Washington Redskins: Is ‘former backup’ label hurting Kirk Cousins?

Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins, along with the rest of us, is waiting to see what a long-term contract looks like.

Kirk Cousins has worked hard to get to this point. He’s a long way from the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft, where the Washington Redskins initially selected him. Yet, in all of his accomplishments with the franchise, all Cousins has to show for it is two franchise tags and no contract. Roughly $24 million dollars later, if no contract is in place, he will make more in two years than many NFL players.

If the Redskins can’t come to a conclusion on a contract by July 17, Cousins will pocket $40 million. To make matters worse, he will enter another offseason with no contract. Did anyone think about this before tagging him? The price tag goes way up when contract talks start again, pending what happens in July.

Every writer in the sports world has tried narrowing down why the Redskins haven’t signed Cousins to a contract. Some blamed it on the interception in the final game against the New York Giants. My theory is the Redskins have too much pride to sign a former backup quarterback to a multi million-dollar deal. The tags save face. For whatever reason, the Redskins don’t want that storyline around the organization.

New England Patriots quarterback/Sith Lord Tom Brady was a backup. Never forget Sept. 23, 2001.  That’s the day New York Jets linebacker Mo Lewis caved in the chest of Drew Bledsoe. Like Brady, Cousins rose to the occasion in the wake of an injured RG3. In his first full season with the Patriots, Brady had 264 completions for 2, 843 yards.

In 2015, Cousins’ first full season at the helm, he completed 543 for 4,166 yards. The story of the backup who rose to the occasion is a good one for Washington, a far cry from the political noise of the day.

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