Washington Fumbles Kirk Cousins’ Contract Talks – How does It Impact 2017 Odds?

kirk-cousins-redskinsKirk Cousins’ audition for a bigger contract was supposed to be the 2016/17 season. After all, the Washington Redskins put the franchise tag on him for $20 million in a wait-and-see situation.

This summer, Cousins said that he wants to wait on a contract and see what his offers are in 2019. Afterward, the Redskins released a derogatory statement that may have destroyed their chances at re-signing the Pro Bowl quarterback.

Let’s take a look at the statement and discuss how this dissension could affect the Redskins 2017/18 odds.

Washington Puts Blame on Cousins

Before we get into the statement, it must be reiterated that the Redskins – not Cousins – chose to wait the first time. They also complained about how Cousins wouldn’t sign a team-friendly long-term contract.

kirk-cousins-steelersSo how can they be angry when Cousins turns around and does the exact same thing to them? When they decided that the 2015 season – where Cousins threw for 4,166 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions – wasn’t enough to evaluate him?

The 28-year-old not only passed the test last year – he exceeded it with 4,917 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

His reward – the following statement from team president Bruce Allen:

“Despite our repeated attempts, we have not received any offer from Kirk’s agent this year. Kirk has made it clear that he prefers to play on a year-to-year basis. While we would have liked to work out a long-term contract before this season, we accept his decision.”

The key part is that the Redskins “accept his decision.” As if this isn’t rude enough, Allen apparently believes that the quarterback’s name is “Kurt” Cousins.

The Redskins Screwed Up Big Time

This statement is about as passive-aggressive as you can get. Allen is trying to tell fans that Cousins is the one who’s holding up the deal.

But the reality is that Washington screwed up not once, but twice.

redskins-bruce-allenWe can give them a pass on not giving Cousins a huge deal after one good season. But then he proved that he’s worth the money last year. This was supposed to result in a big long-term contract.

However, Washington lowballed him again in a rising quarterback market. They wanted him to take a team-friendly 6-year deal, with only two seasons guaranteed.

That’s mistake #1.

Then Washington not only undervalues Cousins with a weak deal, but tries making him out to be the bad guy.

Mistake #2.

Maybe Cousins will overlook these slights and come to an agreement with the Redskins in the 2019 offseason. Then again, maybe he’s pissed off and will take the first great deal he sees from another team.

And for comparison, let’s look at the Pittsburgh Steelers when they couldn’t get a deal done with Le’Veon Bell:

“Unfortunately, we were unable to agree to terms on a long-term contract with Le’Veon Bell prior to today’s deadline. Le’Veon is scheduled to play this year under the Exclusive Franchise Tag designation. We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season.”

GM Kevin Colbert’s statement doesn’t blame Bell. It doesn’t try to rip him for not taking a team-friendly offer. Colbert just says that they’ll try again during the season.

Here’s how Much Cousins is Getting Paid

kirk-cousins-nflUnder the current franchise tag deal, Cousins will get $23.9 million this season, plus $28.7 million for the 2018 transition tag. That adds up to $52.6 million over the next two years.

Washington wanted to give him two seasons guaranteed at $53 million, plus four more years where they could decide to keep or cut him.

It’s easy to see why Cousins won’t take the same amount of money to let the bumbling Redskins control his fate over the next 6 seasons. Instead, why not take the next two seasons’ worth of money and see what you can get on the free agent market in 2019?

Cousins Figures to Get Big Money on the Free Agent Market

It’s likely that Cousins at least stays within the same range he’s been playing over the last two seasons. And if that’s the case, he’s due for a pay raise.

Assuming Cousins averages 4,500 yards and a 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio, some team will offer him top-5 quarterback money. We’re talking $25-$30 million, with $75-$90 million guaranteed.

2017/18 Redskins Odds & Season Outlook

kirk-cousins-2016Currently, we have the Washington Redskins odds of winning the Super Bowl at +5000. For comparison, our GTBets sportsbook puts the Tennessee Titans (+4000) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3000) at better odds.

Normally I’d say that Washington is undervalued in this scenario.

But then again, the Redskins did just blow negotiations with their team leader. And this is never a good thing to do when you’re just over a month away from the regular season.

The team also lost their top two wide receivers in free agency. GM Scot McCloughan was fired after somebody anonymously decimated his character to the press. And they’ve failed to add the type of talent that can compete in a rising NFC East.

Based on the way things are going, we don’t see Washington staying with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants at the top of the division. In fact, they’ll be lucky to beat Philadelphia out for third place in the division.

2015 NFL Power Rankings Week 17

von-miller-broncosThe Carolina Panthers’ quest for an undefeated season is now over after a 20-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. But will this lone loss knock the Panthers from the top spot in our Week 17 power rankings? See below, and check out last week’s power rankings here.

1. Arizona Cardinals (12-2); beat Green Bay, up 1 spot – Arizona is riding a nine-game winning streak heading into their meeting with Seattle, which had a five-game win streak snapped.

2. Carolina Panthers (14-1); lost to Atlanta Falcons 20-13, down 1 spot – There’s no incentive for the Panthers to rest because a loss could allow the Cardinals to claim the NFC’s No. 1 seed.

3. New England Patriots (12-3); lost to NY Jets 26-20 (OT), same spot – This is the third loss in five games for the Pats. Are their injuries too much to overcome for a title shot?

4. Denver Broncos (11-4); beat Cincinnati 20-17 (OT), up 4 spots – After not scoring a second-half point in three straight games, the Broncos got 17 in the second half/OT to claim this contest.

aj-mccarron-bengals5. Cincinnati Bengals (11-4); lost to Denver 20-17 (OT), down 1 spot – The Bengals are only scoring on 30% of their possessions with AJ McCarron; they scored 43% of the time with Andy Dalton.

6. Kansas City Chiefs (10-5); beat Cleveland 17-13, up 3 spots – Along with the 1986 Jets, Kansas City is the only other team to win 10 games and have a five-game losing streak in the same season.

7. Seattle Seahawks (9-6); lost to St. Louis 23-17, down 2 spots – Seattle couldn’t overcome their bleak 3-point first half to beat the Rams.

8. New York Jets (10-5); beat New England 26-20 (OT), up 2 spots – The Jets got a huge victory over the Pats, but they must still win on Sunday to guarantee themselves a playoff spot.

9. Green Bay Packers (10-5); lost to Arizona 38-8, down 3 spots – This is the second time in the past four games that Green Bay has been shut out in the first half.

10. Minnesota Vikings (10-5); beat NY Giants 49-17, up 1 spot – While Minnesota’s offense has struggled at times, the 49 points here is their most since 1998.

11. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6); lost to Baltimore 20-17, down 4 spots  – While Pittsburgh may no longer control their own playoff destiny, they at least face the 3-12 Browns in Week 17.

brandon-weeden-texans12. Houston Texans (8-7); beat Tennessee 34-6, same spot – The way Brandon Weeden played last week has to make the Cowboys wonder if they made the right move by cutting him.

13. Washington Redskins (8-7); beat Philadelphia 38-24, same spot – In the last nine games, Kirk Cousins has thrown for 20 TD’s, 3 INT’s and completed 72% of his passes.

14. Atlanta Falcons (8-7); beat Carolina 20-13, same spot – Atlanta lost their way after a 6-0 start, but this huge victory helps make up for missing the playoffs.

15. Buffalo Bills (7-8); beat Dallas 16-6, same spot – If Buffalo beats the Jets, they’ll have strung together non-losing seasons for the first time since 1999-2000.

16. Oakland Raiders (7-8); beat San Diego 23-20 (OT), same spot – If Derek Carr gets three more passing TD’s in the final week, he’ll tie Daryle Lamonica’s franchise record of 34 TD’s.

17. Indianapolis Colts (7-8); beat Miami 18-12, up 2 spots – Indianapolis can still win the AFC South, but they need Houston and multiple other teams to lose to do so.

todd-gurley-rams18. St. Louis Rams (7-8); beat Seattle 23-17, up 2 spots – Todd Gurley is the first Rams running back to top 1,000 yards and score 10 TD’s since Eric Dickerson in 1983.

19. New York Giants (7-8); lost to Minnesota 49-17, down 2 spots – Eli Manning sure missed Odell Beckham since he completed just 5-of-14 passes to wideouts and had 3 interceptions.

20. Philadelphia Eagles (6-9); lost to Washington 38-24, down 2 spots  – The Chip Kelly era comes to a tumultuous end after he was fired yesterday.

21. New Orleans Saints (6-9); beat Jacksonville 38-27, up 3 spots – Drew Brees has been his old self the past three games, tossing 8 TD’s and zero interceptions while averaging 355 passing yards.

22. Chicago Bears (6-9); beat Tampa Bay 26-21, up 3 spots – Will Matt Forte be back next year? Jeremy Langford has equaled or out-snapped him three weeks straight.

23. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-9); lost to Chicago 26-21, down 2 spots – The Bucs were .500 three weeks ago; since then, they’ve allowed an 89.8 Total QBR to opponents and lost three straight.

24. Detroit Lions (6-9); beat San Francisco 32-17, up 1 spot – The Lions have committed just 4 turnovers in the last seven games, going 5-2 in this span.

allen-robinson25. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-10); lost to New Orleans 38-27, down 3 spots – Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are the first Jaguars receivers to top 1,000 yards since Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell in 2001.

26. Baltimore Ravens (5-10); beat Pittsburgh 20-17 (OT), up 4 spots – Baltimore swept the Steelers for just the second time in franchise history.

27. Miami Dolphins (5-10); lost to Indianapolis 18-12, down 1 spot – Miami is 2-7 in this last nine games, losing by a combined 102 points.

28. San Diego Chargers (4-11); lost to Oakland 23-20 (OT), down 1 spot – San Diego lost eight times by eight points or fewer this season.

29. Dallas Cowboys (4-11); lost to Buffalo 16-6, down 1 spot – Dez Bryant has predictably been shut down for the season and will undergo foot surgery.

30. San Francisco 49ers (4-11); lost to Detroit 32-17, down 1 spot – DuJuan Harris led the rushing effort last week; he was working as a car salesman in 2012.

31. Tennessee Titans (3-12); lost to Houston 34-6, same spot – Tennessee has committed 32 turnovers this season, which leads the league.

32. Cleveland Browns (3-12); lost to Kansas City 17-13, same spot – Johnny Manziel is being evaluated for a concussion and might not play Sunday.

2015 NFL Power Rankings Week 15

aj-mccarron-bengalsThe Cincinnati Bengals’ season has taken a surprising turn after losing Andy Dalton for 4-6 weeks with a fractured thumb. The Bengals will now try to earn a first-round playoff bye with AJ McCarron under center, which, until further notice, puts a question mark on the team’s potential. See where Cincinnati ranks in our Week 15 power rankings, and you can check out last week’s rankings here.

1. Carolina Panthers (13-0); beat Atlanta 38-0, same spot – You can definitely see why Cam Newton is leading the MVP race when considering that in the last six games, he’s thrown for 14 TD’s, rushed for 2 TD’s and tossed just one interception.

2. Arizona Cardinals (11-2); beat Minnesota 23-20, same spot – Games against Green Bay and Seattle to close out the season will get Arizona playoff-ready.

3. New England Patriots (11-2); beat Houston 27-6, up 2 spots – New England halts a two-game slide, and suddenly they’re back in position to grab the AFC’s top seed again.

4. Cincinnati Bengals (10-3); lost to Pittsburgh 33-20, down 1 spot – Andy Dalton might not be back until the middle of the postseason. Can the Bengals last this long?

5. Denver Broncos (10-3); lost to Oakland 15-12, down 1 spot – Brock Osweiler has protected the ball well, but he’s getting sacked on nearly 9 percent of his drop-backs.

6. Seattle Seahawks (8-5); beat Baltimore 35-6, same spot – Seattle has been crushing opponents lately. But can they settle their running back position en lieu of all their injuries?

aaron-rodgers-vs-patriots7. Green Bay Packers (9-4); beat Dallas 28-7, same spot – The Packers racked up 251 rushing yards in this game, which is their most since 2004.

8. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5); beat Cincinnati 33-20, up 1 spot  – Nobody can stop Pittsburgh’s offense right now. They’re averaging 494 yards in offense in the last five games while scoring over 30 points each time out.

9. Kansas City Chiefs (8-5); beat San Diego 10-3, down 1 spot – Alex Smith threw his first interception in 312 pass attempts – ending the second-longest streak in NFL history behind Tom Brady (358).

10. New York Jets (8-5); beat Tennessee 30-8, up 1 spot – With 89 catches, Brandon Marshall needs just 5 more to break the Jets’ record for most catches in a season.

11. Minnesota Vikings (8-5); lost to Arizona 23-20, same spot – Teddy Bridgewater needs to get rid of the ball quicker; he’s been sacked on 8.4 percent of his drop-backs.

12. Buffalo Bills (6-7); lost to Philadelphia 23-20, same spot – The Bills’ biggest downfall has been penalties since they lead the league in penalties called (147) and penalty yardage (1,086).

khalil-mack-raiders13. Oakland Raiders (6-7); beat Denver 15-12, up 4 spots – With his five sacks, Khalil Mack tied Howie Long for the most in a single Raiders’ game.

14. New York Giants (6-7); beat Miami 31-24, up 4 spots – This is the sixth-straight game that Odell Beckham Jr. has had 100 receiving yards – the longest streak this year.

15. Philadelphia Eagles (6-7); beat Buffalo 23-20, up 5 spots  – Sam Bradford is playing much better; he has 5 TD’s and 1 INT in the last four games, compared to 9 TD’s and 10 INT’s in the first 11 contests.

16. Houston Texans (6-7); lost to New England 27-6, up 3 spots – This is the fifth game in which Houston has replaced their quarterback; they’re 1-4 in these contests.

17. Indianapolis Colts (6-7); lost to Jacksonville 51-16, down 3 spots – For the first time since 1953, the Colts have allowed 45 points in back-to-back games.

18. Washington Redskins (6-7); beat Chicago 24-21, up 4 spots – Kirk Cousins should land a pretty big contract this offseason for his play.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7); lost to New Orleans 24-17, down 4 spots – Tampa Bay’s glaring weakness is their pass defense, as they’re giving up a league-leading 68.7 percent completion rate.

20. Atlanta Falcons (6-7); lost to Carolina 38-0, down 4 spots – Atlanta is on a six-game losing streak and they haven’t gotten one rushing TD during this period.

allen-robinson21. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-8); beat Indianapolis 51-16, up 6 spots – The Jaguars have put up 90 points in the past two weeks – 11 more points than any other team.

22. New Orleans Saints (5-8); beat Tampa Bay 24-17, up 6 spots – Tim Hightower went from not playing a game since 2011 to rushing 28 times in this victory.

23. St. Louis Rams (5-8); beat Detroit 21-14, up 1 spot – The Rams are 4-1 when Todd Gurley rushes for at least 100 yards.

24. Chicago Bears (5-8); lost to Washington 24-21, down 5 spots – Chicago just can’t win at Soldier Field; they’re 1-6 at home, which is tied for worst with the Titans.

25. Miami Dolphins (5-8); lost to NY Giants 31-24, down 4 spots – With this loss, the Dolphins are guaranteed to miss the playoffs for the seventh-straight season.

26. Detroit Lions (4-9); lost to St. Louis 21-14, down 4 spots – This marked just the second time since 2010 that Calvin Johnson only had one catch in a game.

27. Dallas Cowboys (4-9); lost to Green Bay 28-7, down 2 spots – Matt Cassel has only completed 16-of-42 passes (38.1%) to Dez Bryant this year.

28. San Francisco 49ers (4-9); lost to Cleveland 24-10, down 2 spots – Yet again, Blaine Gabbert fails to win consecutive starts in his career.

29. Baltimore Ravens (4-9); lost to Seattle 35-6, down 2 spots – Baltimore was only losing by a 3.6 PPG margin before playing Seattle and suffering a 29-point loss.

30. Tennessee Titans (3-10); lost to NY Jets 30-8, same spot – At least QB Marcus Mariota caught a touchdown in this game…that was about it, though.

31. Cleveland Browns (3-10); beat San Francisco 24-10, up 1 spot – Johnny Manziel is now 2-2 as a starter. Austin Davis and Josh McCown are 1-8 combined.

32. San Diego Chargers (3-10); lost to KC 10-3, down 1 spot – This is the third time in four games that San Diego has been held to just a field goal.