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It’s Kirk Cousins contract deadline day

If nothing gets done, we are left to wait upwards of eight months for resolution.

The San Francisco 49ers training camp gets going a week from Thursday, and there are not a lot of notable dates in July before camp gets going. However, we have a big one this year, today, Monday July 17. Washington used their franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins, and they have until today to agree to terms on a long-term contract extension. If a deal is not done by 1 p.m. PT today, Cousins cannot sign a long-term extension until after the season.

Cousins is on his second straight year with the franchise tag, and if he does not agree to a deal, he would be the first quarterback ever to play back-to-back seasons on the franchise tag. Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that Cousins, “is not expected to sign a long-term deal by Monday's 4 p.m. deadline to sign franchise players to long-term contracts, but he is open to doing a deal with the team after this season.” NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that this was set to be the case as far back as May.

ESPN has been reporting there has been a more positive tone to discussions this offseason, but there is no indication the two sides are any closer on the dollar figure. Cousins is set to earn $23,943,600 this season under the franchise tag. If a deal is not done by Monday afternoon, these are the four primary possibilities for next offseason:

  1. Extension signed before free agency
  2. Franchise tag used for third time, worth $34,478,784 - it would be exclusive, meaning he could not negotiate elsewhere
  3. Transition tag used, worth $28,732,320, and any team can sign him to an offer sheet without losing a draft pick
  4. Washington lets him become an unrestricted free agent so they can land a third round comp pick if he departs

There are all sorts of rumors and reports out there from notable people, and random folks claiming to know someone who knows someone. ESPN’s John Keim thinks a 2018 long-term deal is more possible than he previously thought. Some random dude who claims to know someone in the Washington organization was told there’s effectively no chance Cousins returns. Between now and next offseason, I want to try and find every random anonymous source I can just to see how many different opinions we can find.

If a deal does not get done by 1 p.m. PT today, we’ll be left to wait until the end of the 2017 season for the next step in this process. That won’t stop the Cousins speculation over the next five or six months. I created this story stream to track all of our Cousins coverage. I think there is a better than 50 percent chance Cousins is playing for the 49ers in 2018, but barring anything unexpected today, we’ve got a long wait for resolution.