Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins announced that he signed a franchise tender with the team Thursday, guaranteeing he will make $19.95 million next season if he and the team do not agree to a long-term deal before July 15.
Even though he doesn't have the deal in place to remain in Washington for the long term—or the financial leverage of those who don't sign a tender do—he plans to participate in all offseason workouts, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, citing league sources.
Florio wrote that Cousins, who is 27 years old and made just $660,000 last year, needs the reps to keep from getting rusty. He also suggested the two sides could agree upon a middle ground.
"So what will it take to sign Cousins for the long haul? Based on the tag, Cousins arguably should get $43.89 million over the first two years," Florio wrote. "As a practical matter, there’s likely a number between whatever Washington offered Cousins before tagging him and $43.89 million over two years that would get it done."
Washington owner Daniel Snyder isn't known for making shrewd deals, but it's clear the team brass wants Cousins to be the franchise quarterback. And it seems as though his goal is to remain with the team:
Kirk Cousins @KirkCousins8
I'm told this is the final step in making it officially official. I am back with the Re... https://t.co/2O8UzxOLU9 https://t.co/EgfhmxkpAV2016-3-3 13:40:26
It's expensive to tag a quarterback, so it would likely be best for the team to get close to Cousins' demands and sign him to a long-term contract.
A quarterback can make or break a team, and Washington has been broken over the years in that department. However, Cousins became the third quarterback in team history to throw for 4,000 yards in a season and the first to throw a touchdown in all 16 games while leading Washington to its second NFC East title since 1999.
The right move is to find a way to keep Cousins in town. He is showing respect to the team by doing his part in the offseason. Now, it's time for Washington to do the same for him.