Since being designated with the franchise tag for the second straight offseason by the Washington Redskins, it has been nothing but constant rumors around quarterback Kirk Cousins.
His future with the organization has been in serious question over the last couple of weeks with no apparent end in sight. In light of that, the growing saga has taken yet another turn with Cousins refuting reports that he has demanded a trade, according to ESPN.
“I laughed and thought, ‘I don’t know where that comes from because that wasn’t the case,'” Cousins told Schefter.
“Somehow it got twisted to where an employee of the store is using the word ‘demanded.’ That’s not the approach I took.”
Kirk Cousins went on to state that he did reach out to Redskins owner Dan Synder and team president Bruce Allen to further gauge their motives regarding his standing with the team beyond next season. The response he received back from management is that there is a full intent of keeping him on board.
Despite that, things still remain murky at best between both sides. Although Kirk Cousins has denied requesting a trade from Washington, there is no going around the fact that the front office has explored trade scenarios with the San Francisco 49ers and now potentially with the Cleveland Browns, who possess a plethora of draft picks at their disposal.
All of this puts the Cousins on shaky ground with the franchise the further it gets closer to the July 15 deadline for a long-term deal to be worked out. Along with that, these continuous reports only fuel more speculation that a move may become imminent at some point in time.
Kirk Cousins is on track to make $23.9 million for the 2017 season, which will make him the fourth-highest paid player in the NFL. If no new long-term deal is put in place, it would open up the scenario for the 28-year-old to potentially receive the franchise tag for the third straight offseason putting him at a $34.5 million cap hit or a transition tag worth $28.8 million for 2018.
If that isn’t a feasible option, the Washington Redskins could risk losing Cousins in the open market where he can receive more than twice his salary for the 2017 season in guaranteed money on his next contract.
With that in mind, Washington Post‘s Master Tesfatsion did report earlier this month that Washington did discuss a multi-year extension with the former Michigan State product before the free agency period began, but the two sides were said not to be close to agreeing on a deal. The new contract was said to be around $20 million per year, but Kirk Cousins has his eyes set on earning the basis salary of $24 million that he is will make next season.
Since then, the only subject matter that has persisted on the newswire has been the trade talk around the Pro Bowl quarterback. This chatter has grown louder with each passing week that he sits without a new deal in place and his long-term future with the team still up in the air.
Cousins has put himself in this unique position because of his strong play on the field having put together two consecutive productive campaigns throwing for a combined 9,083 passing yards and 54 touchdown passes. This includes holding at least a 97.2 passer rating and 67.0 completion percentage in each season.
Kirk Cousins has proven over the last couple of years that he can be a reliable and productive player at his position while leading the Washington Redskins to success with a playoff appearance in 2015 and narrowly missing out on a second straight postseason appearance last season.
Ultimately, what this latest chapter in the situation signals is that there will be a bumpier road ahead in what has become an ever-changing saga.
[Featured Image by Nick Wass/AP Images]