After Monday’s deadline passed for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term contracts, Redskins president Bruce Allen released a statement revealing their offer to the quarterback. Speaking on WFJK-FM on Tuesday, Cousins provided his side of the negotiations.
The quarterback said he was at peace with not making a counteroffer to the Redskins‘ proposal.
“It was closer than people would think,” Cousins said. “Even up to a week ago, I was still praying over whether we should send an offer … but ultimately I just felt peace on not making an offer and leaving it up to the team … based on their offers being able to go from there and then the deadline passed and play the season out. That’s what I felt the most at peace about so that’s what we ended up doing.”
Cousins took the high-road throughout his radio interview, consistently noting that most NFL players play on one-year contracts.
“One-year contracts are a big part of this league,” he said. “I can go down the list of teammates who are also playing on the end of their contract years or they only have this year promised to them and they don’t know where they are [going to be next] — key players like Terrelle Pryor, Spencer Long, Bashaud Breeland, Will Compton…”
Cousins added that the Redskins‘ statement on Monday “doesn’t rub me the wrong way at all.”
Despite the speculation that Cousins wants out of D.C., the 28-year-old quarterback said he wants to remain with Washington beyond 2017, noting he’d play on one-year deals with the Redskins for the next 10 seasons if necessary.
“It has always been my first choice to be with the Redskins,” Cousins said. “When you look around the league and you see great quarterbacks, they’ve nearly all played for one team. And the ones that haven’t, it really wasn’t their choice. It was usually a situation that dictated they had to move on, but that wasn’t their preference. I’m no different, I would love to be with the Redskins long-term. That’s why I think that there’s still a lot of hope that next offseason, when the season ends, the Redskins are going to have I think about two months to be the exclusive team that I can talk with. Then they still have the opportunity, if we’re not anywhere at that point, to use one of two tags.
“From there, there’s still time. While the ball is in my court during the season to play football well, the ball certainly goes back to the Redskins‘ court to continue this process,” Cousins said. “So while there was a deadline this summer, the real deadline to make a decision of next year is next year. That’s now where my focus is, my focus is on playing football, but there will be plenty of time to figure that all out down the road. Again, my first choice would be to be with the Redskins long-term. We’ll see with more information if we can make that happen.”
Cousins noted that the only thing he can control is his play during the upcoming season and he doesn’t worry about his murky future adding more pressure. He also isn’t fretting the Redskins wielding the franchise tag for a third straight season — which would cost Washington roughly $35 million in 2018.
“If I’m getting tagged a third time, that means this season went really, really well and that would be a beautiful thing,” he said.
One thing is certain: We are in for another year of questions about Cousins’ future in Washington.