The contract situation of Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was one of the most dominating stories of the NFL offseason. Reports emerged that Cousins wasn’t in love with the front office, and apparently, the feeling was mutual.
On top of that, team president Bruce Allen threw his quarterback under the bus when he issued a statement saying Cousins was offered and rejected what would have been a record contract.
Not surprisingly, Cousins just didn’t feel right about it.
“I didn’t feel at peace with signing a long-term deal at this juncture,” Cousins said, via Dan Graziano of ESPN. “I think the freedom that it allows on the other side of this season makes more sense. In the league, there’s so much change, so much turnover year after year, I think it makes a lot of sense to re-evaluate where we’re at, where the league’s at at the end of this season.”
Cousins is partially right. The league does change a lot from year to year. The last thing he’d want to do is sign a long-term contract with a team, only to get stuck in a bad situation for several years.
On the other hand, things can change a lot with Cousins, too. He could get hurt. He could have a bad season. Cousins will make just a shade under $24 million in 2017 so he isn’t exactly playing for peanuts. From one perspective, that is less than half of the guaranteed money that Allen noted Cousins walked away from. However, from a long-term perspective, he’ll be making out like a bandit, barring a career-threatening injury.
Obviously, Cousins just didn’t want to commit to the Redskins long term. That’s fair enough. If Cousins has a good season in 2017, his value will, at worst, hold firm. The market will be there. Plenty of teams lack quality quarterbacks.
But if something crazy happens that causes his value to plunge, we can only hope, for Cousins’ sake, that he’ll be at peace with walking away from all of that money.