We’re coming down to the wire here in part 1 of the “Kirk Cousins Offseason WTF Will Happen Extravaganza”. Coming off a season where he played under the franchise tag and was a dropped pass away from hitting 5,000 yards, the Skins were faced with the choice- sign him to a long term, high money deal, tag him again and pay him 24 million guaranteed against the cap, or let him walk in free agency. And as the Washington Post broke down today, a player has never had as much leverage as Kirk Cousins has right now:
Washington Post - “It’s also rare for a player to be as completely in control. I’ve never seen a negotiation where a player was this completely in control of a negotiation as Cousins is here. It may be his position that no matter what the Redskins offer, he wants to once and for all find out if a quality quarterback under 30 years old hits the free agent market with absolutely no restrictions, what is he worth? How much guaranteed can he get? If that’s the view of the agent, then he could go through a fake negotiation, but the reality of the situation there is absolutely no way to get a deal done if you’re the Redskins.”
It’s such a lose-lose for the Skins. You either offer more than the status-quo and overpay, or you let him walk and potentially sign elsewhere. Or the only other option is to slap the tag on him, in which case you’re limited in signing free agents because of the amount against the cap he will take. Impressive, really, how much leverage Kirk and his agent have in this situation.
The post continues:
So, if you make him the highest-paid quarterback in the league, you pay him $25 million bucks. But if he thinks if he hits the market that San Francisco or Cleveland or somebody will pay him $27, $28 million or even $30 million, the only way to convince him to not even test the market is to do that. And it’s inconceivable that [the Redskins] would even do that.
It’s actually so sick how much Kirk is set to make because the Skins didn’t sign him long term after last season:
“And think about this, what they also did, was force him to play under the tag twice, so $45 million in guaranteed money, plus you’re having to do another deal, so after those two years, probably another $60 million, so he’s probably going to walk out of the first two years that he’s tagged and the next deal with roughly $100 million in guaranteed over 24 months.
Ooooooweeeeeee. That’s just so sick. If he plays under the tag and then signs a big deal, 100 million dollars in 2 years.
So then of course the other option- trading him. The Skins could very well get a nice package in return for Kirk, complete with high 1st round draft picks. And then what? Disrupt the entire rebuild process with a Free Agent veteran QB (Tony Romo!?)? Go with Colt McCoy? I love Colt, but is he who the Skins want behind center when they are paying Norman, Trent Williams, RBK, etc a ton of money. The core of the team is strong, losing Kirk would definitely set them back. But is Kirk worth 25 million when Colt is there for 3.6 million? Or another serviceable QB is available? It’s impossible to say, because at the end of the day, QBs are paid a premium because they are so goddamn fucking hard to come by. We’ve seen some baddddd QB play in the league, and I do mean bad. Kirk, not so bad.
Numbers like that don’t just grow on trees. So coming into his prime, this dude is going to get paid a shit ton of money. Will it be here or elsewhere, that’s the million (100 million) dollar question.