We are less than two weeks away from the deadline for franchised players to sign contract extensions before the upcoming season. After Monday, July 17, teams have to wait until after the season to get a contract done.
The most notable player on our radar is Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins. This offseason, he was franchised for the second straight year. Early rumors indicated a deal would not get done, but there have been reports that things are a bit more positive. They were well apart on contract numbers, and there have been no updates on where they stand.
Kevin Jones writes about the 49ers for KNBR, and his experience in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. have provided him with a host of sources. On Monday, he offered up this interesting report.
I hear Dan Snyder would rather make Kirk Cousins the highest paid QB in the NFL than lose him to Kyle Shanahan https://t.co/0bMQjr3Nle— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) July 3, 2017
I was told Snyder fears Redskins fans would forever turn their backs on him if Kyle/Kirk have sustained success.together in SF https://t.co/O6yDr2Vgib— Kevin Jones (@Mr_KevinJones) July 3, 2017
The notion that Snyder would authorize signing Cousins to a massive contract to keep him away from Kyle Shanahan actually makes sense. Snyder and the Shanahan family thought they had a good thing going in Washington, but it ended very poorly. Jennifer Chan wrote about it back in February.
Whether it’s out of spite or not, if Washington offers Cousins the kind of contract he’s looking for, I would not be surprised to see him sign it. Things have been shaky at times with the Washington front office, but money talks. Cousins is showing plenty of patience, and if he gets a big offer in the next two weeks, it would make sense to take the security it offers. $24 million is certainly plenty of security, but a deal that might offer $50 million or more in fully guaranteed money is that much better.
Where it gets interesting is what happens next offseason if a deal does not get done in the next two weeks. If Cousins has another strong season, Washington can either extend him, use the franchise tag for a third year, or use the transition tag. The franchise tag would pay him just over $34 million in 2018. The transition tag would let him sign an offer sheet anywhere, and Washington would either match it, or lose him for nothing. It makes for a fascinating game of chicken that gets even more interesting if nothing happens in two weeks.