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Don't expect Redskins to offer top QB market price to Kirk Cousins, analyst says

Don't expect Redskins to offer top QB market price to Kirk Cousins, analyst says

Negotiations between the Redskins and Kirk Cousins broke down last year as the two sides were far apart on money. Washington offered as much as $16 million per year in a long-term deal, but the Cousins' camp rebuffed those offers before the organization placed the franchise tag on their quarterback for the 2016 season.

With the countdown on for the team to decide to use the franchise tag for the 2017 season before the March 1 deadline, the 'Skins must again decide what they are willing to offer Cousins in a multi-year contract. ESPN's Andrew Brandt, speaking with ESPN980's Kevin Sheehan on Thursday morning, explained that Washington brass is not expected to go to the top of the quarterback market.

"The Redskins are in a position of strength on the long-term aspect," Brandt said. "A long-term deal can happen if Kirk Cousins' camp is willing to not negotiate on the level of the franchise tag number. That did not happen last year."

Last year that meant the Cousins camp wanted the deal to start at $20 million per season, the amount guaranteed by the franchise tag. This year, that number jumps to $24 million. 

Many have used the Andrew Luck contract, and it's $87 million guaranteed, signed last year as a barometer for what Cousins should make, regardless if the Washington passer is as good as the Colts QB. Brandt disagreed.

"They don’t have to be a slave to the Andrew Luck deal," he said.

Brandt made clear he doesn't expect the Redskins to "negotiate with the top of the market" and that if the Cousins camp demands to be paid at that level, expect another contract impasse. 

Last year's negotiations followed a similar pattern, in that the team and the player were miles away from a compromise when it came to annual salary and guaranteed money. Redskins' decision makers have already showed they are willing to use the tag, and in 2017, it again seems like a viable option. 

Cousins spoke earlier this year about his desire to be paid at the top of his worth, both for his own contract and for quarterbacks down the road. Interestingly, Brandt didn't believe the market for Cousins quite matches the "hysteria" suggested by fans and some media.

"Much more hyped than the reality will show," he said. "I don’t think somebody's going to put together this massive Kirk Cousins' contract."

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Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Is Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL? One analyst says so

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports declared Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins the most overrated player in the NFL. Prisco repeatedly points out that while Cousins is a good quarterback, the notion that he should be paid like one of the best passers in the league is what makes him overrated.

From Prisco:

After having six 300-yard-plus passing games in his first 11 games, including two over 400, Cousins had one in the final five games last season as the Redskins pushed for a playoff spot. He had five touchdown passes and five interceptions in those games, going 2-3 as Washington folded. It wasn't all on him, but that's the point. I don't think he's a quarterback who rises above situations when the team isn't going right. I am not going to sit here and pan him as a starter. He has proven to be that, and a pretty good one. It's just that the perception is he's much better than that, which is why he's my most overrated player in the NFL in 2017.

Here's the problem with Prisco's login: Simple market economics. 

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An argument can be made Cousins is a Top 10 passer. He's certainly in the top half of the league at the position. Few, if any, would argue Cousins is a Top 5 quarterback, but his contract situation forces him to be paid like he is. Those are the exact terms of the franchise tag, even before the 20 percent increase Washington paid this season to use a second-straight tag.  

Since the Redskins lost their window to sign their single-season passing yards record holder to a team-friendly deal last year, Cousins has leverage and the advantage of inflated QB salaries on his side.

That doesn't mean Cousins is overrated. 

If the threshold for being overrated is money, then Brock Osweiler wins this thing in a landslide. After the 2016 season in Houston, Osweiler seems unlikely to ever again be considered a starting QB in the NFL. He's due to be paid $18 million this fall and his offseason trade to the Browns will go down as the first-ever salary dump in NFL history. 

Is Cousins overpaid? Probably. That's the way contracts work in pro football. 

Is Cousins overrated? Probably not. He's thrown for more than 9,000 yards and completed about 68 percent of his passes over the last two seasons. 

There just aren't enough quarterbacks to go around in the NFL, and guys who can play the position get paid handsomely. That doesn't make Cousins overrated. 

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Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

lucky-whitehead.jpg

Lucky Whitehead a victim of mistaken identity according to police

It's been a confusing stretch for Cowboys receiver Lucky Whitehead. 

The charges against the Bealeton, Virginia native have now been dropped, after it was determined by Prince William County Police that Whitehead is not the man accused of shoplifting at a convenience store in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 22.

Here's the full statement released Tuesday:

Upon reviewing the June 22, 2017 arrest of an individual named “Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.”, the police department is confident that the man charged with petit larceny, and who is subsequently being sought on an active warrant for failure to appear in court, is not Lucky Whitehead of the Dallas Cowboys. The man charged on the morning of June 22 was not in possession of identification at the time of the encounter; however, did verbally provide identifying information to officers, which included a name, date of birth, and social security number matching that of Rodney Darnell Whitehead, Jr.

Officers then checked this information through the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database.The DMV photo on file was then used to compare to the man who was in custody. Officers acted in good faith that, at the time, the man in custody was the same man matching the information provided. At this point, the police department is also confident in confirming that Mr. Whitehead’s identify was falsely provided to police during the investigation.The police department is currently seeking the identity of the man involved in the incident. Since the identifying information provided by the arrestee during the investigation was apparently false, the police department is working with the Prince William County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office to clear Mr. Whitehead from this investigation.

The police department regrets the impact these events had on Mr. Whitehead and his family.

 

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Cowboys hadn't officially released Whitehead on Monday, despite reports to the contrary. 

 

Although it's looking like he still may be looking for a new home.

 

RELATED: COWBOYS WR LUCKY WHITEHEAD'S DOG REPORTEDLY HELD FOR RANSOM