Time to trade Kirk Cousins? Washington blew it, faces tough truths

6:31 PM ET

It’s not unequivocally a warn that Washington and Kirk Cousins unsuccessful to come to terms on a long-term prolongation before Monday’s deadline for authorization players.

What is a surprise, however, is what happened next. Team boss Bruce Allen released a statement detailing a offer Washington finished to keep Cousins in a classification while divulgence that Cousins’ illustration unsuccessful to ever respond to a proposal. While teams mostly trickle information to try to negotiate by several media channels, this arrange of open explanation is probably unprecedented. It also says a lot about Cousins’ destiny in D.C.

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  • First, let’s speak about a offer itself. Allen suggests Washington finished a inexhaustible offer on May 2 that would have given Cousins a record $53 million in full guarantees during a time of signing and $72 million in guarantees for injury. The classification apparently did not make a serve offer after Derek Carr sealed his prolongation in mid-June.

    While there’s small reason to doubt that a numbers Allen put out there are inaccurate, they’re nowhere nearby as considerable as he’s suggesting. For one, Cousins’ authorization tab for 2017 already guarantees him $23.9 million, definition that Washington’s understanding would usually be value $29.1 million in new money. Barring a career-threatening injury, Cousins undoubtedly would get some-more than that in unlimited giveaway group subsequent year.

    Former NFL representative Joel Corry suggested Cousins could get $100 million in guarantees on a giveaway market. Cousins’ understanding would expected tip a $87 million Andrew Luck perceived in guarantees on his prolongation with a Indianapolis Colts, and $90 million seems like a reasonable baseline.

    To keep Cousins in city for 2018, Washington will have dual options. One is an rare third authorization tag, that would pledge Cousins a towering $34.5 million on a one-year deal. Alternately, Washington could occupy a transition tag, that would concede them to compare any offer though remuneration during a cost of $28.8 million for one year.

    In other words, Cousins was already in line to make a smallest of $52.7 million over a subsequent dual seasons though sacrificing a precedence of going year-to-year on his contract. Allen and a classification wanted him to give adult that precedence and leave scarcely $40 million on a list for an additional $300,000. Even if we wish to trust that Cousins should take a regressive proceed in a joining in that a rubbing rate is perilously high, there’s no proceed to make that math credibly work. This wasn’t a arrange of record-setting, no-brainer offer a classification is suggesting in Allen’s statement. It’s hardly a convincing one given Cousins’ stream leverage.

    Perhaps some-more importantly, it’s revelation that Washington expelled this matter publicly. It’s a remarkably pure try to poison a good of open opinion opposite their star quarterback, portrayal him as miserly and only in adhering around for a prolonged term. That’s officious bizarre. Can we suppose a Patriots putting out this arrange of matter about Tom Brady? Or a Packers throwing Aaron Rodgers underneath a train like this? Would they call their quarterbacks “Tim” or “Arnold” while doing so?

    You can’t. In part, that’s since those organizations aren’t as dysfunctional and publicly contingent on winning in a journal as Washington. More so, those teams wouldn’t try to array their fans opposite their quarterback since they design their signal-callers to hang around for a prolonged term. Every bit of justification we have suggests that Washington does not design to have Cousins around for a prolonged haul. It hasn’t finished a viable offer to keep him off a marketplace for dual years running, even prolonged after Cousins pennyless out as a useful passer. Slamming him publicly creates things usually worse. This is a damaged relationship.

    Washington is fast using out of options. It can use a authorization tab on Cousins for a third time subsequent year and make him a highest-paid quarterback in a joining by a poignant margin, that will meant it will have paid a quarterback who Allen Co. didn’t trust was value a long-term understanding a record $78.4 million over 3 seasons and afterwards be theme to a same long-term issues a year from now. Washington can wish that Cousins changes his mind and unexpected wants to stay, that seems doubtful given that a classification only attempted to take him down in a possess open forum.

    More plausibly, a group will try to slap a transition tab on Cousins and be stranded confronting down an offer it can’t match. Washington has a small some-more than $45 million in tip room for 2018 before accounting for a breeze category or associate giveaway agents such as Bashaud Breeland, Spencer Long, Trent Murphy and Shawn Lauvao. It doesn’t have an easy trail to additional tip space outward of slicing one of a superstars such as Josh Norman, Ryan Kerrigan or Jordan Reed.

    Washington hates to compensate outrageous signing bonuses in one fell swoop, swelling a $20 million or so in bonuses paid to guys like Norman and Trent Williams over dual seasons around a agreement structure or straight-up deferrals. Teams like Cleveland and San Francisco, that will both simply proceed $100 million in tip space subsequent year, will be well-positioned to offer Cousins a understanding with, say, a $30 million signing reward and $30 million register bonus, forcing Washington to pure out a smallest of $36 million in tip space while profitable $60 million in money out of pocket.

    It competence really good be time for Washington to face some tough truths. If Cousins does leave, this is a day people are going to brand as a branch indicate for a organization, a impulse it became publicly pure Cousins wasn’t going to hang around. The classification has finished a best to try to denounce Cousins, and while some emergence of a fan bottom competence take it as gospel, this is as pure an bid as anyone has seen in new memory.

    If Washington lets Cousins leave subsequent offseason, a limit lapse it will get is a saving collect during a bottom of a third turn during a 2019 draft. If it spends in giveaway group to try to reinstate Cousins by signing someone like Sam Bradford, it won’t even get that selection. Losing Cousins is a nightmare, though losing him for giveaway is even worse.

    Washington is also about to face a 2017 deteriorate that will be tangible by a conflict between Cousins and a organization, one that is (even for Washington) expected to turn a circus. Few are awaiting Washington to contest for a playoff mark in 2017, and while anything can occur in a vibrated NFL, it’s not as if a classification seems expected to win a Super Bowl this season, regardless of who is personification quarterback.

    Oklahoma City Thunder trade for Paul George a year before his possess giveaway agency, is there a group out there confidant adequate to trade for Cousins in a hopes of maintaining him subsequent year?

    There should be. Teams like a Browns and 49ers could acquire Cousins in giveaway group subsequent offseason, though they could also try to trade for Cousins now and remonstrate a former Michigan State star that his destiny lies in their city. They can’t negotiate an prolongation with Cousins until after a season, though any of those teams would have a tip space to authorization Cousins for a third time though incurring poignant event cost in a meantime. They would also presumably be peaceful to give Cousins a arrange of long-term understanding he expects to accept in giveaway agency.

    If you’re San Francisco, do we offer your 2018 second-round collect and Brian Hoyer to Washington? Would Cleveland be peaceful to give adult Houston’s first-round collect and Brock Osweiler (after a agreement restructuring) to try to drive Cousins away? And would Washington be peaceful to take a guaranteed collect and a maestro quarterback to try and pierce on from a Cousins epoch with something to uncover for a efforts? Neither of those options seem quite appealing, though after a weird day, Washington doesn’t seem to have an appealing long-term destiny during quarterback, either.

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