Washington Redskins Rumors: Team Looking To Lock Down Kirk Cousins This Offseason, Could Pay $20 Million A Year

The Washington Redskins are rumored to making a big move this offseason, looking to lock down Kirk Cousins to the tune of $20 million per year and making the former backup their franchise quarterback.

Cousins just led the team to an NFC East title, and though the Redskins lost in the opening round of the playoffs to the Green Bay Packers, the future looks much brighter now behind Cousins than it has in several years. After the team endured a long and difficult quarterback controversy with Robert Griffin III, they now appear ready to hitch their wagon behind Cousins, who was taken three rounds after Griffin in the 2012 NFL Draft.

As ESPN noted, there had not been much pressure from Cousins’ camp to sign an extension, but that is expected to change this offseason. The Washington Redskins are rumored to be looking at locking down Cousins, with a price tag of at least $17 million per season and realistically even a bit higher than that.

The report noted.

“A few weeks back, the Redskins knew it was hard to pinpoint where Cousins should be slotted in terms of value because this was his first full season as a starter — and he was inconsistent the first half of the year. But his strong finish elevated him into a different landing spot financially, even with a playoff loss. Cousins might just be a game manager, but with the talent around him, that’s all he needed to be — and it worked. He has talked often about being able to play in one system for a long time; staying in Washington would give him that opportunity. But if they can’t come to an agreement, the Redskins still have ultimate control with the franchise tag, which would cost anywhere between $20 million and $25 million.”

If the rumors are true and the Washington Redskins do lock down Kirk Cousins, it would all but assure that Robert Griffin III is on another team next year. The team would be on the hook for $16.2 million against the salary cap by keeping him, and there are several teams rumored to be interested in reviving the magic that Griffin showed when he first came into the league.

It would certainly make sense to lock down Kirk Cousins. The NFL has become an entirely quarterback driven league, one that is separated into teams that have a franchise quarterback and those on an endless search for one. The Redskins have a player who has shown flashes of excellence, including the final stretch of the season when Cousins clinched the NFC East title, and if Cousins were not worth $20 million a year to the Redskins there would be a half dozen teams happy to pay that price.

And Cousins certainly proved himself this season. He finished with a league-high 69.8 completion percentage, which is actually the eighth highest total in league history, and set the franchise record with 4,166 passing yards. His 29 touchdowns were also two away from a franchise record.

“We have grown a lot, not just myself, but as a team,” Cousins said before this week’s playoff game (via the Washington Times). “As an organization, I think we are doing things that are causing us to head in the right direction. That’s positive. That’s gratifying. That’s rewarding. You know, we continue to also look forward and say, ‘OK, where can we take it from here?'”

If the rumors surrounding the Washington Redskins are true, the the next place Kirk Cousins is headed is a giant new contract signing.

[Picture by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]