Why haven’t the Redskins locked up Kirk Cousins yet?

The offseason for the Washington Redskins so far has been nothing short of eventful. The departure of wide receiving duo Pierre Garçon and DeSean Jackson has left many question marks over the Redskins offence. Despite the acquisition of Tyrell Pryor from the Cleveland Browns, a feeling of uncertainty still remains amongst the Redskins fans. However, one issue that is still to be resolved is the future of quarterback Kirk Cousins.

2016 Season

Kirk Cousins signed the franchise tag with the Redskins before the start of the 2016 season. The deal was worth $19.95m, making him the 13th highest paid player in the league at the time.  The 2016 season was a mixed one for Cousins. He threw for over 4,000 yards for a second consecutive season, and was ranked sixth for completion percentage. Despite these statistics, the Redskins were unable to repeat their success of the previous season. They finished third in the NFC East with an 8-7-1 record, and missed out on the playoffs following a decisive loss in week 17 to the New York Giants.

Despite the Redskins poor season, Cousins showed signs of potentially becoming an established NFL quarterback. However, several weeks into the offseason, and still no long term deal has been agreed between the Redskins and Cousins. This leaves the question… Why haven’t the Redskins locked up Kirk Cousins yet?

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Uncertainty

Despite his impressive statistics over the past two seasons, there is still an aura of uncertainty surrounding the Redskins quarterback. With Kirk Cousins at quarterback, you know exactly what you will get. A good pocket passer, who will find his receivers, and gain yardage down field very quickly. However, Cousins has showed signs of weaknesses over the past two seasons when he has needed to deliver in the big moments. Week 2 this season was a prime example, where Cousins’ late interception cost the Redskins a vital win against the Dallas Cowboys. In his only playoff appearance the previous season, he again showed signs of fragility in the Redskins 35-18 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Many Redskins fan feel that Cousins has not yet proven enough to earn a new deal worth $24m guaranteed. So is the level of uncertainty surrounding Kirk Cousins the main reason behind to slow progression in negotiations?

Options for Redskins

Both the Redskins and Kirk Cousins could have alternative options to consider. From the Redskins’ stand point, free agency gives them the opportunity to survey other quarterbacks. Rather than paying the reported $24m in salary to Kirk Cousins, the Redskins could potentially pay less in salary for a quarterback in free agency. With the cap space this could potentially save, the Redskins could then perhaps re-invest into a position that needs more attention. With the likes of Colin Kaepernick, Jay Cutler and Ryan Fitzpatrick still available in free agency, the Redskins certainly have budget options to consider beyond Kirk Cousins.

Options for Cousins

It is no secret that Cousins has attracted strong interest from the San Fransisco 49ers during the off season. The 49ers are currently in desperate need of a quarterback after coming off a 2-14 season. And the possibility of Cousins joining former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan could be a potential solution to the 49ers woes of recent seasons. There were some reports that Cousins would favour a move to Santa Clara sooner rather than later. But for now, his future remains in the nations capital.

One thing that is for sure is that Kirk Cousins has different options to consider. The Redskins remain confident that a deal can be agreed with Cousins. However, a lot can change in the coming weeks, but for now, Cousins looks to be the Washington Redskins quarterback for the 2017 season.

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