Could the Washington Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins come to an agreement on a long-term contract before the July 17 deadline? Given the reported contention between the team and Cousins this offseason, we’d be inclined to say no.

However, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, the answer is yes.

“We’ll have something of a better sense of closure on this one by July 15, which is the deadline to sign him to an extension off the franchise tag, under which he’s set to make nearly $24 million,” writes La Canfora. “Of course, the Redskins could always franchise him again — for a third straight time — in 2018 if need be, but I actually expect these sides to agree to a long-term deal by the deadline this time around.”

The option to franchise Cousins a third straight year might sound crazy, but it’s actually one team president Bruce Allen floated as a legitimate possibility recently.

However, that move would cost the team upwards of $34 million next offseason. And given the fact he’s earning roughly $44 million between 2016-17 without a long-term deal, the Redskins might as well do a long-term deal, which would come with a huge chunk of guaranteed money.

If that doesn’t happen, and if Washington isn’t interested in shelling out another gargantuan guaranteed salary on the franchise tag next year, then Cousins will hit the open market. There won’t be any shortage of interest in the signal caller if he does land in the free agency pool, meaning it’s time for Washington to get serious or admit defeat.