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Kirk Cousins has excellent take on franchise tag

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins understands what’s at stake this upcoming season as he plays it out under the franchise tag.

Cousins realizes that Washington isn’t exactly sold on him as a long-term starter at this time. That the team used the franchise tag on him this year shows a certain level of commitment that the quarterback summed up with excellent clarity speaking with Grant and Danny on 106.7 The Fan Wednesday morning.

This is just perfect.

This is a player who is being completely honest about where things stand between himself and his team. He knows he’s on a one-year prove-it deal and that Washington doesn’t feel confident in pouring huge dollars into him at this point.

What Washington is doing this season with Cousins is really the antithesis of what the Houston Texans did with Brock Osweiler. The biggest difference is obviously the fact that Cousins was already on board, so Washington has no pressure to do a long-term deal to attract him, while Houston was desperate to land someone — anyone — resembling a franchise passer.

One recent report on Washington’s negotiations with Cousins on a long-term deal shows just how little faith the franchise has in him at this point (more on that here).

Playing out the year on the franchise tag, which pays him just under $20 million, is slightly risky from an outside view, because he would have earned more in guaranteed cash, even taking Washington’s low-ball offer.

However, Cousins obviously feels confident about betting on himself to improve his stock in an increasing market.

Based on last year’s second half (23 touchdowns and just three interceptions the final 10 games), he stands to earn a ton of money this year if he can match that effort. However, Cousins was markedly turnover-prone in his first three seasons (18 touchdowns, 19 interceptions) before the lights came on last year.

Tracking his progress will be one of the most interesting storylines to follow in 2016.