Kirk Cousins was great in 2015, but the Redskins and twitter GMs wanted to see more before lavishing a large contract on the 4th round quarterback. Washington slapped him with a franchise tag.
Kirk Cousins has been great again in 2016, re-writing Redskins record books and pushing the franchise close to its first back-to-back playoff appearances in over two decades.
Yet here we are, in Week 17, and some folks are still doubting Cousins. He’s got 31 starts under his belt the last two years, and he’s improved on some of his weaknesses. He had four multi-interception games last year; he’s got one in 2016. He took 26 sacks last year, sometimes holding the ball too long; he’s down to 19 this season.
The man has earned a monster contract*, regardless of what happens in Week 17 against the Giants. Not according to this silly piece in the Washington Post:
In the final regular-season game under his $19.95 million franchise tag deal, Cousins must play like he deserves the blockbuster contract he covets.
Perhaps the author of the piece hasn’t been watching the Redskins this season. The defense is the problem. Washington is 24th in yards per play allowed (5.8) and the Redskins are 1-4-1 when they give up 27 or more points.
But hey, if Cousins plays poorly, forget the body of work, get rid of this guy!
This is the last guaranteed chance for Cousins to prove his worth for the long term. Washington could tag him again next year for around $24 million or let him become a free agent. On the open market, he could command a five-year, $100 million deal.
This doesn’t appear to be a joke. I just don’t know what Cousins has left to prove. This much I know: Win or lose Sunday, he’s getting paid. By somebody.
* It’s not about whether or not he should be paid like a Top 5 QB – the market will decide. What’s a house worth? Whatever someone is willing to pay. What’s Kirk Cousins worth? What someone is willing to pay. For sorry teams like the Jets, Bears, Browns and others, the answer might be a lot of money.