Washington Redskins fans were happy to hear yesterday that their team was successfully able to franchise tag their quarterback Kirk Cousins. It was only a non-exclusive tag, meaning he could still negotiate a deal with other teams.
However, this is now no longer the case, as Cousins has accepted the organisation's franchise tender. Mike McCartney, Cousins’ agent, shared that news on Wednesday night.
What this means is once the deal is signed, the former Michigan State quarterback will forfeit his right to talk to other teams that would be willing to give up two first-round draft picks in order to try and pry him away from the Washington franchise.
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The non-exclusive tag will pay Cousins $19.95 million if the Redskins are unable to provide him with a long-term offer he is willing to sign, which is the highest base salary of any quarterback in the league for the 2016 season. Not bad at all.
Like many other players that have been franchised tagged this year, Cousins will now have at least a year to audition for a long-term contract with another franchise, or he can try and convince Washington to give him a long-term contract before July 15. Considering what he was able to do for the team last season, some might say he already deserves it.
The 27-year-old really came into his own last season. He was provided with the first opportunity to play the full 16 games and he took it with both hands. He culminated 4,166 passing yards, throwing for 29 touchdowns and 11 interceptions, achieving a passer rating of 101.6.
Not only that, but he earned the Redskins a win-loss record of 9-7 and took the team to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. This was done with Cousins playing for a lot of time without the team's top two receivers, wideout DeSean Jackson and tight end Jordan Reed.
The times have changed for Cousins, as before the team's bye week last season, fans and critics alike were calling for his benching, as he had only won three games out of a possible seven. The quarterback stayed in though for the second half of the season and improved to win six out of a possible nine, answering his critics with a simple 'You like that!'
2016 will certainly be a difficult year for the Redskins, as with their playoff qualification from last year comes a much tougher schedule. However, if Cousins is able to replicate the success, there is no option but for Washington to offer the quarterback a very nice long-term contract for what he has done for the team.
Cousins will officially sign with the Redskins later today.