The Washington Redskins have a huge decision to make regarding their starting quarterback, but Kirk Cousins is already preparing for the possibility of becoming a free agent this offseason. Cousins, who was drafted by the Redskins in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, has played his entire six-year career with the franchise, will become a free agent if Washington fails to sign him to a long-term contract or doesn't place the franchise tag on him for the third consecutive season.
Cousins would be paid a cool $34.5 million in 2018 if the Redskins tag him, but his value could be considerably higher on the open market, which would surely yield a long-term deal. Although, the 29-year-old pivot isn't prioritizing cashing in over the chance for a Super Bowl ring.
"Is money a part of it? Sure. Is it the only thing? No," Cousins told Pro Football Talk Live's Mike Florio on Tuesday. "It is about winning, and that's what I want more than anything, so I'm going to be willing to make sacrifices or do what has to be done to make sure I'm in the best possible position to win, and that's what the focus is going to be."
Despite his desire to play for a serious title contender, Cousins plans to remain loyal to the only franchise he's ever known, should Washington decide to place the franchise tag on him.
"I think we'll do what we've done the past two seasons. There's no need to change the script. Stay consistent with the plan: Let the team do what they want to do," Cousins said. "We'll see what the Redskins want to do and then I'll react accordingly."
Cousins has been a bright light for the Redskins since he was promoted to the starting quarterback role in 2015. He's quickly risen to elite status in the league, throwing for at least 4,000 yards and 25 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons. Captain Kirk has made just two playoff appearances in his career, though, failing to taste victory in both of those contests.
“We’ll see where it ends,” Cousins said when asked about his future with the Redskins. “It may end this March, it may end years from now. Who knows?”
Feb. 20 is the first day teams can use the franchise tag. Washington has three Super Bowl titles to its credit, with the last championship coming back in 1991.