This does not qualify as the most shocking of news, but Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins does not expect to be traded before the start of the 2017 NFL Draft. Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins, and he subsequently signed the tender. The two sides have until July to work out a contract extension, otherwise he
Teams have been able to make trades since mid-March, but notable deals often happen in the lead-up right before the draft, or into the start of day two. There is a renewed sense of urgency to get that year’s draft picks into a deal, so it makes sense teams might make things happen.
That being said, Jimmy Garoppolo would seem to be the stronger candidate to get dealt by the draft. The New England Patriots are actually a well-run organization, while Washington is a clown show, at best. The Patriots have maneuvered things well, knowing they can keep Garoppolo and have serious cap space if they need to do anything with him next year.
Cousins on the other hand seems to be stuck in a weird situation. Owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen will make all the proclamations they want about things working fine, but this is a mess all around. If Washington tries to keep Cousins after this, they are going to be on the hook for at least $34.5 million on the franchise tag. A transition tag would “only” be $28 million, but it would result in Cousins signing an offer sheet somewhere and in turn likely getting over $40 million in guaranteed money.
Field Yates recently put together a look at all the 2018 quarterback options. He acknowledged the criticism that surrounds Cousins, but got this comment from an offensive coach:
"He's a winning starter," one NFL offensive coach said. "Borderline top-10 guy. A lot of teams would take him. ... Focused guy. Conscientious. Think he's good in [a] two-minute situation. Good movement on naked [bootlegs]. Would benefit from [a] better running game, but all quarterbacks would."
Someone is going to give him a ton of money next offseason, assuming Washington doesn’t actually go with a third straight franchise tag. And in that case, I suppose we can say he still gets a ton of money. While he does not have that long-term guarantee yet, he’s effectively earned what would equate to those guarantees. Not a bad day’s work for Cousins.