Jay Gruden has officially had it with the Kirk Cousins contract controversies. The Washington coach said he does not want to go into the 2018 season with Cousins playing under another one-year contract, which would be his third straight.
Gruden said, per Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post:
"I think something has to be done. I personally don't want to go through another one-year deal, and just [keep going] one year, one year. I think you want to have a quarterback in here that's going to be here. And hopefully that is Kirk, and if not, we have to move on and do what we have to do as an organization.
"For the most part, the great quarterbacks are in the same system year in and year out, and are developing in that system. [Teams are] not holding our breath every March and April, waiting for the guy. But if that's the case, that's the case. But we like Kirk and his development. He's played well at times, without a doubt, proven that he's a good starting NFL quarterback."
Cousins, 29, has played each of the last two seasons under the franchise tag. An unprecedented third franchise tag would cost Washington $34.5 million. The team could also use its transition tag, which would come with a $28 million cap hit.
Cousins threw for 4,093 yards and 27 touchdowns against 13 interceptions in 2017. His numbers took a steep drop in a number of categories from 2016, most notably passing yards (4,917 to 4,093), completion percentage (67.0 to 64.3) and yards per attempt (8.11 to 7.58). Cousins also threw two more interceptions last season (27) and saw his QBR drop more than 16 points.
"When you're 7-9, you know it's hard to say, 'Wow, this guy really was outstanding,'" Gruden told reporters. "Kirk had his flashes where he was really good. From a consistent standpoint, over the course of 16 games, you know we're 7-9."
Cousins' play progressively sagged as the season progressed, reaching a nadir in December. He threw for 804 yards and six touchdowns against five interceptions in the season's final month, completing just 56.7 percent of his passes and posting a 75.0 passer rating.
While there has been some internal tension regarding Washington's seeming unwillingness to commit long-term, Cousins seems to feel the team has been ready for a commitment.
"I think they were all-in last summer," Cousins said at a fan forum event last week, per the Associated Press (h/t Denver Post). "I feel at peace about their belief in me and where they're going forward from here."