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Redskins QB Cousins on contract: 'We all don’t look much further than this season'

Redskins QB Cousins on contract: 'We all don’t look much further than this season'

Kirk Cousins appeared on Redskins Nation on CSN on Tuesday. Host Larry Michael talked with the sixth-year quarterback about leadership and how the offense might look this season before getting to Cousins’ contract status.

Cousins is under contract with the Redskins for this season via the franchise tag. He has signed the tender, giving him a one-year guaranteed salary of $24 million. The Redskins and Cousins have until July 15 to agree to a long-term contract. If they don’t, they will have to wait until 2018, when the Redskins tag options are very expensive, meaning that Cousins could well hit free agency.

RELATED: Redskins one per player one-liners--Offense

When Cousins has been asked about his contract this offseason he has been very vague and generic in his comments. What he told Michael was more of the same.

“I think the short answer is, it’s been positive. I feel good about where we’re headed,” said Cousins. “I like coach [Jay] Gruden’s quote yesterday where he said, ‘I’m not really worried about it because we’ve got him for this year and that’s really all that matters.’ That’s the way I’ve always felt. There’s so many guys on this team who are on one-year deals. Even if it says it’s a three-or four-year contract the only guarantees are this year so many of us are playing on one-year deals, I’m not the only one. We’re not going to have long careers if we don’t have a good year this year. We all don’t look much further than this season.

“I feel good about our owner, he’s done a good job communicating this offseason with me, and the same with Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden and our scouting staff, our coaches. I feel good about the direction we’re headed and we’ll see where it ends up but bottom line, I’m in a good place right now and we’ll go win a lot of football games.”

Cousins has told others that from his perspective, he’s just one of many players on one-year deals. It has been his way of saying that he is perfectly willing to play the season on the franchise tag. That makes him different in a league where many players will sacrifice future forays in free agency for the security offered by agreeing to a long-term deal and getting a signing bonus, the only money guaranteed in most NFL contracts.

MORE REDSKINS: Tandler's rookie camp practice observations 

That’s smart negotiating on Cousins’ part. You have to be prepared to stick with what you have or the other side can take advantage of it. It’s also smart to keep as many options open as possible. When Michael asked him about the advantages of signing with the Redskins, Cousins make it clear that he is perfectly happy to stay in Washington.

“When you start listing all the pros, there are a lot,” he said. “This organization is second to none in terms of history, the former players, the Super Bowl trophies, an owner who’s committed to winning, who has passion about wanting his team to be successful, a head coach who I have a good relationship with, there’s been continuity there.  Continuity is very important in the game of football. Teammates that I love and respect and I feel really good about, not just the offensive line but stars like Josh Norman and Terrelle Pryor and Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder, the list goes on and on, Chris Thompson. All these guys I really enjoy playing with. So there’s a lot of positives. My wife and I love living in this city. I can go on and on. We feel really good about having been drafted here and our five years here.”

Successful starting quarterbacks rarely change teams, in part because of the advantages of continuity. Cousins could be reluctant to pull up stakes and start over someplace else in 2018, when he will turn 30. That doesn’t mean he will give the Redskins any sort of a hometown discount to stay. But he could be open to staying for a market-value offer.

These negotiating methods are the tip of the iceberg; most of the real negotiations are going on under the surface, out of our view. And reports that Cousins will be very reluctant to sign a long-term deal with the Redskins persist.

The talk is fine but it’s cheap. Serious negotiations are unlikely to take place until just before the July 15 deadline. We will see if the Redskins can persuade Cousins to get himself off of that one-year deal.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin on Tuesday, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today …

Nose tackle

Finlay: There's a lot to do on the Redskins defensive line, and it starts in the middle. Expect free agent addition Stacy McGee to have a big opportunity to take over the nose tackle job. McGee ranked as a +5.5 run defender last season as rated by Pro Football Focus, and at 6-foot-3 and 308 lbs., he has the size to man the middle. McGee has plenty of talent, health has been his hiccup. He has only played all 16 games in one of his four seasons, and in 2016, he played only nine games.

Beyond McGee, the Redskins have some lottery tickets. Practice squad players A.J. Francis and Joey Mbu both have the size to play nose, but neither have the experience. Could Francis or Mbu emerge for significant snaps with the Washington defense? Sure, but it would be unexpected. 

A bigger lottery ticket remains. Phil Taylor, a former first-round pick in 2012, has shown serious talent at the nose tackle position. At 6-foot-3 and 337 lbs., Taylor certainly has the size for the spot. At the same time, Taylor hasn't played an NFL game since 2014, losing both 2015 and 2016 to injury. Counting on Taylor would be short-sighted, but if he can remain healthy, there could be big value.

According to Jay Gruden, the most important piece of the nose tackle puzzle will come from new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Gruden said he expects Tomsula to "make" a nose tackle and improve the Redskins D-line. It's a tall order, but Tomsula has an impressive track record working in the trenches. 

Tandler: The organization’s refusal to get a legitimate nose tackle either in free agency or in the draft will lead to them again spend the spring and summer trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

That’s what they did last year with Ziggy Hood. He took a lot of snaps at nose tackle and he simply wasn’t a fit for the job. It wasn’t his fault that the Redskins allowed a league-worst 5.0 yards per rushing attempt on first down; he’s an end and he was much more effective there.

Matt Ioannidis, a 2016 fifth-round pick, also took some snaps at nose, with similar results. At 6-3, 308, he just doesn’t have the size to be effective.

The worst part of it here is that they really can’t get too far in identifying the 2017 nose tackle. In the spring with no pads and no contact allowed they really can’t do much besides work on technique and learn assignments. Tomsula’s effort to “make” a nose tackle won’t really get going until they get to Richmond in late August.

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ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

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Planning for a new Redskins stadium, Bruce Allen says the team is ahead of schedule

Planning for a new Redskins stadium, Bruce Allen says the team is ahead of schedule

The Redskins are going to build a new stadium. That is certain.

Where that stadium will be remains unclear.

Washington team president Bruce Allen spoke on Monday and explained that the team is ahead of schedule in terms of a new stadium.

RELATED: How the Redskins are changing up their front office

The team's lease expires at FedEx Field in 2027, and Allen expects the team to move into a new "jewel" of a stadium.

Maryland, Virginia and D.C. are all in play for the new facility. Currently, the team plays in Maryland but practices in Virginia.

The Redskins greatest success came when the team played in Washington at famed RFK Stadium.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!