Kirk Cousins’ impending contract decision will be one of the story lines of this offseason. Washington has a little over a month to negotiate a deal, use the franchise tag for the second consecutive year, or let him enter free agency.
It sounds like not everyone is on the same page in what to do with Captain Kirk. From Mike Jones of the Washington Post on the offseason plans:
The Redskins hope that Gruden as play-caller and Cavanaugh as O.C. ensures a seamless transition, but the future of Cousins remains unresolved. Gruden and team president Bruce Allen remain adamant that Cousins will remain with the team. But is that franchise tag, or long-term deal? The Redskins prefer the latter, but well aware of differing opinions within the organization regarding his ceiling and worth, the quarterback still is a little salty and will not give a hometown discount.
Gruden and Allen remain adamant, and there is one person not mentioned there: GM Scot McCloughan. The piece goes on to discuss how Gruden needs Cousins in what is a key year for the coach, and how Gruden needs Allen, who can get to owner Daniel Snyder. Again, there is someone between those two if you read between the very expansive lines.
McCloughan’s name comes up explicitly when Jones writes:
Meanwhile, Gruden also needs general manager Scot McCloughan to have a home-run offseason. McCloughan needs that as well.
So far, while he has helped change the mind-set of the franchise, McCloughan hasn’t produced the drafts that the Redskins hoped for when Allen hired him in 2015. From that first draft class, guard Brandon Scherff earned Pro Bowl honors and wide receiver Jamison Crowder is a stud, but the jury remains out on outside linebacker Preston Smith, running back Matt Jones and guard Arie Kouandjio. The 2016 draft class’s first-round pick, wide receiver Josh Doctson, has barely played because of mysterious Achilles’ tendon injuries. Cravens and Fuller seem to have potential, but neither have solidified roles as of yet, and defensive lineman Matt Ioannidis and quarterback Nate Sudfeld currently look like nothing but backups.
Yet to pan out? It hasn’t been the Cowboys rookie class from last year, but I’ll point out that Scherff has already made a pro bowl (one of only 13 players from the 2015 class to do so) and Crowder is one of the best 30 players from that draft so far. It’s an above average class when you look at how much you actually get from most draft classes. Last year was a disappointment so far, but it’s early. Only four rookies made a pro bowl, and two played in Dallas.
So all of those comments on the Cousins thing, and the insinuation of a rift with McCloughan, are interesting. Today, Dan Steinberg also asks why the team is not letting McCloughan speak. He included this blurb, also from Mike Jones last week:
Why have we not heard from McCloughan? Because Allen wouldn’t let him talk at the Senior Bowl last week. True story. Allen signs off on everything. He told team PR that McCloughan wasn’t allowed to speak to the media.
Sounds like things are going great in Washington, and if not everyone is on the same page, we may see a big move soon.