Despite positive talks since the NFL draft, the Washington Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins are still not close to reaching a long-term extension with Monday’s deadline looming, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Barring an unexpected concession in price and contract structure by one of the two sides, Cousins is now expected play out the 2017 season under the franchise tag.
Cousins is guaranteed $23.94 million this season and is seeking a contract that would make him one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL. Short of that, he’ll either reach free agency next offseason or receive his third straight tag from the Redskins (paying Cousins anywhere between $28 and $34 million depending on the type of tag applied).
That considerable leverage has put Washington into a position where it may take as much as $25 million per season and $60-$70 million or more in guaranteed money to close a deal by Monday. It’s a price tag that will continue moving north with a quarterback market that is poised to see continued growth into next offseason. That’s particularly so after the Oakland Raiders‘ Derek Carr – who has yet to appear in a playoff game – signed an extension last month for $125 million over five years (including $70 million in guaranteed money).
As expected, those figures will factor prominently in the extension talks of both Cousins and Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford, who is also seeking a new deal heading into the final year of his contract. It’s also conceivable that the Green Bay Packers‘ Aaron Rodgers and Atlanta Falcons‘ Matt Ryan could rework their deals, which will have fallen considerably behind the top-shelf quarterback market when some of the other lingering deals come in.
But while those teams and players have the element of time on their side to smooth out figures, the Redskins and Cousins don’t. Franchise tag rules dictate that Cousins must be signed to an extension by Monday or wait until after the season to pick up talks again. For the next five days, the pressure is on – despite the lack of movement in talks through Wednesday.
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