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.