We all know by now that the relationship between quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins isn’t good. That “How you like me now?” moment last season was telling.
Now we have the most definitive news about where everything stands. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that Cousins personally asked Washington team owner Dan Snyder for a trade. Cousins was “basically told not to get his hopes up,” Mortensen reported.
We have a standoff.
This won’t be easy to sort out. Cousins would be turning down $24 million guaranteed this season on the franchise tag to sit out, so that doesn’t seem possible. The San Francisco 49ers reportedly would love to have Cousins, but Snyder turning down Cousins’ trade request says a lot. It was curious that the team gave Cousins the exclusive franchise tag. Had Cousins gotten the non-exclusive tag, that would have dared the 49ers to sign Cousins to an offer sheet. Washington would have gotten two first-round picks as compensation if it didn’t match. But Washington didn’t give Cousins a non-exclusive tag, and it’s not because it could reasonably expect to get more than two firsts back in a trade.
It’s a hard decision for Washington. Sure, it screwed up the Cousins situation in many ways. But imagine being the Redskins, knowing how hard it is to find a quarterback as good as Cousins. There’s a reason Mike Glennon got the deal he did from the Chicago Bears. The Redskins can talk up Colt McCoy all they want, but we know McCoy’s ceiling by now. McCoy’s best is not going to be better than Cousins has been the past two seasons.
So even though it seems like there’s no chance Cousins will be in Washington for the long term, it’s understandable why the Redskins don’t want to let go. On the other hand, Cousins apparently doesn’t want to be in Washington anymore, and it’s hard to see that changing overnight.
If Snyder stands by what he told Cousins, get ready for a really awkward season in Washington. Then imagine the fun if the Redskins franchise tag Cousins again at about $35 million next year.
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