Bill Polian believes both sides benefitted from the Washington Redskins’ decision to keep a franchise tag on Kirk Cousins rather than signing him to a long-term contract.
Polian pointed out on Late Hits that Cousins has “no pressure on him whatsoever” after he essentially “earned” the tag the past two years that will pay him a guaranteed $24 million this season.
‘Kirk Cousins never has to work another day in his life if he chooses not to’
“And by earning the tag, he has given himself and his children, if only his children, perhaps even his grand children, security for a lifetime,” Polian said. “Kirk Cousins never has to work another day in his life if he chooses not to. He’s a very smart guy, I’m sure he invested his money wisely. I’m certain he’ll invest this money wisely and, so, he’s on easy street. Anything he does from here is really a bonus. It may be a gigantic bonus, but nonetheless a bonus because what’s the purpose of a job if not to feed your family?
“In a very real sense, he is literally playing with house money. What does he have to lose?”
‘Long-term deals carry with them risk, even for quarterbacks who play a long time’
On the other hand, as Polian pointed out, the Redskins were able to retain Cousins at the market rate for a franchise quarterback.
“The only thing they haven’t gotten is a long-term deal with him, but market rate and then buying a long-term deal on top of that requires more than market rate and a risk,” the Hall-of-Fame general manager said. “Long-term deals carry with them risk, even for quarterbacks who play a long time. So they’ve assumed no risk other than the immediate risk, which they would assume under any circumstances anyway. Because the first time a veteran player makes the team, his contract is guaranteed for skill and injury anyway. The bottom line is they’ve assumed no real risk at the cost of a market-rate contract, so the Redskins haven’t lost anything.
‘The only thing that hasn’t happened is the touchy-feely part of it’
“Now, next year is an interesting year because to tag him again would put them up in the $34-million range. They may say, ‘That’s OK. The cap’s going to go up, it’s not debilitating.’ And he may say, ‘Bring it on! Now I’ll take care of my great grandchildren.’ This is truly a win-win. The only thing that hasn’t happened is the touchy-feely part of it. ‘Oh, they haven’t respected him, they haven’t given him a chance to be a real leader.’ All that malarkey that surrounds these contract negotiations is not there. More power to both sides for that.”
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