiff said he received a number of supportive text messages from former teammates and coaches in the hours following the Redskins' 24-22 victory in Tampa.Everybody said the same thing: 'Its not how you start, its how you finish, Cundiff said Wednesday. They were all proud of how things ended up.The biggest show of support, though, came from his own coach. On Monday, Mike Shanahan said he did not intend bring in a free agent kicker in to challenge Cundiff, who missed kicks of 41, 57 and 31, respectively, before making a 41-yarder in the final seconds to clinch a 24-22 victory over the Buccaneers.You have to experience failure in the league in order to know how to bounce back from it, Cundiff said. I kept saying, Thank you God for giving me a chance to go out there and prove that the other kicks were just a fluke. As I told special teams Coach Danny Smith, I was going to make that kick even if I had to throw it through the uprights. It was going to go in.After the game, Cundiff hinted that he was still searching for chemistry with long snapper Justin Snow and holder Sav Rocca. As a result, Cundiff views the next four days of practice as critical. I dont think the issue really was dealing with pressure, Cundiff said of the misses. Its just trying to get as consistent as possible with the current situation that we have. Thats the big thing and thats what well continue to pound home in practice just trying to get more consistent and making sure that theres not these lulls, like having a game where you go 4 for 4 and a game where youre 1 for 4. We need to make sure that every time we go out there, we can be counted on.

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Making sense of new report showing Cousins, Redskins far apart on contract

Making sense of new report showing Cousins, Redskins far apart on contract

Considering the Redskins placed the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins for a second-straight offseason, it's obvious a contract chasm remains between the passer and the organization. A new report from MMQB.com cements it. 

After speaking with Washington team president Bruce Allen in Phoenix at the NFL League Meetings, Albert Breer wrote:

The deal that’s been offered is a five-year extension over the $23.94 million franchise tag that would lock up Cousins through 2022. I also know that the sides aren’t close to getting something done now. And while Allen insisted to me that he didn’t see the high one-year price making the long-term talks any trickier, the road to getting a deal done certainly won’t be easy.

Cousins stands to make nearly $24 million this season on the franchise tag, and reports have shown the 'Skins offered a 5-year deal worth $100 million as the extension beyond the tag. 

Put bluntly, that's not close enough to sign Cousins, regardless of the guaranteed money. He stands to make $24 million this year, and Allen has repeatedly mentioned an 'option' for Cousins in 2018. That option could be one of two things: the transition tag or another franchise tag. The transition tag would carry a price tag around $28 million in 2018. The franchise tag would go even higher, detrimentally, to around $34 million.

Cousins' camp will not work on a new deal that carries an average of $20 million per season. It just doesn't make sense when he stands to make $24 million this year and at least $28 million should the 'Skins excercise a 2018 option.

Allen told CSN at the League Meetings he remains "hopeful and confident" the franchise can get a long-term deal done with Cousins. The deadline for the team to get a new deal done with Cousins hits in mid-July. 

If a multi-year contract is to get done, it's going to take a lot more money.

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Jay Gruden expects leadership from Kirk Cousins 'no matter what his contract status is'

Jay Gruden expects leadership from Kirk Cousins 'no matter what his contract status is'

Much like a middle school dance, the Redskins are stuck in an awkward phase with their courting of Kirk Cousins. Clearly, the team likes their passer, enough to pay him nearly $20 million last season and another $24 million this year. Yet, the team can't seem to agree on a price to keep Cousins around for the long-term. 

That leads to some interesting discussions. Earlier this offseason Cousins brought up that not only could his play improve with a multi-year contract, but his leadership as well. 

That is the benefit to the long-term deal. It’s okay, I’m the guy. I’ve got full freedom to lead, full freedom to just be the guy, to make this mine, and to get that permission, if you will. That’s where I think the leash comes off and you’re able to fully go, and I’m excited for that day to come, whether it comes this year or down the road. I can’t wait.

At the NFL League Meetings in Phoenix earlier this week, Washington head coach Jay Gruden was asked if a long-term contract would help Cousins. 

I think being a quarterback in the National Football League you should be a leader and feel good no matter what his contract status is. I think having a long-term contract maybe helps a little bit but I think when we get out on the field on the first game Sunday afternoon, people are going to look to him for leadership. He is going to provide it whether it's a one-year deal or a 10-year deal. I know he is going to play his butt off, compete, prepare and do all the things necessary whatever link the contract is and we are excited to coach him.

Gruden continued, explaining that though Cousins does not have the security of a long-term deal, he is taking home a lot of cash. 

I don't know how difficult it is really, he is making a lot of money and he is doing a nice job. He is having fun, the players love him, respect him and rally around him. The business side of it with the agent and our people is what it is and its thats way with a lot of guys. We are going to have a number of guys with one year contracts and I fully expect them coming in and working their tails off and doing everything right to try and win a championship. That is what it's all about and at the end of the year we will come back to our negotiating table and try to get something done. Ideally you would like everyone to be on their long term contracts but that is obviously not possible.

Fans should know that Cousins is not the type of player to allow his contract situation to create a disctraction. While some players would buck at the first franchise tag, Cousins has signed both tags in 2016 and 2017 without hardly a peep of consternation. His work ethic also cannot be questioned, as the 'Skins passer is already working out with new wideouts Terrelle Pryor and second-year man Josh Doctson along with slot star Jamison Crowder on his own dime and time in Florida. Cousins is not the type to miss any optional workouts or camps, whether or not others in his situation might try to send a message to their team. 

Leadership is an innate quality, important for quarterbacks. It can't be bought. Cousins has it. He showed it in 2015 when he made about $600,000. He will show it again in 2017, whether that's on the franchise tag or if the two parties can work out a long-term deal. 

A long-term deal might allow Cousins to feel more secure in his future in Washington, but on the field, in the film room, or in the locker room, Gruden expects to see no change from his quarterback. 

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