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Redskins fail to sign Kirk Cousins … again

The Washington Redskins are never far from the news. On Monday, they were once again making headlines with the passing of the franchise tag deadline, allowing quarterback Kirk Cousins to go without a long-term deal for the second consecutive year.

Cousins, 28, is one of the better players in the game today. Last year, Cousins threw for more than 4,900 yards on 8.11 yards per attempt, both figures ranking third. Only a starter for two seasons, the former Michigan State product has considerably less wear and tear on his body than the typical quarterback at his age.

Yet the Redskins placed the franchise tag on Cousins in each of the past two seasons, and with the passing of the deadline to make a long-term pact at 4 p.m. EST on Monday, the chances of keeping him past 2017 have become remote. The chance to do so became even less likely when general manager Bruce Allen released one of the more bizarre statements in league history. Via ESPN:

“Our goal was to sign Kirk to a long-term contract with the final objective of having him finish his career with the Redskins,” Allen said Monday in the statement. “On May 2, right after the draft, we made Kirk an offer that included the highest fully guaranteed amount upon signing for a quarterback in NFL history ($53 million) and guaranteed a total of $72 million for injury. The deal would have made him at least the second highest-paid player by average per year in NFL history.

“But despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from Kirk’s agent this year. Kirk has made it clear that he prefers to play on a year-to-year basis,” Allen said. “While we would have liked to work out a long-term contract before the season, we accept his decision.”

The notion that Allen and the Redskins made an incredible offer is inaccurate. While it’s undoubtedly life-changing money, Allen was negotiating from a weakened position. Cousins’ representatives know that between this year’s tag and a potential transition tag next year, their client would be due $51 million. Allen barely guaranteed more than that. If Cousins hits the free-agent market come March, there’s a real chance that he becomes the first player in NFL history to sign for $100 million in guarantees and an average value of $30 million, per Joel Corry of CBS Sports via the Stacking The Box podcast.

At this juncture, between the failure to reach a deal for two years and the snide statement from the organization, it’s a good bet that Cousins moves on. For whatever reason, the Redskins didn’t satisfy a young quarterback who led them to consecutive winning seasons, something that hadn’t happened before since Dan Snyder bought the team last century.

Ultimately, the Redskins better be correct in their clean assumption that Cousins isn’t worth big money. If they aren’t, it’s simply one more black eye for a franchise that is long on dysfunction and short on results.

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