As a long-time Cowboys fan, I love the Washington Redskins.
Okay, that statement needs some clarification.
I love the fact that the Washington Redskins can never seem to get out of their own way. I love that Daniel Snyder makes Jerry Jones look like a competent owner. I love the Redskins! It’s NFL comedy at its finest.
The latest in the long list of Washington’s self-sabotage is sticking the franchise tag on quarterback Kirk Cousins for a second consecutive year. On the surface you may say this looks like a good move for both sides. The Redskins get to keep Cousins around for a hopeful playoff run next year, and Cousins gets paid, to the tune of nearly $24 million.
Everyone’s happy, right?
Here’s where that good old Washington Redskins logic comes into play, because one of two scenarios will most likely play out this coming season:
- Cousins plays great, leading the Redskins to the playoffs and drives his value up to the point where Washington cannot afford him next year, be it on a relatively unprecedented third franchise tag (which would guarantee Cousins at least a 44% raise over his cap number this year) or on a regular long-term deal (which he may rebuff out of spite anyway).
2.Cousins plays poorly (and he would have to play poorly, I can’t see an injury having the same effect) and drives his market down to the point where Washington can lowball him a bit and hope he signs (which, again, is no guarantee).
I would say there is a 95% chance that Cousins is in a different uniform at the start of the 2018 season, and the Redskins do not have a good enough team around him to win the Superbowl this year. No additions that they make via the draft or free agency will likely vault them above many of the teams that made the playoffs in the NFC last year anyway. The question then becomes, why? Why burn this bridge with arguably the best quarterback you’ve had since who, Mark Rypien?
Seriously, since Rypien left in 1993, the Redskins have seen a host of guys either past their prime (Mark Brunell, Donovan McNabb), experiments (Jason Campbell, RGIII) or just random one-year stopgaps (Shane Matthews, Tony Banks). There have been a few playoff appearances, fewer playoff victories, and no long-term success. The Redskins have a proven commodity under center right now, and they would rather be the Redskins than lock him up and not have to worry about the quarterback position for the next decade. In a division (the NFC East) which is full of quality quarterback talent (and young, too, aside from Eli) the Redskins are going to be behind the eight-ball when they have to reload after Cousins walks. “This year or bust” is great for many teams, Washington is not one of them as they’re currently comprised.
Boy, I love the Redskins!