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Kirk Cousins Says He'd Like Multi-Year Contract with Redskins

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2018

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Giants Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins reiterated his desire to remain with the team as he approaches free agency for the third straight season. 

Cousins discussed his future at an event Friday with 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier (h/t the Washington Post's Scott Allen):

"Under the right set of circumstances is those conversations that [Cousins' agent] Mike McCartney will have with the Redskins between now and March. I may get involved a little bit, too, but just trying to get on the same page, make sure it's the right fit. We talk about winning is so important and I want to be excellent at what I do. I want to be associated with excellence and as I've said, if I feel like winning and excellence is here, I just don’t have a lot of reason to look elsewhere. I'm a big part of that. The ball's in my hands, so if we're not winning and we're not excellent, I've got to look at myself first and foremost. But that's certainly what I want to be a part of and helped build, so if I feel like that's here, there's no reason to look around."

Cousins signed one-year franchise tenders with Washington in each of the past two offseasons. Going that route would be extremely costly for the team the third time around. According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Cousins would earn $28.8 million with the transition tag and $34.5 million with the franchise tag.

Cousins doesn't appear to be too warm on the idea, either, per NBC Sports Redskins:

NBC Sports Redskins @NBCSRedskins

Kirk Cousins isn't in love with the idea of playing on yet another franchise tag. https://t.co/FPEK7bUPid

The 2016 Pro Bowler may not be in any hurry to sign a new deal, though. He told the crowd he wants to "gather some information" about how the offseason is unfolding, particularly with regard to coaching changes across the NFL, according to ESPN.com's John Keim.

The 29-year-old put together another solid season in 2017. He threw for 4,093 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, and he ranked 16th among quarterbacks in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement), per Football Outsiders.

Assuming the San Francisco 49ers use the franchise tag on Jimmy Garoppolo, Cousins will be by far the most coveted quarterback on the free-agent market. Drew Brees turns 39 later this month, while Sam Bradford missed all but two games in the regular season. Giving a big contract to Bradford's replacement, Case Keenum, isn't all that enticing based on his track record.

As a result, Cousins can basically name his price in free agency.

According to Spotrac, Washington has roughly $51.9 million in salary cap space. While that should be enough to accommodate an extension for Cousins, the team also has to worry about the long-term ramifications his contract would create.

Chances are, Cousins will likely receive the multi-year deal he seeks, but it may not be in Washington.

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