After another impressive season, Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins could be looking at a massive amount of money on the open market.
Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is one of the most polarizing players in the league purely for his work on the field. While many believe that Cousins’s 307.3 yards per game, 67.0 percent completion percentage, and 8.1 yards per pass attempt this past season are more than enough to warrant a hefty contract, detractors see Cousins as being the beneficiary of a friendly scheme and underrated receivers. They are skeptical of his decision-making and arm talent, and they may have felt vindicated by his interception that destroyed the team’s playoff hopes.
In a league where even quarterbacks like Ryan Fitzpatrick can score hefty paydays, Cousins is fully expected to net a huge contract this offseason. Whether that contract comes from the Redskins or someone else remains to be seen, but it is worth noting that the Redskins could easily slap the franchise tag on him again. Despite Cousins’s stats, the Redskins front office doesn’t appear to have been fully swayed, which means they could see the franchise tag as a way to kick the can and minimize risk.
If Cousins doesn’t get hit with the franchise tag and somehow ends up on the open market, it looks like we can expect him to score $90 million in guaranteed money. This comes from former NFL agent Joel Corry, who told The Sports Junkies that at least $60 million of it would be fully guaranteed. Corry said that this is a conservative estimate of Cousins’s earnings on the open market, which could see the quarterback making $26.5 million per year.
Based on the data available on Over The Cap, that would make Cousins the highest-paid quarterback in the NFL annually by about $2 million, beating out Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck. Aaron Rodgers makes $54 million in total guarantees, so Corry predicts that Cousins would beat arguably the best quarterback in the NFL out in full guarantees.
I can’t see any way Cousins hits the open market, and the most likely scenario is for the Redskins to franchise the signal-caller. Per Corry, that would set the Redskins back around $24 million for 2017 with no future risk, and that might make the most sense if Scot McCloughan and the organization is still as lukewarm on Cousins as a few analysts are.