The Redskins will sit down with Mike McCartney this week to continue the process of working out a long-term contract for his client, franchise tagged quarterback Kirk Cousins.
“Eric Schaffer, who’s a great guy and works hard for the Redskins, and I are going to get together this week,” McCartney told Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday, just a few hours after the Redskins announced that they had placed the exclusive franchise tag on Cousins.
McCartney said that he has had “a few back and forths” with the Redskins since the end of the season, when the two sides were permitted to talk about a long-term deal again after being prohibited from doing so during the season as Cousins played on the franchise tag.
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Schaffer’s formal title is the Redskins’ Vice President of Football Administration. In layman’s terms he is the team’s contracts and cap guru. He and McCartney will work to hammer out the details of a deal that, if it gets done, will have a lot of zeroes in it.
How much will it take to get it done? McCartney strongly hinted that their position would start with making Cousins one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the game.
He was asked about using the extension that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck signed, a deal that carries an average annual value of $24.6 million, as a comparable deal to work off of in the negotiations. He said that they certainly would have to consider that contract in the negotiations. However, McCartney believes the price tag that the Redskins themselves put on Cousins is the best indicator of his value.
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“We’re sitting here today, we’ve had a one-year offer placed on Kirk that says he’s worth $24 million,” he said. “Kirk didn’t ask for that, I didn’t ask for that. The club chose to put that on him. Now, we’re very, very appreciative of that. We recognize that that’s a commitment from a club and they’re sending a message by making it non-exclusive that they see him as a franchise quarterback. And they’re willing to do that for one year. But that’s his value right now, until we do a deal.”
[McCartney apparently misspoke when he said that the tag was “non-exclusive” since it was exclusive]
Note that McCartney did not lock himself into a negotiating position, saying that the QB’s value is $24 million “right now, until we do a deal”. He could negotiate from a higher or lower number depending on what happens between now and the July 15 deadline to get a contract done.
In any case, he’s talking about high-priced territory. It remains to be seen if Schaffer, Bruce Allen, and Scot McCloughan are willing to talk about a deal in that neighborhood.