Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, June 26, 32 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp in Richmond.
—The Redskins last played a game 168 days ago. It will be 78 days until they host the Steelers in their 2016 season opener.
—Days until: Franchise tag contract deadline 19; Preseason opener @ Falcons 46; Final roster cut 69
Should the Redskins get Cousins signed before Luck gets done?
The news, such as it was, on Kirk Cousins’ contract last week was not encouraging. It was reported that there has been little substantial progress towards getting a long-term deal done. In fact, according to Albert Breer’s of MMQB, both sides were working on the assumption that Cousins will play out the 2016 with the $19.95 million franchise tag salary.
And it should be noted that this is the proper stance for Cousins’ camp and the Redskins to take at this phase. Neither should seem desperate to get a deal done. With almost three weeks to go there is no reason for one side to show signs of panic to the other.
But the Redskins have to have one thing in the back of their minds that may create some desperation as the deadline gets closer. Breer mentioned the ongoing Andrew Luck contract extension talks. Colts owner Robert Irsay has said that the deal will be “a big number”, which in today’s quarterback market is something in the neighborhood of $25 million per year.
So let’s paint the nightmare scenario for the Redskins, at least in financial terms. The July 15 deadline passes with no deal and Cousins plays on the tag in 2016. Then just before training camp starts the blockbuster deal for Luck is announced at six years, $150 million with $75 million guaranteed.
Suppose Cousins clearly outperforms Luck in 2016. Not necessarily because he’s a better, more talented quarterback than Luck but because he has better weapons and an offense that fits him perfectly.
If that entirely plausible scenario unfolds Mike McCartney, Cousins’ agent, will want to start negotiations in 2017 with Luck’s deal. The Redskins, who could lock up Cousins now for something in the neighborhood of $20 million per year right now, maybe even a bit less, may end up paying more—a lot more.
According to the old adage, patience is a virtue. But perhaps not in this case. Making sure that Cousins gets locked up in the next three weeks might cost them a couple of million more per year than they really want to pay. If they wait it out and Luck resets the market they might end up paying $40 million more over the life of the contract than they might if they act now.
What Luck may or may not do should not dictate what the Redskins and Cousins do. But it is a factor that needs to be considered.
In case you missed it
- NTK: Cousins on the rise
- Colt on backing up Kirk: 'I try to help him as much as I can'
- Two of three Redskins interior O-line spots up for grabs